Nicolas Lavarenne

Promoted Artists

Nicolas Lavarenne
He was born in 1953 in Chamalières, Puy de Dôme, and grew up in a family where visual arts were given a prominent role. Both his parents were art teachers and his father was an outstanding and internationally acclaimed painter. He initially showed a broad and effective interest in technique and structures, ended up in a carpentry workshop where he was allowed to cut ornaments for furniture, and a little later cut more traditional and tormented figures from a wooden block.
Finally, after a short experiment with polystyrene, he found his ultimate calling in the modelling and casting of human, mainly male, figures in 1990. He collaborated with several well-known artists and was briefly an assistant to the well-known sculptor Arman. He participates in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad and has gradually acquired a growing reputation for his monumental works, which are often set up in or next to historically important spaces and largely respond to the atmosphere and structures of large gardens or parks, buildings, and castles.

The human figure is central to the artist's work, but in a very special way. People often talk about 'échassiers', stilt walkers, three-legged trunks, and long stems when one wants to situate or describe his figures. This refers, in our opinion, at least as far as the reference to the stilt walkers is concerned, mainly to his first bronze figures in which the legs of the characters are extended to such an extent that rays or spindles finally seem to grow from the feet and rest on the ground, as is the case with stilt walkers to some extent. Gradually, however, the bodies of his characters are caught, gripped, and surrounded by long metal sticks that accompany the characters and toss them on high. Thus, to a certain extent, his figures resemble spiders that rest in their web for a long time, the web turning out to be an ethereal cage, a structure of elongated rods clamped by the floating figures, creating an image of alienation.

The body that Nicolas Lavarenne models is a striking, precise and explicitly elaborated intersection of aesthetics and visual tensions, a monument of grace that is sublimated by meanings, an example of original design in which contrasts live such as the static of the structure that surrounds, lifts and appears to protect the supple and elegant eloquent body. His realistically depicted bodies influence and inspire the immediate environment as it were and are an amalgam of rhythm, expression, emotion, of going outside oneself, of physical ecstasy.