Michel Tapié. Text: “J. C. Delahaye” from: Catalog of the New Gallery in the Künstlerhaus Munich. Exhibition December 1962 - January 1963. (re-published: Jacques Delahaye - The Sculptor, Kettler Kunst, 2006. Publisher: Theo Bergenthal / Joachim Stracke)
by Michel Tapié
Following in Delahaye's footsteps, we come across one of the most difficult exercises within the new attempts in the field of sculpture - even with regard to new needs and the new morphological basis (which, by the way, is the same). As a result, some have abandoned form in favour of the multi-layered nature of the new structures. Others want to experience their real adventure in the form itself. In terms of arrangements within the new balance of power, there is no more than a special chapter on unification, but this chapter is one which - seen from the point of view of the sculptors - must never cease to exist. Unfortunately, this chapter - the revelation of the classical periods - has become a very delicate subject, plagued by over-saturation, contradiction and ambiguity. There are enough dramatic examples of attempts to update themselves in terms of form, attempts that are both masterpieces outside of their own time and dialectical failures. Delahaye is rich in these dangerous problems. He is aware of it; he overcomes and controls it. He gives us perfect works that reflect the confirmed statements of painting, just like Tapié and Damian, who include a part of modern art in a stylistic adventure that I like to call the "metaphysics of matter". Everything visible has its mystery; but the new mysteries that Delahaye brings to us reveal the secret of classical form: a clearly defined structure related to painted surfaces and empty spaces. Their comparison with the humanistic images was only an external trap that has nothing to do with artistic values. By visualising form, Delahaye increases its mysteries.