Solo exhibition by Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil
From 5 July to 24 September 2023

In partnership with the galleries In Situ and La patinoire Royale
Visible on the guided tour itinary

Fellow at the French Academy in Rome in 2009-2010, visual artist Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil returns to Villa Medici to present his solo exhibition The trees won’t be less green than they were last Spring.
This exhibition brings together three series: UNCOVER, begun by the artist during his year of residence in Rome; D’après nature, presented for the first time in its complete version; and Les Ambitieux, an original project created especially for the exhibition.

This solo show invites us to explore the work of Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, where the gesture – whether of adding or removing – is always significant, and intertwines past and present.

The trees won’t be less green than they were last Spring unfolds in the Atelier Balthus, transformed for the occasion into a spatial antechamber with reflective walls.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Naima Editions with the support of the Center Wallonie-Bruxelles and the French Academy in Rome.


Uncover is a series made using international magazines (Life Magazine, Il Borghese, Historia) dating from the 1950s to the 1970s. Cuts are made in the pages so that images ‘from the inside’, illustrating the articles in the magazine, appear on the cover. On this new cover, featuring an image within an image, the elements form a coherent, legible whole.

Like an archaeological dig progressing towards deeper strata, this destruction/construction exhumes buried silhouettes and gives rise to a hybrid image. one image does not efface another. to exhume them is to bring them out of their sepulchre, but also to rescue them from obscurity.
Uncover shows the trace of events that never occurred, of a moment that never existed.

In this ‘from nature’ series, the artist uses paintings and engravings from yesteryear to irreversibly superimpose an image of our contemporary reality. So, on an amateur painting of Notre-Dame de Paris, the artist adds (using the same technique – oil paint) the smoke from the cathedral fire that took place on 15 April 2019. Following the same principle, the smoke from the fire at the Lubrizol factory on 26 September 2019 is added in Indian ink to the old engraving of a view of Rouen.

As both events were widely covered by the media (including amateur and smartphone images), the artist was able to find images of the disasters taken in the exact location where the original works were once produced, enabling a perfect superposition of past and present.

Les Ambitieux (the ambitious) is a photographic series using official portraits of men of state and figures of power from recent history.
These portraits of ‘great men’ were cut in two and the sides drawn inwards, removing their faces and even their egos. This subtraction leaves only the shell of the function and the trappings of power.

The conquest of power is a laborious process and never happens by chance. It also reveals an oversized ego. In the tradition of the memento mori (remember that you will die) murmured by the slave to the Roman general in his triumphant purple and wreath of laurel, Les Ambitieux radically effaces the expression of that ego.


Born in 1968, Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil lives and works between Paris and Rome. He is the winner of the HSBC Prize for Photography (2004), the Prix Meurice for contemporary art (2010), the Prix 1% marché de l’art (2022) and a previous Fellow at Villa Medici (2010). His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions in institutions and museums in France and abroad (Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain in Nice, Espace de l’Art Concret in Mouans Sartoux, MACRO Testaccio in Rome, MAC VAL, Fondation Ricard, Palais de Tokyo, Fondation Caixa, Swiss Institute in New York, etc.).

His works can be found in major collections of contemporary art museums, foundations and private collections. He is represented in France by the gallery In Situ – Fabienne Leclerc in Paris and in Belgium by the gallery La patinoire Royale – Valérie Bach in Brussels.

In partnership with :
The gallery In Situ – Fabienne Leclerc, Paris
The gallery La patinoire Royale – Valérie Bach, Bruxelles

Image credits
Cover image: © Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, D’après nature #14 – Rio
Works: © Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, Uncover – Storia Illustrata – 2013, courtesy of the artist & galerie In Situ – fabienne leclerc, Grand Paris
Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, D’après nature #02 – Notre dame, 22 x 24 cm
Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, Les ambitieux – Pape, 19,7 x 24,8 cm
Portrait: ©yséadormeuil