I love all things French. Some may say I am not the least bit discerning about it (I promise I am when necessary). Of course, it is rarely necessary in the world of French art, culture and food. A perfect example of my unbiased opinion is the work of the remarkable and internationally acclaimed French artist, Christian Renonciat. He was born in Paris in 1947, studied philosophy at La Sorbonne, moved to the south of France for nearly six years where he learned and explored all the possible techniques of working with wood, and now works in both Touraine and Paris. He is a sculptor of wood.
It is Russian white mahogany that he transforms into his exquisite works of art. The sculptures are simple in subject: an envelope, a blanket, exposed corrugated cardboard. The super-realism of a rip or tear or fold of a blanket has the tromp l’oeil effect seen most often in painting. But there is no paint, and inexplicably the sculptures take on an abstract form when hanging on the wall. It is truly exceptional work, and occasionally it is hard to believe what you are seeing is carved from wood.
“The Way of the Wood” is a beautiful exhibit opening on Thursday, May 15th, 6-8pm at Gremillion Gallery in Houston. If you attend the opening,, ask for Chris Skidmore – he is warm and welcoming – and very knowledgeable. Unfortunately, I cannot make the opening, but will be going many times in the next few weeks. Let me know if you would like to join me.