La Réunion

Cristof Dènmont

Born in 1977

Lives and works in Reunion Island

Cristof Dènmont’s paintings are palimpsests. They plumb the depths of painting. They bring traces and gestures to the surface, put colour and lines on the same level, figuration and abstraction on equal footing. The artist, who has been active on the Réunion art scene since the 2000s, has remained loyal to traditional painting (acrylic or oil on stretched canvas) for two decades while also fully embracing a more contemporary approach. In doing so, he highlights a number of signs by combining codes from various worlds : symbols of the industry of mass consumption, coconut trees and pineapples as stand-ins for exoticism, and even traces of what painting produces. He questions and revisits great themes in the history of painting and creates his own language marked by a balance of impure blends. While it may seem uncanny, it is in fact an art of thickness – the kind that happens inwardly and comes to us with strange ease. By reactivating these scores, the artist writes his name down in History. Cristof Dènmont is a painter but he works, compiles and mixes as a musician does. His painting preserves the world’s multiple melodies, whether singing or screeching.

Extract from Painting Is the Enigma, by Diana Madeleine, 2022
Translation by Lucy Pons

© Adagp, Paris