« Naked as the first man who stood up to see further, my sculptures soar their stilts to survey the time. Detached from the ground, pinned to the sky, they run from city to city and around the world… And I follow them, happy » Nicolas Lavarenne.
Nicolas Lavarenne, born in 1953, grew up in Nice. At the beginning of the 80's, and after having sought his place for a long time, he became familiar with woodcarving by working for a few years on the ornament of furniture as a craftsman. The days spent in his workshop are then opportunities to work the material, and to let his self-taught hands act.
His first wood sculptures is born, and mark a key moment that Nicolas Lavarenne describes as a revelation Art fell on me he says
More than thirty years later, Nicolas Lavarenne is now an artist recognized by the international art scene, and likes to follow his sculptures around the world.
The encounter between the public and his works is always striking. From a distance, the bronze be-ings on their stilts, in a fiery balance, cut the spaces and invade the places they occupy by their lines and their movements.
As we get closer, the muscles in tension and a work of incredible precision take us to a whole new world.
I do not have a concept, but I see a theme in my work. The theme of overcoming gravity, of the elevation of the body, the detachment from earth and from the material , explains Nicolas Lavarenne.
For him, academicism is not a claim. Just the way to maintain the primacy of the body by perfect anatomical readability. Each sculpture is first of all a graphic gesture inscribed in space. An obvious sign. A decisive signature. Exonerated from material gravity, man can take his true dimension.
Born in 1953, Nicolas Lavarenne grew up in Nice cradled by the conversations emerging from his father's workshop, who was a painter.
1973: in parallel with his studies in mechanical engineering, he made a complete motorbike which was subsuquently registered for the road.
1978: after a few wayward years, he started working for himself and took his first steps in ornamental sculptures, and finally found his place…..in the workshop.
1984: Created after a summer spent 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 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.
1987: its sculptures were exposed in New York, then in Los Angeles. It is also the first bronze cast for the artist.
1988: Nicolas Lavarenne 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.
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.
1996: the town of Sion in Switzerland ordered the « Grand Passeur », on the occasion of an urban exhibition.
1997: Nicolas Lavarenne is exhibited in England, and then 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 (France) as well as Mooseedorf (Switzerland) both acquired monumental sculptures for their public collections. This year, Nicolas Lavarenne carried out his first catalogue.
1999: Nicolas Lavarenne received the public prize for the urban exhibition « Sous le Soleil d'Antibes »and also exposed in Beirut (Lebanon).
2001: This year will be characterized by the installation of two monumental works for private collections in New York and Boston.
2007: the Conseil General of the Alpes Maritimes honors Nicolas Lavarenne and acquire a monumental sculpture, « Grand Guetteur », which is installed in Roure, the Mercantour National Park.
2013: Henri Clefs art foundation welcomes a retrospective exhibition of Nicolas Lavarenne works, curated by Guillaume Furet (FG FINE ART). The year after, the foundation bought the « Grand Arc Boutant » for their collection
Since 2016, Nicolas Lavarenne resettled his studio in the South of France. His works continue to lead him to the four corners of the planet for urban exhibitions and for the installations in the most prestigious places.