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Over a ten-day period starting Wednesday, visitors to the Williams Center for the Arts Gallery can watch a skillful illusion in the making.

French artist Georges Rousse will create an “optical puzzle” that will be displayed at the gallery through Sunday, Nov. 21. It is part of an exhibition, “Interventions,” that will include a selection of photographs of previous projects and a large-scale photograph of the finished installation.

He will give a brown bag talk about his work 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, in William Center room 108, and attend a reception in his honor 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. The events are free and open to the public. Rousse also will share lunch with the French Club Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Once he sees the Williams Center Gallery, Rousse will decide what he will create: one of his signature geometric-architectural spaces, a topographic map, or an image that employs gestural abstractions. The painstaking application of paint to walls, staircases, and other architectural details is transformed by the camera lens into “a canvas of spontaneous brushstrokes that seem to hover above the surface of the photograph.”

The artist’s work is difficult to categorize as he integrates photography with drawing, painting, sculpture, and architecture to create site-specific work. For “Interventions” he will use the Williams Center Gallery as his temporary studio, working with paint, simple building materials, and the laws of perspective to create an illusion that coalesces into a single vantage point. As the viewer moves away from that vantage point, the illusion disappears, but the spatial reasoning and technical skill that created it become apparent. Rousse’s installations are always temporary; all that endures is a large-scale photograph of the illusion.

A record documenting the installation’s progress may be seen at the gallery and on the gallery’s web page.

Born in Paris in 1947, Rousse received formal training in architecture and advertising. He began to work with installation art and photography in the 1970s. Since then, he has produced a body of work that fuses photography, painting, drawing, and architecture into one challenging aesthetic experience.

In 1984 Rousse began to make “interventions” — complex photographic works transforming architectural structures that were to be demolished — to challenge conventional ways of seeing. He has completed commissions throughout the world and his work is widely exhibited. He has received numerous awards, including a Villa Medici Fellowship in New York (1983); a Villa Medici Fellowship in Rome (1985-87); the Prix de Rome (1986); the Drawing Prize at Montrouge (1989); the Romain Rolland Fellowship in Calcutta (1992); and the Grand Prize of La Bibliothèque Nationale de France (1993).

Rousse’s photographs are loaned courtesy of the artist and Robert Mann Gallery, New York.

The gallery is located in the Williams Center for the Arts, Hamilton and High Streets, Easton, Pa. Exhibition hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday; 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, as well as noon-5 p.m. the first Sunday of each month for First Sunday Easton; a half-hour before Williams Center performances; and by appointment. For more information, call (610) 330-5361 or email

The Williams Center gallery is funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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