Selected works by Nicolas Deshayes

Nicolas Deshayes
Soho Fats


Polystyrene, aluminium, powdercoated steel and fixings

Dimensions variable

Nicholas Deshayes finds painterliness in the manmade, and his works hover somewhere between two different kinds of making: the organically gestural and the industrially produced. His works operate in what he calls “the threshold between liquid and solid”, and the contrasts in his work – roiled against levelled surfaces, the heat of production against cool of presentation – are a way of examining the relationship of humanity to the materials with which it surrounds itself. The title of Soho Fats, a series of five white panels mounted on floor-to-ceiling handrails, refers to the congealed human fats found in central London sewers; by using polystyrene, a non-biodegradable plastic familiar from packaging, Deshayes draws parallels between the human subject and its residual traces. Cutting into the surface with a hot wire cutter, Deshayes evokes both the bodily remainder and rippling water of the hidden core of the city. Deshayes’ interest in plastics is a reminder of both their human usage and human associations; their carbonic origins are our own.

Nicolas Deshayes
Acids (1)


Anodised aluminium, vacuum formed plastic

110 x 170 cm
In Acids, Deshayes places framed sections of vacuum formed plastic on sheets of anodized aluminium. The aluminium, apparently stained with blanched purples, greens and ochres, recalls the sloshed skeins of abstract colour in a Rothko painting, here generated through the chemical activity of the metal, not the individual gesture of the artist. The plastic – mottled and creased like elderly skin – seems both churning with motion and frozen, stilled. Industrially produced, physically distant from the artist, Deshayes’ works still can’t help recall the human body, its frailties and residues.
Nicolas Deshayes
Acids (3)


Anodised aluminium, vacuum formed plastic

110 x 170 cm
Nicolas Deshayes
Sebums (c)


Anodised aluminium, vacuum formed plastic

110 x 71 x 8 cm
Nicolas Deshayes
Sebums (d)


Anodised aluminium, vacuum formed plastic

110 x 71 x 8 cm
Text by Ben Street

Nicolas Deshayes's Biography

Nicolas Deshayes
Born in 1983 in Nancy, France
Lives and works in London, UK


British Art Show 8, Inverleith House, Edinburgh
That Continuous Thing: Artists and the Ceramics Studio, 1920 – Today, Tate St Ives, St Ives
Production Show, Eastside Projects, Birmingham
A pudding that endless screw agglomerates, Polish Institute, Berlin, Germany
Use/User/Used, Zabludowicz Collection, London

Darling, Gutter. Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Glasgow
Becoming Soil, Jonathan Viner Gallery, London
The Ultimate Vessel, Koppe Astner, Glasgow
Crab Walk, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland
British Art Show 8, Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds
Images Moving Out Onto Space, Tate St Ives, St Ives
Inhuman, Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany
English Summertime, Elizabeth Dee, New York, NY, USA
Septic Finger, Carl Kostyal, Stockholm, Sweden
Breaking up is Hard to Do, KARST, Plymouth

Independent: Projects, (with Jonathan Viner), New York, NY, USA
It Happens Without You, Kendall Koppe, Glasgow
Tomorrow: London, South London Gallery, London
On the Devolution of Culture, Rob Tufnell, London
Pool, Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover, Germany
Geographies of Contamination, David Roberts Art Foundation, London

Crude Oil, S1 Artspace, Sheffield
Snails, Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy
Slip, The Approach, London
The Time Machine, curated by Cura, Frutta Gallery, Rome, Italy
Notes (On Declassing), curated by Vincent Honoré, Galerie Opdhal, Stavanger, Norway
British British Polish Polish, Curated by Tom Morton & Marek Gozdziewski, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
ÂŁ5.34, curated by Jess Flood-Paddock, Carl Freedman Gallery, London
Half Abstract, David Roberts Art Foundation, London
New Order, Saatchi Gallery, London
Out of Memory, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY, USA
Pop Tarts, James Fuentes, New York, NY, USA
De Puristes et De Fauves, Shanaynay, Paris, France
Relatively Absolute, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge
The World is Almost Six Thousand Years Old: Contemporary Art and Archaeology from the Stone Age to the Present, curated by Tom
Morton, The Collection, Lincoln
Paradise Garage, Eighty One., London
The Glass Show, Jonathan Viner, London

Vanille (with George Henry Longly), Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris
Nicolas Deshayes, Galleries Goldstein,Hotel Palanque, London
Painting is a Painting is a Painting, Cul De Sac, London
The Starry Rubric Set, Wysing Arts Center, Cambridge
Chimera Q.T.E., Cell projects, London
Original/Copy II, Peles Empire, London and Cluj, Romania
GLAZE, Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris, France
Changing States of Matter, Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy
Surface to Surface, Jonathan Viner, London
A Painting, is a painting is a painting, Rod Barton, London
Hotel Palenque (Nicolas Deshayes), GalleriesGoldstein, London

PRECURSOR (curated by Shama Khanna), Event Gallery, London
Clockwork Gallery, Berlin
Rain (curated by Nicolas Deshayes) Cell Project Space, London
GLAZE (curated by George Henry Longly), Bischoff and Weiss, London
The Shape We’re In, 176 Zabludowicz Collection, London
Keep Floors and Passages Clear, White Columns, New York

A Killer Whale Breaching in Soft Focus (with Ed Atkins), Transmission Gallery, Glasgow
Cultural Wood, Concrete, (curated by Tom Morton) Hayward Gallery, London
Stiff Peaks, The Two Jonny’s Projects Space, London
2010.10, MOT International, London
Radio IPS, International Project Space, Birmingham
Keep Floors and Passages Clear, One Thoresby Street, Nottingham
A Strangers Window, (curated by MOOT) Nottingham Castle and Museum
Bolton Street (curated by Lucy Chadwick) Bolton Street, London

Indoors Life, Walden Affairs, Den Haag
Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Corner House, Manchester / A Foundation, London
Time is a Sausage, DomoBaal, London
Once In a Lifetime (With New Model Army Peckham as part of Bold Tendencies III), Peckham Multiplex Car Park, London

Neo, RUN Gallery, London
The Travels, 42 Contemporaneo, Modena

Specimens, 42 Contemporaneo, Modena
Artist’s Choice, Mogadishni CPH, Copenhagen
Year_06 Art Projects, Moot at the Mary Ward House, London
From There, Bloomberg SPACE , London

Noble’s Island, MOOT, Nottingham