Georges Rousse Biography

French artist Georges Rousse is recognised for his large-scale photographic installations that explore interventions and alterations of existing architectural spaces. His artistic practice introduces optical illusions to abandoned environments using the mediums of painting, sculpture, and photography.

Read More

Rousse lives and works in Paris, France.

Early Years

Rousse was born in 1947 in Paris, France. He became interested in photography from a young age and received his first Kodak camera at the age of nine.

Instead of studying at an art school, Rousse attended medical school in Nice. While there, he began to study photography and printing techniques alongside his medical classes. Eventually he opened his own architectural photography studio and became dedicated to a full-time career as a professional photographer.

Influenced by Kasimir Malevich's Black Square and the land art movement in the 1960s and 70s, Rousse became interested in the relationship between painting and space and how photography could change the nature of their dynamic. He began to make installations in ruined and neglected buildings and then photograph them in a way that would completely alter the appearance of their existing environment.


Although Rousse is first and foremost a photographer, his practice incorporates painting, drawing, sculpture, and architecture so that he can achieve his unique visual concepts.

By painting within abandoned spaces and carefully considering the composition, lighting, and cropping of each photograph, Rousse's three-dimensional settings are transformed into two-dimensional pictorial illusions.

Rousse's photography predates digital editing software such as Photoshop and is deeply rooted in the physical transformation of space. Working with a team of assistants, Rousse's artwork is meticulously mapped out using projections and pencil markings. Despite the complex nature of each installation, viewers only ever see the works as two-dimensional photographs.

Rousse's photographs are always displayed on a large scale. By showing each work in a bigger format, Rousse hopes viewers will feel and experience the sense of space being portrayed.

Georges Rousse Artworks

George Rousse artistic practice often introduces optical illusions to abandoned environments using the mediums of painting, sculpture, and photography.

Metz (1994)

In Metz (1994), Rousse interrupts a neglected architectural space by positioning a seemingly balancing circle of green glass at its centre. The floating shape frames several curved arches that have been carefully slotted between ceiling and floor throughout the space.

The bright plane of colour looks as though it has been digitally placed over the original image. Rousse's careful use of space and precise placement of sculptural elements creates an optical illusion that only exists when looking at the space from a particular angle.

Metz's surreal imagery plays with viewers' perception of real and imagined spaces and interrogates our visual understanding of the world. The singular perspective of Rousse's artworks conveys the artist's imaginary universe and immortalises it through the medium of photography.

Awards and Accolades

Rousse has participated in a number of biennales including Venice, Paris, and Sydney. He is also the recipient of a number of prizes and awards.

In 1989, Rousse won the Salon de Montrouge Drawing Prize in Paris, France. In 1992, he was invited to participate in the Romain Roland Fellowship in Calcutta, India. In 1993, he won the National Grand Prix of Photography Award in Paris, France. And, in 2008, Rousse succeeded Sol LeWitt as an associate member of the Belgian Royal Academy in Belgium.


Rousse has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at numerous galleries and institutions.

Solo exhibitions include: Georges Rousse, Sous les étoiles Gallery, New York City (2022); Georges Rousse: Spaces Collector, Campredon Art Center, Isle-sur-La Sorgue (2015); In Praise of Spaces, Sous les étoiles Gallery, New York City (2015); Stars — Circles — Squares: New Photographs, Springer Gallery, Berlin (2014—15); Georges Rousse, Opelvillen Museum, Rüsselsheim (2013); Georges Rousse in Chambord, Château de Chambord, Chambord (2012); Georges Rousse, Reckerman Gallery, Cologne (2009); Georges Rousse, Johyun Gallery, Seoul (2008).

Group exhibitions include: Summer Group Show, Sous les étoiles Gallery, New York City (2021); Between Me and Them — An Homage to Catherine Putman, Putman Gallery, Paris (2015—16); (Un)real: Abstraction in Contemporary Photography, Maddox Gallery, London (2014); Review Reattu — New Display, Réattu Museum, Arles (2013); Burgos: Marca de Fábrica, Centro de Arte, Burgos (2012—13); Special Effects in Contemporary Art, Kunsthalle Art Center, Wilhelshaven (2010); No Man's Land, French Embassy, Tokyo (2009).


Georges Rousse is represented by Sous Les Etoiles Gallery in the United States.

Website and Instagram

Georges Rousse website can be found here, and his Instagram can be found here.

Phoebe Bradford | Ocula | 2022

Learn more about the market for works
by Georges Rousse.
Enquire for a confidential discussion. Enquire Now
Simon Fisher, Ocula CEO
Ocula Advisor
Simon Fisher
Christoper Taylor, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Christopher Taylor
Eva Fuchs, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Eva Fuchs
Rory Mitchell, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Rory Mitchell
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Follow Georges Rousse
Stay ahead.
Receive updates on new artworks,
exhibitions and articles.
Your personal data is held in accordance with our privacy policy.
Do you have an Ocula account?
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Get Access
Join Ocula to request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Do you have an Ocula account? Login
What best describes your interest in art?

Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming exhibitions, available works, events and more.
By clicking Sign Up or Continue with Facebook or Google, you agree to Ocula's Terms & Conditions. Your personal data is held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you for joining us. Just one more thing...
Soon you will receive an email asking you to complete registration. If you do not receive it then you can check and edit the email address you entered.
Thank you for joining us.
You can now request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Welcome back to Ocula
Enter your email address and password below to login.
Reset Password
Enter your email address to receive a password reset link.
Reset Link Sent
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.