DESSA is the pseudonym for artist and author Deborah Sharon Abeles, who was born in 1948 in Southern Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe). After high school, she lived in Israel from 1965 to 1976 where she studied Occupational Therapy. The following four years she spent in Paris, and in 1981, moved to Switzerland with her two children. Of a multi-cultural background, she became a Swiss citizen in 1983 and lives in Pully with her husband Hervé Petroz.
Since 1986, over fourty exhibitions and presentations of her work have been held in museums, galleries and concert halls in Europe. Her first exhibition in Berlin, at Galerie Bremer, took place in 1994. Since 2005 she has a second studio and home in Berlin.
|2017||-Fondation L’Estrée. Ropraz, Suisse, DESSA & VIKTOR ULLMANN: « JE VOUS AI ENTENDU ET JE VOUS REPONDS, 4.3.2017 - 30.4.2017|
|2015||-Mitte Museum, Berlin - DESSA - Kaufhaus Nathan Israel 1815 - 1939 - Eine Künstlerin erforscht Geschichte|
|2008||-20th Festival Anniversary of Krakow Composers – paintings inspired by the music of Messiaen and Ullmann. Exhibiition held in the Centrum Judaicum, Krakow
-Foyer Amtsgericht, Bad Cannstatt, Stuttgart – DESSA "Land Escapes". Exhibition organised by Irene Schmid, Galerie Kunsthöfle
-Concerts de Monbenon, Lausanne – 10th Anniversary of the magazine Ph+arts. Lala Isakova, piano with simultaneous screen projection of the paintings from "A Legacy from Theresienstadt"
-Musique et pinceaux – 5 concerts, painting live with screen projection – in collaboration with the composer Dominique Gesseney-Rappo, Blaise Héritier and the Orchestra "Flying Brass", film Bernard Villat
|2006||-Musée de Pully – "De l’hygiène à l’art" (artist and co-curator of the exhibition)|
|2005||-Jüdisches Museum Westfalen, Germany – "A Tribute to Kaufhaus N. Israel -1815 – 1939" Paintings and collages based on Album N. Israel 1912 "Hygiene throughout the Ages"|
|2002||-Ghetto Museum, Terezin, Czech rep., exhibition "A Legacy from Theresienstadt" and concert organised by the Terezin Chamber Music Fondation. Exhibition patroned by the Embassy of Switzerland, Prague. Music of Viktor Ullmann and Hans Krasa performed by the Hawthorne Quartet, Boston.
-Spanish Syngogue, Prague – concert and exhibition of paintings inspired by Hans Krasa’s Quartet 1924. Music performed by the Hawthorne Quartet, Boston. Event organised by Mark Ludwig, director of the Terezin Chamber Music Foundation
|2001||-College St-Michel, Fribourg – organ concert by René Oberson with simultaneous screen projection of "Turangalîla" paintings. Exhibition of paintings inspired by Oberson’s "Porte Mystique"
-St. Ludwig Kirche, Berlin – organ concert by Mario Bohnhoff. Music improvised from paintings exhibited
|2000||-Musée de Pully, Switzerland – "DESSA : Lyric Abstraction 1990 - 2000" -Berliner Dom, Berlin – "A Legacy from Theresienstadt" - exhibition with symphonic concert patroned by the Swiss Ambassador to Berlin, Dr Thomas Borer. Victor Ullmann’s Piano Concerto No 7 performed by Lala Isakova|
|2015||Espace culturel Assens - DESSA Peinture / Musique / Identité|
|2015||Galerie Petra Lange, Berlin - DESSA - In the Darkness, the Light - in collaboration with the Mitte-Museum Berlin|
|2014||China Art - Beijing, represented by Galerie Steiner, Vienna|
|2013||Galerie Petra Lange, Berlin – "Do we smile or do we weep?" - Paintings based on the Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. A Centenary Homage to Benjamin Britten, in collaboration with the music editors, Boosey & Hawkes.
