top of page
Fliegen ohne Flügel Jean-Philippe Dordolo

cumulus clouds

a clattering of jackdaws

rearrange their pattern


Alan Summers, Blithe Spirit vol. 20 no. 3 (2010)


Jean-Philippe Dordolo’s work plays with the idea of representation, figuration and gesture. His approach is as humorous as it is complex and layered. Pieces range from made objects and drawings, and extend further into performance. His influences and processes cross reference each other and borrow a variety of ideas - from art history to culture at large.


The exhibition Fliegen ohne Flügel ('Flying without Wings’) features a series of wall works exploring the reverse process of mark-making. They refer to certain traditions in painting - portraiture, still life, landscape. In this instance they exist as trompe-l’oeil casts objects made of a single block of polymer compound. With their form moulded from the back of a stretched canvas, the process is essentially the reverse to that of a painting. The foreground is applied first before the artist painstakingly works his way toward the background of the image. The medium is unforgiving, it sets fast so mistakes can’t be made as, unlike with traditional painting, they cannot be fixed or covered. The final image is revealed as a whole once all layers have been applied and the cast painting is extracted from its mould. The reversal of perspective and process in Dordolo’s work aims to question preconceived ideas of how we make and perceive art: how it is viewed and disseminated.


With his series of smaller cast paintings Politiks, Dordolo borrows from still life and addresses his interest in monotony and the everyday. The works describe a range of unlikely tableware compositions at a dinner table, and the potential disengagement of the choreographer from the scene. Jesters and Comedia dell Arte figures are another recurring motif, showing the influence of Italian painter Giandomenico Tiepolo, who’s series of works featuring the protagonist Punchinello sought to playfully poke fun at the pretensions of the viewer.


Both the use of masks and parrots are used to raise questions about identity: what is copied, revealed or concealed. While a mask disguises the face and emotions of a protagonist, a parrot may often be (perhaps wrongly) accused of mere mimicry to please an audience. They draw a line of tension between the known and the unknown, the familiar and the fantasy.


Jean-Philippe Dordolo (b. 1981 Orange, France) studied his BA at Byam Shaw / Central St Martins, London (UK). He has exhibited nationally and internationally at The Cut, Halesworth, Centrum, Berlin, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Edinburgh, Bermondsey Project, London, Bohunk Institute, Nottingham, AIR Archway, London, Art First Projects, London, Large Glass, London, amongst others. Residencies include: Centrum, Berlin, Triangle Workshop, NY, Micro Residency, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Edinburgh,Vinyl Site / Vinyl Art Space, Birmingham, and Ambit Drawing Residency, Norfolk (UK). He is currently carrying out his MFA in Fine Art at the Slade School of Art, London.



Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY

bottom of page