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Daniel Coulet – Between Heaven and Hell
28 March – 9 May 2010

Daniel Coulet, Dans la fôret,
Chinatusche, ca. 50 x 60 cm

The sculptor and painter Daniel Coulet, who was born in 1954 in Montpellier and is now living in Paris and Toulouse, is considered to be one of the aspiring artists of the French art scene. Especially his larger monumental sculptures, which Daniel Coulet was able to place in the public space in recent years, identify him as a master of sculptures. (Projects in the subway in Toulouse, in the sculpture garden of the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Toulouse etc.)

In addition Daniel Coulet works as a painter and drawer. Here he mainly uses China ink, whose blackness he prefers to provide his pictures with an almost mystic depth and unrest. In his artwork, Coulet is capable of descending into the abysmal deepness of humanity. He develops a stream of colours (by ranging from black to light shades of gray, occasionally including white heightening, and also adding red ink as an enhancement of emotions), which evokes a scenario of fairytales, nightmares and visions of hell. Coulet seemingly reverts to prominent examples like Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), whose Porte de l´Enfer (Gate of Hell, 1885) serves as a model for Coulet’s monumental gates, both iconographically and stylistically. He also uses Alberto Giacometti’s slim figures and torsi or the charged expressive atmosphere characteristic for Edvard Munch’s works (e.g. in “The Scream”, 1905). However, crucial to the comprehension of Daniel Coulet’s work is not the adaptation to works of others but rather his own language and phrasing, which Coulet has long found in his sculptures and paintings. In his sculptures even more than in his drawings, Coulet deals with the laws of architecture and dissolves surfaces into almost filigreed struts and ramifications. He always develops forms out of lines.

The presentation in the Ludwig Museum will be the first solo exhibition of the artist in Germany. The Musée Paul-Dupuy in Toulouse could be won as a partner for the exhibition, mainly presenting drawings of Daniel Coulet, while his large-sized drawings of sculpture models will enter into dialogue with his large bronze sculptures in the Ludwig Museum. For his models, Coulet uses a very unconventional but highly demonstrative material, a special resin, which facilitates the realisation of his models in every size and at the same time enables him to preserve the details. A group of recently created sculptures is planned to be presented in the Ludwig Museum, one large sculpture will be placed outside the Ludwig Museum. Furthermore, a large retable (altarpiece, ca. 4,50 m x 6 m), which Daniel Coulet has created especially for the exhibition, will be presented in the neighbouring Basilica St. Kastor. Large-sized pictures (drawings on canvas and paper) accentuate Coulet’s themes without being understood as draft designs for the sculptures.

The exhibition is supported by the Rheinland-Palatinate trust for culture and by CULTURESFRANCE, Paris. It is developed in close cooperation with the artist and the Musée Paul-Depuy, Toulouse. An exhibition catalogue (French/German) will be published by Silvana Editoriale.

Daniel Coulet, Cloître 1, 1995, 52 x 134 x 16 cm

The exhibition and the catalogue are sponsored by:

in Germany

in France