With her first sculptures, at the end of the 1960s, Lili Dujourie engaged in a purified work, in osmosis with Minimal Art and Arte Povera, situating herself as an artist at a time when women were a rarity in a world of men. Later, in the 1970s, she produced black and white silent videos of languorous movements, her own naked body coiled up in an interior window space. Then in the 1980s came majestic sculptural installations. The content of these sculptures involved drapery in trompe l’oeil, plush satin, smoothed plaster folds, checkerboard black and white marble, a broken oval vanity mirror, a gold leaf frame, bas-reliefs with false perspectives, unfolded wind-breakers, torn fragments of photos.
Sometimes romantic, sometimes baroque, sometimes true jewels in the round, clothing and revealing emptiness, Lili Dujourie’s sculptures are conceptually rigorous, finding refuge in a corner of the room, but searching for a less central path to other dimensions. One finds all along this surprising career, in different kinds of developments, a desire to affirm the extreme beauty of employed materials, and to materialise their shadow. It is also a vision of theatrical reality, that swings back on a world of lures, of shimmers and appearances.
The artist innovates a visual modus operandi with sculptural formulations that transgress three-dimensional space. Chosen space is an integral part of the sculptural construction that is not necessarily places low, on the ground, but may hang high like a stalactite. Overcoming noble materials by strict shapes, ensure that sculptural volume succeeds in making a refuge of intimacy in space, is one of the major concerns in this work. In her recent studies she has condensed sculptural space for even more exclusive shapes; reducing the scope of materials and gests for an increasingly sober and meaningful presence.
Excerpt from Frédéric Bouglé, ‘The Obverse Print’, in: Lili Dujourie, Le Creux de l’enfer, Thiers, 2009.