Capturing the light: Thierry Dreyfus unveils new work at Atelier Courbet

Paris studio
In his Paris studio, removed from the spectacle of orchestrating fashion extravaganzas and transforming global landmarks, Thierry Dreyfus crafts material – and light – with the quiet introspection of an artist
(Image credit: Thierry Dreyfus)

Thierry Dreyfus (opens in new tab) defies easy categorisation. There’s the work he's made his name for; producing runway shows (opens in new tab) for houses like Yves Saint-Laurent and Comme des Garçons. Then there are the large-scale light installations (opens in new tab), like those he did on the Eiffel Tower in 2008 and in Notre Dame in 2010. But in his Paris studio, removed from the spectacle of orchestrating fashion extravaganzas and transforming global landmarks, Dreyfus crafts material – and light – with the quiet introspection of an artist.

'The Art of Light', an exhibition at New York's Atelier Courbet (opens in new tab), draws from this section of Dreyfus’s body of work, including domestic-scaled pieces, many of which have never been shown outside of his own studio. The now-iconic ‘Hommage’ table sits at the gallery’s center, surrounded by smaller lamps and objets d’art. Four ‘Virgule’ lamps – each made with a different material – point to the subtle relationship between light and material, and the Brâncuși-esque ‘Lamp B’ seems as much of a sculpture as it is a lighting fixture.

Further uptown on 135 West 52nd Street (opens in new tab), the developers of a 47-story residential tower commissioned Dreyfus to make a permanent lighting installation (opens in new tab) on the building’s facade – which he did as a thin vertical strip whose light pulsates at the frequency of a resting heart rate. 'Maybe this will help slow people down,' he remarks. The exhibition at Atelier Courbet also includes a pair of sconces he created for that project, ‘Lamp 52nd', that mimic the building’s form and diffuse light through translucent marble panels.

Many of the objects Drefyus included in ‘The Art of Light’ were not initiated through a design commission, but rather with his own curiosity about form and beauty. 'Every evening, I stand in front of the mirror to brush my teeth, and I always ask myself, "Did I really live today?,"' he says, citing his drive to discover new ways of finding beauty. 'I need to experience beauty every day.'

The Art of Light

'The Art of Light', an exhibition at New York's Atelier Courbet, draws from this section of Dreyfus’ body of work, including domestic-scaled pieces

(Image credit: Thierry Dreyfus)

Capturing the light

Despite avoiding extravagance, Dreyfus' works are still aesthetically wonderful.  'I need to experience beauty everyday,' he says

(Image credit: Thierry Dreyfus)

Smaller scale works

These smaller scale works appear in the wake of large installations previously projected on to the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame

(Image credit: Thierry Dreyfus)

The exhibition

At the centre of the exhibition sits the now-iconic 'Hommage' table, surrounded by many objets d’art and smaller lamps

(Image credit: Thierry Dreyfus)

Thierry Dreyfus unveils new work

Further uptown, Dreyfus was commissioned to make a permanent lighting installation on a residential tower’s facade – which he did as a thin vertical strip whose light pulsates at the frequency of a resting heart rate

(Image credit: Thierry Dreyfus)

Virgule lamps

Exploring the relationship between light and material are four 'Virgule' lamps, each made from a different material

(Image credit: Thierry Dreyfus)

Lamp B

The Brâncuși-esque ‘Lamp B’ seems as much of a sculpture as it is a lighting fixture

(Image credit: Thierry Dreyfus)

INFORMATION

’The Art of Light’ is on view at Atelier Courbet until 17 October

ADDRESS

Atelier Courbet
175 Mott Street
New York, NY 10012

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