Laura Le Corre, curator
Expressionism and poetry
At the occasion of this new exhibit at the Cultural Space Christiane Peugeot, I chose to reunite Noël ROCH and Florence Lemiegre – although their styles are different, they both make us question ourselves through a subtile combinaison of lightness and gravity. These two artist are carried by a similar exaltation, free of any rational process, with a shared tendency to destroy what is know and stable, rejecting codes and conventions.
“An expressionism that is alive, as it continues to inspire pictural and cinematographic arts, as well as actual by answering to new questions brought up by modernity“.
A few words…
Here to, a unique encounter… Florence welcomes me in her Aladdin’s cave where I get access to the enigma that is her art, which imposes itself like a weird evidence!
A myriad of sculptures emerge like amused provocations in a unique party-like atmosphere, almost baroque… In their presence we can’t doubt that dreams are intrinsically linked to the staging of incongruousness.
Laura le Corre, curator, ARKaval – Union of Art Professionals Paris.
From the catalog – “Expressionism and poetry” Noël Roch / Florence Lemiegre
Paris, January 26th, 2017.
Florence Lemiegre sows on the fly, elegance, humour and tenderness…
It would be wrong to comprehend the “Pavés“ that old Florence’s art for these pedestals commonly used in the sole purpose of erecting objects. These “Pavés“ are indeed fully connected to the sculpture they ballast, shelter and support, in a unique intimate bound.
Despite their apparent inertia, they’re an active dimension of the creation. They are indeed its genesis, the chrysalis, just as a concretion whose subject could not, and would not, wanna be detached from. Of a similar nature, they feed themselves from the same sap and we owe them an equal care. It is this anchorage that gives weight to actors and provide seriousness to their intentions.
Other pieces by Florence, naked of these “Pavés“ pedestals, can give the impression that they are amputate. Is it not in purpose that one these universe has for central theme “the scream“, that can express either pain, or, in sensuousness, evasion?
Another of her universe takes a completely different direction by bowering from shapes of achenes’ teetotum, distancing itself from any anthropomorphic assimilations, freeing itself from what would have then be a constraint.
With a seeming lightness, Florence sows on the fly, elegance, humour and tenderness, just like others love.
Ronan-Jim Sévellec, visual artist and sculptor.
Chaville, January 23rd, 2014.
André- Pierre ARNAL
On the compact ground, the artist takes a step in his time and his life space. Between his wise hands, he works and models his dreams to give them the shape that, he hopes, will become style. But the writher only needs fluid and ductile ink to create from leafs and white pages. The painter, with his canvas or paper, only needs a few colors to give birth to images that will fascinate entire generations. The ceramist, or sculptor, will talk directly to the clay (the motherland!) to erect a three-dimensional shape and show to the world an intriguing figure.
In her initial presentation, Florence talks about “new times and virgin spaces“, which reveals an interesting and prophetic aspect of her work, well-engineered. She exposes that her work consists of three areas, slightly different, that she names the “Pavés“, the “Heads of the O’s decade“ (les Têtes de la décennie des O), and the “Culbutos“.
The “Pavés“ gather a myriad of different thematics, inspired from a fantasist approach of social life, and life in general. Titles here are eloquent.
The Heads and mostly their screams interest me a lot. These are faces of pain, torture, despair. They soberly yet realistically express human condition, since times immemorial, where the primitive man, the “first one“, started his path to humanity. These open mouths in pain, expressing fear and despair, including the women’s ones giving birth to a new being, in extase as well as in climax, are an incredible anthropologic testimony. Without getting too deep into references to the history of painting, we can mention the singular instance of the photographer Erwin Blumendel, who, in 1952, published in New York his work untitled “o“. Inspired by the “vowels“ poem from Rimbaud, Blumenfeld had the idea to dedicate to it one of his photographs series, and took an assistant as a model. This then enabled him to explore eroticism as well as pain. These lips are more than the organ that allows for speaking and screaming: they are actually one with the sound they utter.
The “Culbutos“ are abstract shapes, of an extremely purified style, in a refined formality almost surprising considering their name. This coupling between stability and instability can express, almost from a philosophical standpoint, the ontological condition of human existence. Florence Lemiegre questions the popular meaning of the “roly“, that is “a person that alway bounces back despite blows against her“. Indeed, it could also be a similar art than the one of the boxer that learns how to dodge! But what is also unique about this work is the way random networks of lines cover the surfaces, reminding us of a human brain.
André-Pierre Arnal, painter and founding member of the artistic movement Support / Surface.
Paris, May 7th 2014.
“Bodies and Souls“
The Ralentie gallery presents its first exhibition honoring the work of the three laureates of the 2013 contest « Body and Soul ». Three artists with strong and inspired universes, three women exploring eroticism and sensuality in a unique way.
