Sunday, December 24, 2017

Rene Lalique : archers & male athletes

Rene Lalique is a famous French glass designer, and jewellery designer. Several pieces are glass sculptures depicting male figures, on vases, doors, medallions, perfume bottles, and radiator caps for cars.

His exquisite jewellery was very much influenced by the the nature, fauna and flora, in the Art Nouveau style, like birds, insects like Dragonfly. He worked for Cartier and Boucheron. Later on, after the first war, he produced magnificent Art Deco large glass decoration, like for the Normandie luxury yacht (first class dining room), or the Orient Express train.

Orient Express panel (detail)
Athletes was one of his theme, as you can see on this 'Palestre' vase below done in 1928. In the biography from Félix Marcilhak (book cover on this post) you can read that Lalique wanted to express the beauty of these males, but also in the spirit of the Greeks, show their courage and wisdow.

He also created glass doors with athletes for the French clothes designer Jacques Doucet home in Paris.

And for the Wanamaker's store in Philadephia.

His passion was the glass. And to create beauty. Always with the highest quality. He had a workshop Place Vendome in Paris, created many glass objects for hospitals & drugstores (through a glass factory he transformed). He built his own glass factory in 1921 in Alsace (where the current Lalique Museum is located). This allowed him to distribute his creations to a larger audience, making them more affordable. He invented several techniques and process to work with glass, giving different finishes, or transparencies.
Lalique biography by Félix Marcilak
And linked to the athletes, you can admire a few pieces with archers as well, like on this radiator cap below from 1926.

Or on this vase from 1921, that was declined in several versions or colors, with archers looking for large birds.

For the International Exhibition in Paris, in 1937, with 44 countries participating, he created this medallion in glass, displaying 2 nude males holding their hands.

The year he died (1945) and was buried in the Paris Père Lachaise cemetery, his son started to work with cristal.

And it is with cristal that the Elton John Aids Foundation and Lalique worked together to raise funds, creating first a large lost wax original glass sculpture 'Angel' and some other pieces to be sold at a special auction in 2016, before to produce a limited serie available today.



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Chronos - Christophe Charbonnel

Yesterday, October 23, the bronze sculpture from Christophe Charbonnel named 'Chronos' was auctioned at Rennes Enchères (Me Jezequel).

The sculpture is numbered 2/4, was casted in 2006, and measure 108 x 24 x 30 cm.
The auction result is 23.400 euros.

Two other originals can be seen at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, and at the Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Resort.

We have previously posted other sculptures from this talented French sculptor. You can see it here.

Rennes Enchères
Galerie Bayart

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

David Wynne - The River God Tyne

The Romans believed each river had a God, to protect the people living around. This bronze sculpture, fixed on the outside wall, was achieved in 1968 for the opening of the Civic Center in Newcastle (UK).

There is a fountain as well, coming from one hand. It represents one of the 8 rivers that used to be sculpted in 1786, on the Strand front of Somerset House in London.

David Wynne is a British sculptor, born in 1926, who died 3 years ago, in 2014, who sculpted many portraits, figures and animals, like dolphins and large birds. He used to serve in the Navy, and had a keen interest in Zoology.

Photo Philmp68.

Newcastle collection
See Newcastle
Miller creation
List of works by David Wynne

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Spirit of American Youth

'The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves', actually, as is the full title of this sculpture. It shows an 'American youth with arms outstretched and looking towards the sky. His legs and feet are curved back together as his curved body appears rising from the waves below'.

This nude bronze was casted in Milan, Italy (Battaglia foundry), and has an impressive height of 6.7 meters. It is the main statue of the American cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer also called Omaha beach, in Normandy.

The sculptor is Donald Harcourt De Lue, born in Boston in 1897 and known for numerous monuments. He studied arts in Boston, then in Paris for five years. He teached at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design in New York around 1940. He died in 1988 in New Jersey. We may come back to this American sculptor's general work in another post.

Two copies exist, one half-size is in the courtyard, outside the First Infantry Division Museum, Cantigny Park, Wheaton near Chicago.

 And another one in a Mall in Glensdale, 18 feet high, covered with gold-leaf.

Colleville-sur-mer American cemetery wwii
Booklet about the Memorial

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer discoveries in France with Christophe Charbonnel

If you are in France this Summer, here are three opportunities, in various regions, to admire Christophe Charbonnel large sculptures usually representing male mythology heroes etc.

In Paris, at the Mairie (Townhall) du 6ème, until July 15.

In Brittany at the Chateau des Pères, near Rennes, at Piré-sur-Seiche, you will see 10 of his monumental sculptures, until September 25. The Chateau des Pères also offers you a magnificent park where you can stroll and admire 44 permanent large sculptures from 13 other artists.

And in the Southwest, by the sea, at the Biarritz Hotel du Palais, until October 30.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jerry Williams - The Balancing Act

In a context where gay rights are challenged in so many countries these days, today is a sculpture that was created in a similar context in a smaller town of the North West of USA, Springfield, in Oregon, during the mid 1990's by Jerry Williams. The sculpture is called 'The Balancing Act'. 

Several anti-gays laws were passed by the City Council, allowing discrimination on the work place etc. (See Sources, under Oregon Citizens Alliance). Below are some quotes from the text he sent me.

''The Oregon Legislature however prohibited such legislation several months later'' said the sculptor, who added ''Simultaneously, the city of Springfield was seeking a public work for the entrance to its City Hall and Public Library.  They did not specify the subject of the public art that would occupy a plaza next to the entrance stairway."

"My sculpture shown below won their art committee selection based on its whimsey of a gymnast doing a one handstand on the back of a Rhinoceros. The gymnast depicted in the statue is a gay man. The rhinoceros emerging out of the basalt is ignorance, short sightedness, and anger.The owl perched on the toe of the  gymnast is wisdom, and spirit. not unlike the owl in the ancient Greek Parthenon sitting on the shoulder of Athena."

'' The city of Springfield loves that sculpture,  honoring it as the vector for flowers after the massacre at Thurston High School in the late 90s. It is a signature icon on Springfield Art Walk, and images of it printed on brochures."

Jerry Williams website
Jerry Williams interview about his sculpture

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Paul Landowski - The Sons of Cain

Paul Landowski, after a strong interest in philosophy and play writing, started his art studies & career. He took portrait drawing classes, became an anatomy and nude expert, going regularly to the School of Medicine to observe body dissections! He also had a passion for boxing.

His biography is very interesting, I suggest you check it in details (see Sources), to learn more about his various interests, his ambitious project 'Le Temple de l'Homme', his writings, his humanistic concerns, his prizes and honors he got already at a young age, etc. You can also see his numerous sculptures done in many countries and continents (China, Brasil, ...). He died at 85, in his house, in March 1961.

We will post some of his sculptures in this blog. Today is the large bronze group called the Sons of Cain, achieved in 1906. Located in Paris, currently visible at the Jardins des Tuileries. He was inspired by a trip to Tunisia done in 1903, during which he saw three young tunisians marching together, like brothers.

On the left is the sheperd, Jabel, who looks toward the horizon, in the middle is the poet, Jubal, playing on his harp made of a bull head crane, and on the right is Tubal Cain, the blacksmith who protects the fire with his hand. According to the sculptor (see his Journal), it represents the various strengths : physical, thinking, and working.

Paul Landowski

Paul Landowski Journal