-Shanghai Art Fair, represented by Galerie Steiner, Vienna
|2011||Galerie Petra Lange, Berlin – Compositions» paintings and collages based on Unsuk Chin’s «ParaMetaString» and Detlev Glanert’s «Vergessenes Bild».|
|2010||Gallery JayKay, Carrouge – DESSA 2000 - 2010, retrospective exhibition. «Rythme et rouge» 10th Gallery Anniversary concert with simltaneous performance. Drums and percussion Allison Phillips (London), live painting DESSA, film Bernard Villat.|
|2006||Galerie Bremer, Berlin – «Land Escapes» - 60th Anniversary of Gallery Bremer|
|2005||Galerie Ollier, Fribourg – DESSA et Schwartz: La peinture rencontre la photographie|
|2004||Galerie Bremer, Berlin – collages and paintings «A Tribute to Kaufhaus N. Israel 1815-1939», presentation speech by Dr. Petra Lange, art historian,
-Galerie de la Source, Lausanne – a selection of collages and paintings
|2001||«ArtVin, Château d’Allaman»|
|1999||Galerie de Couvaloup, Morges – paintings based on Erich Wolgang Korngold’s «Abschiedslieder»
Galerie Bremer, Berlin – paintings based on Erich Korngold’s «Abschiedslieder»
|1998||Galerie Aulos Musica, Geneva – «A Legacy from Theresienstadt»|
|1997||Galerie Lilian Andrée, Basel – «A Legacy from Theresienstadt» - paintings from Viktor Ullmann’s Piano Sonata No 7|
|1995||Galerie Lilian Andrée, Basel – paintings based on Bela Bartok’s»Concerto for Orchestra» Galerie Tribeca, Milan – paintings based on Nino Rota’s «Concero per Archi»
Galerie de Couvaloup, Morges – paintings based on Leonard Bernstein’s «Age of Anxiety»
|1994||Galerie Bremer, Berlin – paintings based on Leonard Bernstein’s «Age of Anxiety»|
|1993||Galerie West, Bern – paintings created in Hangzhou, China, from Chinese music for Er-Hu, a two stringed violin.
Expoart, Verona – paintings based on Nino Rota’s «Concerto per Archi»
|1992||Galerie Lilian Andrée, Basel – paintings based on Olivier Messiaen’s «Turangalîla» Galerie de Couvaloup, Morges – paintings based on Ernest Bloch’s «Schelomo»|
|1991||Galerie West, Bern – paintings based on Gustav Mahler’s «The Song of the Earth»|
|1990||Galerie Chomel, Paris|
|1995||Leone d'Oro, Venice, Italy|
|2016||International Womans Club of Lausanne. Art Appreciation Event: Audio visual presentation of « Do We Smile or Do We Weep?"|
|2016||Workshop with school children in Mitte Museum Berlin|
|2004||“A Tribute to Kaufhaus N. Israel”, Geneva|
|1999||“A Legacy from Theresienstadt” Holocaust Commemorative, Appalachian State University, North Carolina, USA (with slides and CD)|
|1998||“A Legacy from Theresienstadt” lecture with slides of the paintings and CD of Viktor Ullmann’s music given in Verona, Lausanne, Geneva, Pully and Montreux|
|2015||Open Day at UNOG on 24 October 2015: "Transoundart": Improvised conversation between paintbrushes with DESSA and pianist Michael Wiener|
|2013||DESSA is featured in the International Contemporary Artists Vol lV, published by ICA Publishing, New York. PDF|
|2011||Cooperation with Lala Isakova, CD Project, Press article|
|2008||Painting “In the autumn of my life” - front cover of « Miraflores » poems by Leopoldo Chariarse, (Spanish & German) Rimbaud Verlag|
|2007||Kalenderfest, Ruksaldruck, Berlin|
|2006||Westfalen Jüdisches Museum – Kunst und Musik “A Legacy from Theresienastadt”|
|2004||Patricia Corbett Theater, Cincinnati – play reading by CCM with screen projections of paintings from “A Legacy from Theresienstadt”|
|2001||Wine bottle label “ArtVin 2000” for Société Vinicole Perroy|
|1994||Painting for front cover CD “Gloria Sepharadica” prod. S. Bernheim|