When creating in his studio, George De Decker always listens carefully to specific music. During the painting series Pli selon pli (2016), he was led by the rhythm and melody of Pierre Boulez’s eponymous piece of music.
Boulez named his composition after a poem by Stéphane Mallarmé, Remémoration d’amis belges, in which the poet describes how a mist that shrouds the city of Bruges gradually lifts:
‘Comme furtive d’elle et visible je sens
Que se dévêt pli selon pli la pierre veuve’
(As if by stealth and visible I sense
That fold by fold the widowed stone unrobes itself)
De Decker continually interweaves music and visual art into an interferential whole. He translates pieces of music and texts into an abstract visual language with an almost monochrome palette, in which he subtly reveals his sensitivity to layering and variations. The artist places layer after layer on top of each other, in this case Japanese tissue paper glued onto a painted canvas. The bottom layer of oil paint still plays a part and can be concealed or revealed, whether or not covered by Chinese porcelain powder.
Wit in wit – White in White, the 2019 poetic interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, for piano and sound tape was composed by De Decker himself. The Pli selon pli series is a kind of substantive precedent for this. He then transposed the reduction to the essence and the search for endless variations of white in white tones into a score.