Terrestrial miniatures, tranquil and fantasist inhabitants sculpted by fire, Florence Lemiegre, thanks to the Raku technic, gives life to a population of “girls“ whose emotional and inner life translate onto a particular posture. The grace of the “Birth of senses“ has, for instance, strongly impacted visitors, despite the modest height of the sculpture. That is a sure sign: we feel the need to stop in front of the sculpture, to take a moment to experience this feeling of attraction, recognition and light danger that emanates from the embracing couple. These white bodies, subtly veined of grey, seem at first to be lovingly intertwined. But if you look closer, their limbs could also seem tied up together, an impression increased by the veinure we mentioned. This allows the initial grace to become slightly venomous, and the sensual innocence can evolve into a captivating and sour eroticism. Senses influence us, and that is the very art of the sculptor to suggest it with talent.
Isabelle Floc’h, gallery owner. La Ralentie gallery – Art & Thought.
September 10th, 2014 – Abstract from the catalogue “Bodies and Souls” Christine Coste / Daphné Gentit / Florence Lemiegre
Odile Van Bay
Two ceramists, two distinct universes
The Mediart Gallery presents Florence Lemiegre’s ceramics for her first exhibit in a gallery, along with the work of Marie-Laure Levitan.
The two ceramists use the same firing technic, the Raku, yet with two very distinct universes. Florence Lemiegre moves us with the strong expressivity of her “Heads of the O decade“ universe, while Marie-Laure Levitan shares with us the memory of a mineral world discovered while traveling in Greece.
Florence Lemiegre lives and works in Paris. She has a strong artistic training: master’s in Plastic Arts and Artistic Sciences from la Sorbonne Paris I, diploma from the Decorative Arts School in industrial art, as well as studying abroad in the US. In parallel to improving her art education, she explores clay, and creates in three-dimensions. The raku technic was obvious for her because of its randomness and its unpredictable dimension. Shapes are created from her inner self, and often even surprise her. She says they are her “dark side“. They are traces of her pain.
Despite their small size (some of them are less than 10 centimers), the heads are a particularly intense work. They all have a name that finishes in “o“, Mateo, Olivio, Paolo… This choice might be linked to the shape of the mouth when screaming of fear, as expressed in Munch’s famous painting, “The Scream“.
The color palette of the enamel revealed by this firing technic gives a dimension to time. This universe surprises us, questions us. The heads seem to be findings from an archeological excavation, and some, with their unique faces, hooked noses and strong cheekbones, could be inspired by Mesoamericans (Inca, Aztec).
Odile Van Bay, gallery owner. Médiart gallery.
May 26th, 2010.
Florence Lemiegre and her raku sculptures
Once upon a time, “Pavés“, “Culbutos“ and « O » games…
When you enter Florence Lemiegre’s universes, what is striking is her will to toy with her own psyche.
All her pieces are like a mirror reflecting the story of a life rich of essential questions, in phase with her inner being…
Question her sculptures and you will find your own answers.
Trace of a hidden memory, childhood perfume from a delicate embroidery, mysterious moment written in argile and drunk at the source of dreams.
Freed bodies, intense embraces and liberating screams…
From the “Pavés“ of Florence Lemiegre emerges a whispering beach from a promised land, made for psychic conquests, creative births and poetic metaphors. Elaborated with a secret mix of organic and vegetal material as well as symbolic objects, found in secrets boxes, discovered from moods and discoveries of the artist.
From the carefully chosen words of her sculptures’ tittles, she adds to emotion, thus mixing mental material to mineral material. This is the print of Raku, through lightings of smoked lines, a mysterious writing that one needs to read from argile skins of the creations of this prodigious artist, graduate of the Sorbonne in Plastic Arts and Artistic Sciences and from the Decorative Art Superior School in Industrial Design.
Themes explored invite you to “let go“ and get inspired by resilient fights, happy wanderings in giant flowers forests, lonely meditation, graceful embraces, lazy sleepiness under unusual foliages of lace where tiny Alices, escaped from the story of Lewis Carol, are losing themselves, meeting up, telling stories seated on pavés of smoked clay from the rake firing and encountering other characters arising from emotional fields of the evolutive superego.
Unveiling the visible within the invisible, searching for equilibrium in the very heart of chaos and multiplying reverse games.
The artist adventures herself far from conventional shapes of the bodies that live on her pavés, freeing herself from what is known through the graphic lines of the refined culbutos. And the wringing of the emaciated, tortured and ravaged faces of her “O decade“ reveal the prints and wounds of a timeless couple: Hime and Tono, confronted to the turbulence of faith.
Three thematics… Three quests… Three supplications, linked together by the exploration of her intimate world, impacting the way the spectator looks by projecting him into the enigma of her own projections.
In its very conception, art of ceramic symbolises the origines of creation.
The four fundamental elements: water, air, earth and fire come together in an organic and creative transmutation. Water gives earth its malleability, air dries and fire dresses it with its dress of golden light, providing both its strength and its fragility.
For the Proust-inspired artist, “you should never be afraid to go to far, because truth is beyond that“.
She thus takes you with her within her universe that she offers to you with prodigality, while choosing to express herself through the Raku firing, a technic symbolic of a very ancient Asian culture linked to the Zen philosophy which believes that pleasure and randomness are one.
