15th Chaumont-sur-Loire Art Season: sculpture, painting, digital art, our favorites in the Château and its park

15th Chaumont-sur-Loire Art Season: sculpture, painting, digital art, our favorites in the Château and its park

Bronze sculptures, digital projections or delicate, mineral forms, none of the fifteen artists invited to Chaumont’s Art Season express themselves in the same way. But all explore nature. Their works are disseminated along a route. “You have to find the right place for the works” tells usa director of the Chaumont estate, Chantal Colleu-Dumond. The enchantment of the ride proves the quality of his choices. Among these works, we offer you here our favorites.

The bronzes of Jaume Plensa

They are waiting for you at the end of an alley of flowering magnolias. Three faces, perhaps sleeping children: bronze sculptures three meters high. The head seems embedded in a tree trunk. Fusion of nature and man. Jaume Plensa has been working on the human figure for many years. He is recognized throughout the world, his heads are installed on the corners of streets or squares in New York, Bordeaux or Saint PETERSBOURGand there on this lawn, they serenely call the visitor to a return to calm.

“Sculpture is for me like a place where you can rest and meditate. In a world where everything is moving faster and faster, we need solid and stable landmarks”, says the Catalan artist. A quotation that finds all its accuracy with these three works that open the route in the estate’s park.

And the Light Was by Evi Keller

Evi Keller.

The most fascinating work on the route is hidden in the Bee Barn. A huge canvas is stretched in the dark, a mysterious, abstract fresco, a curtain where a tormented landscape takes shape: the sound environment, a repetitive gong, and the painting which is reflected in opaque water. Guaranteed strange atmosphere.

“Light is such a subtle matter that you can’t weigh it or even touch it, but it is what gives access to the spiritual world.” says Evi Keller, German artist currently living in Paris. She works with plastic, pigments, ash and Indian ink. Then, the light does its work under the impetus of the artist. One thinks of Turner and his blinding skies, of the emaciated landscapes of Anselm Kieffer, of the nights and their stardust. Or to an ancient theater in ruins. It’s up to visitors to decide.

digital art in the attic

Evening effects, Quayola installation at Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loir e (© E. Sander)

The novelty of this edition is the installation under the roofs of the castle of a digital gallery. The future moves into the east tower, 300 m2 under the beams dating from the 16th century which have just been restored. At the top of a stone spiral staircase, there is Davide Quayola, an Italian artist living in London since he was 19 years old. The work is called Evening Effect.

The principle of this bewitching and hypnotizing ten-minute video is as follows: nocturnal photographs of flowers, lit by artificial light, are broken, torn apart by Quayola’s software and algorithms, thus giving birth to a new form, close to the painting. “It looks like Monet”, said a visitor who had been sitting for a few minutes facing the screen walls. She doesn’t believe so well. I wanted to create a computer process that could imitate the Impressionist current, and at the same time go further than human processing”explains Davide Quayola. “I like to play with the idea of ​​non-human virtuosity. The work refers to a historical pictorial movement, but also offers other digital ways to explore the subject.“.

The return of Jean Le Gac

In the open air, exhibition by Jean Le Gac at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, 2022 (ERIC SANDER)

The director of the Chaumont estate, responsible for programming, invites an artist each year to the upper galleries of the castle. These were over time, Philippe Cognee, Paul Rebeyrolle Where the French artist of Chinese origin Gao Xingjian. Only obligation, whether the works are directly or indirectly related to nature. Thus, on the picture rails, a kind of retrospective of these painters is set up. This year, the seven rooms welcome a ghost from the French artistic scene: Jean Le Gac.

Jean Le Gac is a French artist, Cévennes and he is associated with the new figuration, a movement which opposed abstraction in the 1950s. Aged 86, he has somewhat disappeared from exhibitions and galleries. His work can be seen as a walk where photography, drawing, texts mingle and tangle. The painter becomes the character of his paintings. His inspirations: cinema, noir novels, the absurd and literature.

Chantal Colleu-Dumont went to meet Jean Le Gac in his Parisian apartment and studio and together they went in search of drawings, photographs and texts related to nature. Result: on the wall, there are gangsters and women lying in the grass, painters who have set up their easels in the open air and magnificent dry charcoals of plants with golden leaves. A self-fiction filled with fantasy and beauty.

The plant miniatures of Christiane Löhr

Installation of Christiane Löhr at the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire, 2022 (ERIC SANDER)

They only measure a few centimeters. They seem so light that the visitor holds his breath when he enters the Porcupine Gallery. These are the most amazing creations of this season, the achievements of Christiane Löhr.

Christiane Löhr currently lives and works between Cologne (Germany), where she has a workshop in the heart of an industrial area, and Prato (Italy), where she collects, in particular during her walks, on foot or by bicycle, materials necessary for the elaboration of his sculptures, tells us the presentation of his exhibition.

How can we imagine in these areas of wasteland and industry that Christiane’s harvest can make it possible to create such fragile, delicate architectures? And how not to imagine that despite everything, despite the damage to the environment, these twigs remain standing, stubbornly?

Chaumont: the domain of the imagination

Lost wax.  El Anatsui.  (Eric Sander)

From rooms to rooms, from corridors to stairs, visitors will also come across the works of Stephane Guiran in the Lower Fenil Gallery, by Christophe Marchalot, Félicia Fortuna and Lélia Demoisy in the Asinerie.

He will also find the boats planted on the banks which dominate the Loire, the work of El Anatsu or in the courtyard of the new hotel of the domain the sculpture of Bob Verschueren. Proof that poetry, nature and contemporary art are words that go very well together.

Art Season 2022 until October 30 at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire

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