The works of Philippe Decrauzat (*1974 Lausanne, CH) are concerned with and develop the principles of op art, namely the suggestion of space and movement on the two-dimensional canvas. Like the art of movement founder Victor Vasarely and op-art icon Bridget Riley, Decrauzat's paintings rely for their realisation on the visual perception of the viewer. Decrauzat seeks the perfect interplay of form and colour, exploring it in spatial installations and large-scale panel paintings. Appearing to extend into infinity, his three-dimensional pieces and canvases are designed to trick the eye and produce intentional after-images on the retina. But that's not all: the artist also seeks to influence our perception of space and time. The perception of the viewer is thus crucial to Decrauzat's art. The "Slow Motion" installation, which includes three canvases spanning a wall at the EPO, creates an optical illusion of seeming to elongate space. The pull effect intensifies the longer the viewer allows his gaze to linger, and the black and white stripes begin to move, upsetting the conventional perception of spatial boundaries.
For several years now Decrauzat has been investigating the physiological phenomenon of "rapid eye movement" or REM. The large 35 x 4 m mural that Decrauzat created for the EPO’s viewing gallery engages further with this persistent theme. REM refers to the characteristic movements of the eyes during the dream phase of sleep. This large-scale mural consists of vertical lines on a white background that structure the wall space according to a fluctuating rhythm. The work’s starkly contrasting forms can also produce so-called after-images if we stare at it for an extended period and then close our eyes.