The exhibition wood·wood·wooden invites the works of seven artists celebrating wood in their sculptural practices to enter into dialogue. Several temporalities, generations and techniques are conjugated in the infinitive through experiments inherent to the medium.
Raphaël Sitbon presents, for the occasion, a scale model racing car which, flattened and bouncing – suspended on two wheels – conveys the impression of an irrepressible movement. The refined curves of the wood are polished, smoothed and painted, imitating its mechanical homologue and thus trifling with our perceptions.
As for Marion Chaillou, she combines pruned furniture and miniature paintings interpreting the camera roll of her cell phone. Her spirited shelves unveil and yet hide – in a game where references to the past, especially to secret cabinets, mingle with an undertaking of the present.
Often, ordinary objects presented in the exhibition are revisited in order to re-envision and question our gaze. How can we decipher Shengqi Kong’s giant wooden logo hanging on the wall, or her invitation to observe through the cavities of this double-headed face that is both somatic and fantastic ?
Where is this construction on legs by Max Coulon heading, when it could, quite rightly, withdraw from its initial function?
Besides, who feasted on Joséphine Ducat-May’s luscious bas-relief version of Laocoon and who will dare to grab this last piece of chocolate, à sa guise ?
In an open conversation, the exhibition also presents works of Alexandre Noll (1890-1970) and Stephan Balkenhol.
Alexandre Noll (1890-1970) chose wood as his unique medium. His furniture and everyday objects demonstrate his obsession for wooden essences, which he shaped, without using any metal junctions, without interfering with the raw material.
Here, the massive figure of the macassar ebony candle-holder triumphs over its base until it loses its utility to become a sculptural object.
With regard to Stephan Balkenhol, he sculpts wood to reveal human figures while never freezing them – the artist enables the material to shift over time – and lifts it with paint to create surprising but ordinary protagonists. According to him, his «sculptures tell no story. They hold a secret within them» and we wonder what Marlene, proudly reigning over a disproportionately large tree trunk, has to tell us.
These seven artists master sculptural techniques, cutting from the block, chiseling around the knots and ribs of the wood, offering a contemporary perspective on the medium and the era they belong to.