Thus, all Florence Lemiegre’s work is inspired by the search for randomness and enjoyment which forces her to “let go“, to be more in touch with the prints of her own history, an history narrated and explored by her sculptures.
Major source of inspiration, the rake technic creates emotions with its contrasts and its exploration of textures, colors and crackings. True shamanic act, its transfigures the artist’s sensitivity, and by meeting fire, reveals it in all its magnetism and depth.
Dominique Alavoine, interpret artist.
Paris, January 30th, 2014.
Raku has the particularity to link together the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. It might be for this reason that it offers an infinite color palettes and gives to the sculpture its uniqueness. The result can sometimes be surprising, but it is crucial to be willing to accept it, and then, after an intense cleaning, discover the piece. When one starts working with this technic, coming back to a more traditional enamel is almost impossible and always disappointing. It is missing the adrenaline generated when the sculptures, still incandescent, are taken out of the oven to be mixed with sawdust. They are brought to life again by getting into fire at its contact. Then comes the famous cleaning to remove the accumulated soot on the sculpture, and finally discover it. One can never get tired of such a happiness! It is important to accept the result though, which demands the capacity to “let go“. Doesn’t raku mean “happiness in randomness“ after all?
It is undoubtedly what Florence Lemiegre likes about this technic.
You just need to explore her work to discover its strength, beauty, majesty, technicality and sometimes too her intimate secrets expressed through it. The three thematics on which the artist is working might seem very different from one another, however they are truly complementary: tragedy, shapes harmony and power of dream.
“The heads of the O decade“ reming us that life could be tragic. Suffering can be read in these masks of powerfully expressive faces, making us recall personal tragedy and pain we went through. These masks are shocking, an expression of violence. They can’t leave us indifferent with their extreme colors and their dramatic expressions.
The “Culbutos“ are a more structure, rigorous and technical universe. They demand a great technical knowledge as well as patience. They need to be shaped calmly and gently. They are infinite in size and color. Pleasant to look at, the culbuto is constantly searching for its own balance, in a somewhat precarious way. Some wind and here it goes, ready to adopt a new position. Its colors is magnified thanks to the raku technic and the use of different methods: naked raku technic, enamel glazes, or even a smoking process. The asymmetrical shapes and the coloring contrast inspire a playful mind, which is reinforced by the cristallin sound the sculpture makes whenever in motion.
The third thematic, the “Pavés“ universe, is intrinsically linked to dreams. Theses sculptures lead us to Florence Lemiegre’s imagination. She always has a pen with her as well as paper in her purse to make sure to automatically write down any idea she might have. She also draws in that purpose, and invents the tittle as she goes, just as in the beginning of a fairytale.
Florence Lemiegre, just like a fairy, let us gently enter her oneiric world. We can then let ourselves carried by her stories that only ask to become ours. How could we resist her insatiable imagination and this rich variety of fairytales, that our emotions and moods always make us read in a different manner? Her sculptures and the names she gives to them invite us to deep inner travels, within worlds of dreams and childhood memories. How not to fall in love with “The one sleeping under the flowered“, “Breloquier“, “Lazy under the flowered coconut three“ or the “Ascension to the magical bean three“, and so many else?
The motion of her characters, the fluidity, the choice of colors, the sobriety to, allow the viewer to appropriate himself the story. By looking around the pavé, he discovers a universe of dream and looks for the keys to enter it. He will see characters appear, transform, live and move along the fantasy of the artist and his own.
Sometimes powerfully expressive, sometimes full of a serenity inspired by geometry, or even almost fantastic, Florence Lemiegre’s work is unique because she creates from both randomness and technicality, using them magisterially to give her creations a unique touch of unpredictability.
Bénédicte Vincent, novelist.
Strasbourg February 28th, 2014.
Dream clay differently…
After art study from Rouen Fine art Beaux-Arts school, la Sorbonne as well as a major in Industrial Design pursued at the Decorative Art School of Paris and in the United States, she has, while dealing simultaneously with an intense professional life, always had a very intimate approach of sculpture.
The past few years, this personal dimension of her production has started to grow, and her work, that she has started to exhibit, has been received with intense interest by galleries. Some of her sculptures have been meet with a lot of excitement, which lead her to win in 2013 a prize awarded by the La Ralentie gallery in Paris. As of now, early 2014, she has an exhibition in Montreal, Canada.
At the crossroads between figuration and brutal inspiration, almost primitive, as can attest the use of natural material and classical technics such as the raku firing (antic Korean process of enamel that she is originally reinterpreting), the artist’s sculptures are mysterious, poetic, oneiric, inspiring immediate intimacy to the viewer.
Wether they evoke blurry memory of nightmare ou distilling a joyful sensation of peace and balance, they are encapsulated in clay just like souvenirs of dreams sometimes habit our nights although we can’t remember them in the morning.
Dream clay differently… Making visible what’s invisible through material and elegantly.
Jacqueline Fallavier, consultant.
Paris, February 9th, 2014.