Diane Dal-Pra and Services Généraux’s collaboration turns paint on canvas into 3D objects

The Paris-based creatives came together, merging their respective practices. The results feel “as if they are pieces of old works, yet born in the present.”

23 April 2020

Diane Dal-Pra’s paintings rank up there with some of our faves. Often featuring women as central to their composition, they explore the feminine form from an almost cubist sensibility, where figures emerge on canvas through her considered use of colour and shadow.

Granted, it is a strange time to be a creative but for a painter, Diane explains, “deceleration is a complicated exercise but, overall, a fruitful” one. She’s therefore been trying to take advantage of this period “by doing and thinking about things a bit differently” from her base in Paris. This recently culminated in an exciting collaboration between Diane and Services Généraux, a fellow Parisian creative studio largely working in the digital sphere on slick, 3D-rendered visuals.

On how the unique collaboration came about, Diane tells us: “I think that we mutually appreciate our work and our universes. I admire Services Généraux’s skills in 3D image production and its unique approach on each project. Quite naturally, we decided to confront our fields of creations (painting and digital) and to bring together two techniques which seem however opposed.” The result is a series which amalgamates their practices, turning Diane’s paintings into 3D images, almost as if they are reliefs of her works on canvas.

The series was born, Diane continues, from a “desire to produce a material which questions the boundary between image and object, at the junction between 2D and 3D.” What Diane and Services Généraux did, therefore, is produce new visual material – an object – from a painting, while also questioning “how we could give life to a pictorial image in other forms, displaying new reliefs,” she says.

Working in an open collaboration was important for the project’s success so the team worked back and forth, “as if we were passing on the baton,” Diane tells us. Firstly, they decided on the concept: “Our starting point was the desire to deal with body and skin as well as our shared love for Brancusi work, which we wanted to wink at.” From here, Diane created a painting on canvas which was handed over to Services Généraux who interpreted it. The result takes cues from the visual language of the museum, as if the objects themselves are relics of some bygone time; “as if they are pieces of old works, yet born in the present.”

What’s fascinating about the project is how clear the process of making the imagery is on the final outcomes. We can follow Diane and Services Généraux’s thinking from paint on canvas to through to 3D model and the highly textural outcomes they have produced. What they have created, in turn, feels like the mere tip of the iceberg in terms of what they could potentially go on to do together.

Elsewhere, Diane has been working hard at her own practice, and had the chance to spend six weeks at the Palazzo Monti in Brescia, Italy last summer as an artist in residence. “This place is absolutely amazing and I would like to thank its brilliant founder Edoardo Monti, because this special time allowed me to go further with my work and my desires,” she says. With that invaluable experience under her belt, she is currently working on a series of large-format paintings for an upcoming exhibition. “Even if it is difficult to have clear visibility over the next few weeks, I’m preparing for an exhibition in London and probably in Paris when things will be back to normal,” she concludes. “I feel very excited!”

GalleryDiane Dal-Pra


In collaboration with Service Généraux


In collaboration with Service Généraux


In collaboration with Service Généraux

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About the Author

Ruby Boddington

Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.


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