WHAT MICHEL ESTADES SAYS:
Michel Bassompierre is a figurehead in the world of contemporary animal sculptures, instilling this art form with his singular, unprecedented and unmistakeable style. Seductive and endearing, his work has travelled the world, unleashing his marble and bronze bestiary in the four corners of the globe.
Captivated by drawing and modelling since his childhood days, Michel Bassompierre grew up in a large family. His mother was an artist and his father a scientist – a duality that may have influenced his work, characterized by a resolutely contemporary plastic approach associated with essential anatomical precision. He trained at the Leleu studio and Rouen Ecole des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts), where he learnt how to observe, producing kilos of sketches at zoos, circuses and at the natural history museum in his quest to capture the brilliantly-articulated machine of the animal body and its lines and movements. And it is this extraordinary rendition of life that makes his work so moving. While drawings form the foundation of his work, modelling perfects it. Similarly to François Pompon, Michel Bassompierre rids himself of the anecdotal, retaining only the essential. Favouring animals with rounded shapes – Asian elephants, gorillas, bears and horses – he creates gentle yet precise silhouettes in which light never infringes upon shadow. This very physical relationship with his work also reflects his fascination with wildlife, untainted by anthropomorphism. His peaceful animals, seemingly surprised by our interruption in their private lives, are embodied by bronze or Carrara marble in keeping with traditional sculpture.
Michel Bassompierre’s powerful works testify to his exceptional mastery of drawing, perfect understanding of volumes and poetic approach to light, giving the onlooker an irresistible urge to touch. His extremely delicate creations are also an ode to the artist’s tenderness, profound respect and humility.
See the work of Sculptors and Monumental Art exhibited at the Estades Gallery