Steppe and Savannah exhibition. Damien Colcombet & Anne Limbour
From 16 March to 22 June 2019
These are two artists whose magic has long been renowned. Still, let’s introduce Anne Limbour ? Her feather-fish, created from eyes that draw from the depths of nature, tell the beauty of the unexpected. And Damien Colcombet’s great big cats, his elephants, his giraffes, all confirm the oracle of contemporary observers: an exceptional animal sculptor, “probably the most brilliant of his generation in the figurative vein”.
naked beauty, essential
On Damien Colcombet, everything seems to have been said: “Gifted animal sculptor, probably the most brilliant of his generation in the figurative vein”, applauded, in September 2018, the magazine Chasses internationales. Because he had seen him model a tiger with his eyes almost closed, instinctively finding the gesture and the look of the feline, we also remember that Jacques Pons, in Ouest-France, had made the following proposal: “To this level of talent, who wouldn’t speak of genius?” It will be easy here to recall the opinion of the naturalist Buffon, quoted by Hérault de Séchelles: “Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience.” Phrase to be taken literally, like a curriculum vitae. Our man, a former senior executive in a major French company, didn’t he wait for his forties to transform lumps of clay into fabulous bestiary? To become this artist that everyone admires, sometimes creating elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, panthers or hippopotamuses, sometimes wandering through the shores, through the meadows, and bringing them back, in order to sculpt them and then to melt, a bull, two dairy cows, mares and foals surrounding a drinking trough, otherwise a fox surprised with his cub. Fabulous bestiary, we repeat, proving to be more alive than life – and which therefore promises each collector what an animal promises a walker, between steppe and savannah: astonishment, joy, fervor, harmony, emotion. But perhaps, first, the harmony praised by Romain Gary in The Roots of Heaven: “Man has come to the point, on this planet, where he really needs all the friendship he can find, and in his solitude he needs all the elephants, all the dogs, all the birds…”
Do we dare to write, after that, that man also needs Anne Limbour’s potions? We mean, in the spirit of this twentieth exhibition organized by the Cristel Éditeur d’Art Center, the philters of a woman who goes beyond the sheer force of her works to reach the prodigies of an incredible, an exceptional poetry . “Magician”, we had summed up, with regard to her, in 2016. Because such is indeed her privilege: magic! This wandering magic which she uses to transform into fish, jellyfish or seahorses the various feathers delivered to her by chance and the wind. However, how not to sense that these feathers, under his fingers, are never more than a pretext, and his fish illusions… An additional sorcery, in short, but in the most literary sense of the term, evoking enchanting powers and an irresistible seduction. In short ! feather fish that aren’t fish or birds or even anything known in the scheme of things. Unless, of course, you invoke the wonders of the Little Prince: “Draw me a sheep…” And Anne Limbour then plucks a few feathers from the clouds, then throws them on a board to arrange, with calamus, spine, beards, beards, a kind of world where everything seems real, but without being formal. Magic, once again… Which obviously does not prevent you from going through the mirror to discover that these feathers, like the “cloak of fire” invented by Jean Cocteau, are mainly colors and movements. The proof ? They tend towards green if you look at them in the light, towards blue if you take a step back, towards ochre, white, rust, mother-of-pearl, copper, fawn if ‘we recompose the approach. Without forgetting that these grouped feathers run, migrate, dance and swirl like immense herds seen from the sky, or elves and leaves in the wind. Simple beauty, naked beauty, essential.
Damien Colcombet and Anne Limbour do not claim others.