The exhibition A ciel ouvert

This summer, Antibes will raise your eyes skyward by honoring the artist Nicolas Lavarenne 18 years after « sculptures sous le soleil d'antibes « for which he was the laureate in 1998. From June the 19th until September the 18th Antibes old town will be invaded by 19 monumental sculptures of Nicolas Lavarenne.

Plunging from the ramparts above the sea, suspended between two streets, watching out over the city from the sea gate or else defending the « Pré aux Pecheurs » esplanade , there is no doubt that the bronze sculpted figures will set Antibes in motion, perched on their stilts, redefining artistic contours and spaces.

The Gallery "Les Bains-Douches" will also echo the main exhibition by presenting small and medium sized pieces of the artist Nicolas Lavarenne.

The realization of this exhibition has been entrusted to Guillaume Furet (FG FINE ART), curator.

“The poles make the sculptures dance. They are out of bronze, but become light then”, the artist tells. “My research led me to sculptures in bronze, elevated, as if taking flight, by means of systems based on tripods, stilts, poles, shafts, which propel them towards the sky. These act like lines of force, high tension wires, flashes of lightning - vigorous, rigorous, minimal. They contrast markedly with the knotted complexity, almost Baroque, of the human body, where morphology and gesture give an infinite variability to each anatomical element“.

Nicolas Lavarenne’s sculptures are carried out with the most obvious meticulousness. The detail is there, but it is not him whom one retains, it is its extension...

"Sensuality is also very apparent - for me every muscle is a letter in the alphabet of the human body, it palpitates."

It is not the bronze itself which captivates us, but rather the passion in the work. Being detached from materiality seems a paradox for a sculptor, but in reality, this is an integral part of his work, since he is striving to reach the soul.

Nicolas Lavarenne

The artist Nicolas Lavarenne

Born in 1953, NL grew up in Nice cradled by the conversations emerging from his father's workshop, who was a painter.

In 1973, in parallel with his studies in mechanical engineering, he made a complete motorbike which was subsuquently registered for the road by the Service des Mines.

In 1978, after a few wayward years, he started working for himself and took his first steps in ornamental sculptures, under the care of Jean Cortese, and finally found his place…..in the workshop.

After having passed the summer of 1984 reshaping a block of wood to liberate two suspended bodies of acrobats: his first sculpture saw the light of day.

Thanks to this sculpture, it is finally time for his first exhibition and a collaboration with a gallery.

This sculpture will be awarded by the public the following year, by the UMAM in Nice.

In 1987, its sculptures were exposed in New York, then in Los Angeles. It is also the first bronze cast for the artist.

In 1988, Nicolas carves “L’enragé”, his ultimate wood sculpture. This sculpture suspended in a tetrahedron lets foresee a whole new direction on the theme of the tripod and stilts. In 1990 he also worked as an assistant to Arman.

1991, « Le guetteur », a character perched on a tripod, is at last looking towards the oncoming years. It is also the year of his first meeting with Marc Massa, his bronze founder since then.

1993, came his first order for monumental sculptures, destined for England. The following year commenced his first personal exhibitions abroad.

In 1995, the town of Menton (France) acquired a Nicolas Lavarenne’s monumental sculpture. In that year, he installed his workshop in Haute Savoie and continued to commute to the South and back for his family, friends and the foundry.

In 1996, the town of Sion in Switzerland ordered the « Grand Passeur », on the occasion of an urban exhibition.

In 1997, Nicolas Lavarenne exposed in England, then after in Denmark where Prince Henry acquired a sculpture which he installed in the middle of a pond at the Marselisborg Castle. The following year, Divonne-les-Bains as well as Mooseedorf both acquired monumental sculptures for their public collections. This year, Nicolas Lavarenne carried out his first catalogue.

In 1999, Nicolas Lavarenne received the public prize for the urban exhibition « Sous le Soleil d'Antibes »and also exposed in Beirut (Lebanon).

In 2007, it was the Conseil General of the Alpes Maritimes' turn to honour him and acquire a monumental sculpture which was installed in Roure, dominating the Tinée Valley and the Mercantour National Park.

Today, Nicolas Lavarenne will resettle his workshop in the South of France. His works continue to lead him to the four corners of the planet for urban exbitions and for the installation of his sculptures in the most prestigious places.

Practical Informations

From 19th of june to 18th of September 2016

The exhibition takes place in the old town of Antibes and in the gallery Galerie Les Bains Douches

As a complement to the monumental sculptures exposed in the open air, the gallery « Les Bains Douches » will expose Nicolas Lavarenne’s medium and small sized sculptures.

From July,1, until August 31, the FG FINE ART’s team (artist representatives), will be present from 6pm to midnight at the gallery « Les Bains Douches », located 27, boulevard d’Aguillon in Antibes.

During all the exhibition, the Antibes’s municipal team will be present there from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 6am.

The realization of the exhibition « A CIEL OUVERT » of Nicolas Lavarennes's sculptures has been entrusted to FG FINE ART, by the town of Antibes, in collaboration with the Cultural Events and Communications Services of Antibes.

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