Big heads

1°) gallery of this series

2°) More informations on these sculptures:

With this series of “big heads”, I was finally given an opportunity to get away from the small format which restricted my collection of “lovely little faces” to an anecdotal category. I wanted to tackle larger masses of clay. I was satisfied with these tests in a larger dimension, but the volume of material to be handled rapidly proved to be a major obstacle to the spontaneity of creativity…

Daumier’s influence remains prevalent in this “Big Heads” series. But the size of the sculptures especially call to mind the “Characters Heads” series by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (see below)

This series of large heads was notably displayed during the “Portraits Gallery” exhibition at the Nogent-le-Roi Château in 2015

 3 °) The exhibition “Portrait Gallery” in Nogent-le-Roi (2015)

poster of the Exhibition "Gallery of Portraits" at the Château de Nogent-le-Roi
poster of the Exhibition “Gallery of Portraits”

  • This exhibition took place at the Château de Nogent-le-roi from September 26 to October 18, 2015
  • It was a retrospective on my figurative sculptures, of which I was both the main exhibitor and the organizer
  • I occupied the ground floor of the castle with 110 sculptures of the theme, small or medium size, and 5 sculptures from this series of “big heads”
  • I was accompanied in this exhibition by 6 painter and designer friends. All excellent artists in the representation of portraits : Jean Luc Giraud, Pierre Lamalattie, Jacqueline Lipszyc, Anne Malvy, Rémi Planche et Hervé Szydlowski

4°) Xavier Messerschmidt :

  • Austro-German artist who lived at the end of the 18th century (1736-1783)
  • Born in Bavaria in 1736 to a family of artists and craftsmen, he lived mainly in Austria in Vienna, but also in Munich in Bavaria.
  • On the death of his father, he moved to Munich with his uncle sculptor, recognized artist and well in court, who taught him the trade. Thereafter, he will follow a training course in Fine Arts in Vienna
  • At the start of his career in Vienna, he was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, and became a portrait painter for the royal family and the aristocratic milieu. He will carry out several commissioned works.
  • In 1777, he found himself without a command and suffered from a feeling of persecution which would also make him lose his job as a teacher. He suffers from various ailments, and to exorcise his pain, he begins to make a series of self-portraits by standing in front of a mirror. These grimacing portraits are made of alabaster and metal (mixture of lead and tin). He will make 69 in total.
  • When he died in 1783 (he was 47 years old), this series of self-portraits was recovered by his younger brother, who sold them in part to a cook. These heads pass between several hands before being exhibited for the first time in Vienna in 1793. This series of heads is currently owned by the Louvre Museum, the Belvedere Palace in Vienna, the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest and the National Stockholm Museum.
  • The Louvre Museum présented 49 of these heads in April 2011.

( more information and details in the Wikipedia encyclopedia)