Mathieu Dafflon was born in 1987 in Geneva, Switzerland. He graduated from École des Arts Appliqués and Haute École d’Art et de Design HEAD – Genève (2011). He lives and works in Basel.
Between abstraction and figuration, monumentality and attention to detail, Dafflon’s work attests to his fascination of the act of painting. His work draws sustenance from art history, which he appropriates and reinterprets with irony and a certain irreverence. He mistreats the pictorial material he uses with great virtuosity in his attempt to blur references and invite reflection on representation and reproduction. By deconstructing his piece, the impressive mangled canvas will lose its rectangular shape and flatness, encouraging visitors to reflect on waste and the nature of art and its conventions. By being reduced to its main components – oil paint, wood, and canvas – the unconventional result stands on its own, defying all categorization and aesthetic principles. His illusionist painting technique tends to mislead the spectator. When taking a step back, the monumental work has the appearance of a photograph or a print, highlighting the tension between paintings as material components/objects and paintings as images/illusions.
Mathieu Dafflon was awarded the Prix de la Ville de Genève in 2014 and the Prix Hirzel in 2016. His work was first exhibited at Art Bärtschi & Cie in 2016, in a solo show titled WPO WPA WPC IPF. His other solo shows include those at Wilde Gallery (2019) and at Salle Crosnier, Palais de l’Athénée in Geneva in 2016, following his award of the Prix Hirzel. His work already appeared in several group shows, including at Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, in 2013-2014.