Hubert Duprat, Sans titre, 2013, plaster, clay pots, 232 x 1800 x 15cm

In 2013, 30 years after the creation of the “Fonds Régionaux d’Art Contemporain”, the FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon asked the Henri Prades Museum to participate in a programme designed to highlight the regional collections. Adjacent to the archaeological site of Lattara, the museum aims to show the daily life of the city in ancient times

The museum then organised a contemporary art exhibition devoted to Hubert Duprat and asked him to imagine a work in dialogue with the archaeological collections. Hubert Duprat proposed an installation made up of a thousand industrial clay pots set into a 20-metre long plaster wall that divided the space dedicated to the permanent collections. The regular and almost hypnotic pattern thus produced provides a contemporary and poetic counterpoint to the ancient objects, particularly the amphorae that faces it.

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Hubert Duprat, 2009-2012. La Verrière, Bruxelles. Polystyrène, bois et galuchat.

Inaugurated in Brussels in 2000, La Verrière is part of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès international network of galleries. Invited to take over the space, Hubert Duprat installed an imposing polystyrene architecture adorned with rectangles of shagreen, a high-end leather used in leather goods. This white fortress, which occupies the space to the point of almost obstructing it, is astonishing in its scale as in the choice and use of materials. Polystyrene and shagreen have a similar grainy texture, but create a striking contrast in terms of density, appearance and symbolic value.

“This white structure takes us back to geometric modernism and the autonomous methods of early 20th-century art. But there’s a disturbing element, suggested by the title, which derives from the English word “shagreen”: ray or shark skin, whose rectangles seem to serve as staples to hold the white object together, and require traditional know-how and expertise, so that the work evokes the time lapse between the era of the handmade, the artisanal, and modern industry, or rather melts one into the other. “*

*Martin Herbert, « Une vision holiste », in TextWork, Fondation Ricard, July 2019