Les forces heureuses
Céline Le Guillou

The exhibition ‘Les forces heureuses’ is the fruit of the work and research carried out by Céline Le Guillou during her period in Brest and was created in close collaboration with the teams of the arts centre and ceramics workshop on the Brest site of EESAB (European Academy of Art in Brittany).

Exhibition Les forces heureuses
Artists Céline Le Guillou
Date 17.06.22 - 17.09.22
Venue Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain, Brest, France
All images Courtesy of the artist and Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain. Photo: Aurélien Mole

The artist has undertaken a quasi-scientific observation of the human body and organic matter, while remaining within the field of the poetic. She previously developed a corpus of paintings, then sculptures, and recently chose to enhance her skills in ceramics by studying at the European Institute of Ceramic Arts in Alsace. Armed with this new knowledge, she wanted to develop her exhibition around a series of new sculptures, fired in Brest. She sought to take over the space by constructing a ‘drawing’ in three dimensions. Soft shapes and different textures spread themselves over furnishings created for the purpose by the artist. Their stands are therefore an integral part of the works and sometimes suggest scientific material.

Céline Le Guillou has composed a discussion between her pieces, as if there were a pre-existing and unknown means of communication between works of art. She regards her forms as a catalogue from which she can choose a vocabulary or a grammar. Her sculptures and paintings depict the interior of human bodies, what is meant to remain hidden, recalling medical dissection works and the iconography of the skinned figure, famous in the history of art from Rembrandt to Francis Bacon. Céline Le Guillou also speaks of ceramics as being like ‘worldly flesh’, evoking the basic, carnal aspect of the material. The bodies she fashions defy classification, being both attractive and repulsive. She sees herself as a type of ‘intermediary’ between an existing substance and a final form, the work of art. The artist’s contribution is only a natural stage in the order of things. ‘Les forces heureuses’, a phrase Céline Le Guillou has taken from the philosopher Gaston Bachelard, recalls the energies of British sculptor Barbara Hepworth who sought an ideal form and Henry Moore who went in search the mysteries of forms. The arrangement of works presented at Passerelle reveals an age-old process of natural growth, as if the sculptures emerged by themselves or were simply accompanied by the artist, who for the occasion became an obstetrician, the person who enables birth.

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