Je dors, je travaille
Conceived as a “bio-monograph”, this catalog offers a unique insight into the life and work of French artist, sculptor and ceramist Valentine Schlegel. It features extensive iconography, archival material and texts by sculptor and Schlegel scholar Hélène Bertin.
Valentine Schlegel developed her daily artistic practice, in constant evolution, between Paris and Sète. Like a Swiss Army knife, she has come to master several techniques, producing everyday objects with sculptural forms, such as wooden cutlery, ceramic vases, leather bags and plaster fireplaces. Conceived without inherent hierarchy, and often in collaboration with the artist’s friends, this body of work consists of objects of various sizes and uses, from the fantastic to the everyday. Schlegel also created numerous architectural elements in plaster for use in the interior of houses. Because of their immovable nature, these sculptures of everyday life are also the reason why Schlegel’s work has remained little known. Si elle ne s’adressait pas uniquement au monde des expositions d’art par son travail, elle a néanmoins participé à des événements historiques au Musée des Arts Décoratifs à une époque où le Centre Pompidou n’existait pas.
Today, through Schlegel’s practice, this publication, conceived as a “bio-monograph” devoted to Valentine Schlegel, seeks to shed light on other addresses of art. With previously unpublished iconography and archives, and biographical notes written by Hélène Bertin that allow the reader to better understand Schlegel and her approach, this reference monograph documents for the first time all of the fireplaces that Valentine Schlegel created for private individuals – some one hundred from 1959 to 2002. Other aspects of her work are also discussed in order to understand her practice as a whole, which is intimately linked to her way of life, where questions of autonomy of production and friendship are central.
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