Bien que Georges Boisgontier soit un artiste profondément original et individualiste, ses sculptures frappent l’imagination avec une curieuse, mais rassurante, impression de “déjà vu”.
Une évocation récurrente des déïtés égyptiennes hiératiques, des figures cycladiques aux allures de totems, des dieux et déesses grecs, chargée de symboles et de la mémoire éternelle venue des profondeurs de l’antiquité.

 

La mission de ces fétiches de bronze contemporains ?
S’élever contre l’absurdité de la condition humaine, exorciser l’esprit des valeurs matérielles, témoigner de la vocation sacrée de l’humanité, nous rappeler la fin d’une civilisation et l’approche d’un nouvel âge, comme André Malraux l’avait prédit de ce siècle naissant.
Né à Bordeaux en 1931, Georges Boisgontier n’a jamais cessé la quête d’une vérité supérieure.
Après plusieurs voyages au Moyen et en Extrême-Orient, il s’installa à Saint-Paul puis à Vence, créant sa propre mythologie du bronze.

 

En perçant la surface des gens et des choses, le travail de Boisgontier proteste avec une passion humaniste, contre la folie d’un monde qui se désintègre.

 

Dane Mc DOWELL

 

 

Though Georges Boisgontier is a deeply original and individualistic artist, his haunting sculptures strike the onlooker with a curious, yet comforting, impression of déjà vu. A recurring evocation of hieratic Egyptians deities, totem-like Cycladic figures, primitive Greek gods and goddesses, they are heavy with significance and eternal memories from the depths of antiquity. The mission of these modern-day bronze fetishes ? To stand against the absurdity of the human condition, exorcize our minds from material values, testify to the great and sacred vocation of humanity, and remind us of the end of a civilization and the approach of a new age when spirituality, as André Malraux predicted, would come into its own.

 

Born in Bordeaux in 1931, Georges Boisgontier has never ceased searching for the truth. After many trips to the Far and Middle East, he settled in Vence, creating his own solid and well-centred mythology from bronze and clay. While exploring beyond the surface of people and things, Boisgontier's work protests, with humanistic passion and turmoil, against the disintegration of the modern world.

 

Dane Mc DOWELL

 


 

UN PEU D'HELLENISME AU JOUR LE JOUR

Ne cherchez pas systèmatiquement chez Georges Boisgontier la démesure colossale. L'habituelle modestie des formats est à l'image de leur auteur, un être sensible et discret qui cherche dans la mythologie l'abri et la protection contre tous les abus de l'intempérance qui aujourd'hui nous gouverne.

Boisgontier est l'ami d'Arman, le génial bricoleur, qui a su découvrir dans son complice au dévouement secret, un vrai sculpteur.

Oui, l'ami d'Arman est un sculpteur qui sait parfaitement équilibrer les volumes et modeler le jeu des proportions ; les références morphologiques à la mythologie de la Grèce antique contribuent à augmenter l'effet de monumentalité organique de ses sculptures.

Les bronzes de Boisgontier sont des fétiches qui viennent exorciser les tréfonds de notre mémoire méditerranéenne. Ils sont là et s'imposent à nous comme des faits évidents par rapport à une culture à la fois proche et lointaine tirant son mystère de la fatalité qui nous détermine à coexister avec elle, tant bien que mal, vaille que vaille, mais sous le signe de la plus impérieuse nécessité.

Laissez-moi considérer, comme mon vieil ami, le doux poète dyonisiaque André Verdet, les "Icones" de Boisgontier comme des fétiches familiers qui ont abandonné leurs apparences hermétiques sans renoncer pour autant à leur hiératisme, leur grans mérite et de nous rappeler, sans éclat inutile, à l'odre quotidien du sacré.

Boisgontier nous fait ainsi réaliser combien est flexible la frontière secrète, l'imperceptible voile spirituel qui sépare l'artisan de l'alchimiste.

 

Pierre RESTANY

 

 

A LITTLE HELLENISM DAY BY DAY

Don’t look automatically for colossal proportions in the work of Georges Boisgontier. His usual modesty in terms of format reflects that of the sculptor himself, a sensitive and discreet human being who turns to mythology for shelter and protection from all the onslaughts of intemperance which rule our everyday lives.
Boisgontier was a friend of Arman, that genius of a handyman who discovered in his accomplice with his secret devotion a real sculptor. Yes, Arman’s friend is a sculptor who is perfectly capable of balancing volumes and modulating plays on proportions ; in his sculptures, morphological references to the mythology of Ancient Greece serve to enhance the effect of organic monumentality.
Boisgontier’s bronzes are fetishes which come to exorcise the depths of our Mediterranean memory. They exist and command like self-evident facts relating to a culture both near and far, drawing its mystery from the fatality that ordains us to co-exist with it, successfully or not, come what may, but under the sign of the most imperious necessity.
Like my old friend, the gentle Dyonisiac poet André Verdet, let me look upon Boisgontier’s “Icones” as familiar fetishes which have abandoned their hermetic appearance without ever relinquishing their solemnity. Spared of any useless flourishes, their great merit is that of calling us to the daily order of the sacred. Boisgontier thus makes us realise just how flexible is that secret frontier, the imperceptible spiritual veil, that separates the craftsman from the alchemist.

 

Pierre RESTANY

 


 

MYTHS

For several years, Hellenism, its philosophy and legends, have nourished Boisgontier’s imagination. Without his renouncing, however, the heritage that history offers to artists. Of this, Boisgontier retains the legendary Inca which occasionally survives in his recent work.
Myths, therefore. A myth embodied in the bronze in which men and gods, incorporated onto steles, impose their monumentalism in a sacred work. Fully mastering his artistic interpretation, Boisgontier here addresses the art of statuary by subjecting it to a formal rigour that Michelangelo would have approved, saying that a sculpture must be able to roll down a mountain without being damaged.
His men-gods, Oedipus, Heracles, his women, Psyche, Thetis, among other legendary figures, trace in privileged manner the mutation of the metaphor in art, with the help of works in which symbolism fades away before the absolute nature of the work itself.

 

Jacques LEPAGE

 


 

The hieratic hermetism which held the sculptures of my friend Georges Boisgontier in a tight grip has become more supple. Little gaps, slips, passages for light now run through them like so many touches of human sensitivity. Though their mystery, their recurrent enigma, remain intact, calling us to order before their sacred nature. I note that Georges Boisgontier has successfully reconquered certain zoomorphological themes of yesteryear, conferring upon them the majesty of icons which allow the presence of divinity to filter through.
As for his very beautiful chromatic patinas, they are buried in the compost of archeological times.

 

André VERDET

 


 

Georges Boisgontier
Sculptor of Time

 

For several years, I have paid close attention to the work of Georges Boisgontier ; after a great deal of work and hesitation, he has made considerable progress. He now shows real mastery of his material and imagination. He is a classic but contemporary artist. Discreet by nature, Boisgontier prefers the solitude of his studio, interrogating myths and symbols, the origins of the world. He sculpts mythical visions and shadows, looking for the traces of his heros in his material, an explorer of civilizations and worlds forever buried in the memories of the ruins of the earth.
The dream has become reality ; it has found its way into Boisgontier’s world.

 

Frédéric ALTMANN
Nice, June 1990