Folon, The Unprecedented Journey is the summer exhibition the city Cannes offers in tribute to the great artist Jean-Michel Folon, in the exceptional setting of Villa Domergue. On July 13, 2013, at the opening of the luxurious house built by famous painter Jean-Gabriel Domergue in 1934 (Folon’s year of birth), the first visitors have discovered 25 sculptures of the multi-field artist.
The mysterious gardens of this magical place, located Avenue Fiesole, allowed many visitors to enjoy a unique part of the Belgian artist’s work. By recreating in the gardens a real dialogue between the artist, the viewer and the monumental sculptures that are deployed, the exhibition invites to dream. To fly with the bronze works of The Man Looking at The Stars or The Takeoff (highlight of the exhibition), or to travel with the Start or The Suitcase.
As a souvenir of Folon, most of us have the image of a man with a delighted smile, with a wise man face, radiant and full of humanity. This image is reflecting in his sculptural and poetic work, full of imagination, represented by compositions of characters or animals with hybrid forms whose autonomy liberates thought.
In the stillness of a moment, the attitude surrounded in space is similar to the time set on the lonely takeoff of a bird. Like sentinels quiet in their bodies, the characters with transfigured forms immortalize in the cross of silence, at the center of an area that brings towards meditation. The ideas and themes coming from this world lying beyond the real denote an ironic spirit that humorously refers men to their contradictions.
Everyone has indeed remembered the Antenne 2 closing titles created by Folon in 1975. Wearing hat and a blue jacket, characters with soles of wind were evolving like birds among the stars, towards sunset. Remained famous, this generic inviting the viewers to join the world of dreams was summoning themes and motifs dear to the artist: the man and his place in nature, freedom, travel. “What have we done else that give life to our childhood dreams?” he wondered about the process of artists.
Few people remember that he was also one of the first to express in his work the great loneliness of man in the city. Lonely men, often small but incredibly present, actors and spectators at the same time who never seem prisoners of city walls, giant hoardings they themselves erected. There is always at Folon an aspiration to freedom and reason for hope. Jean-Michel Folon died in 2005 in Monaco
The exhibition was inaugurated in the presence of Mr. Frederic Balester, Director of La Malmaison Art Centre, Mr. Eric Harson, Cannes Culture Deputy and Guy and Linda Peters, gallerists. The 25 sculptures by Folon exposed at Villa Domergue are part of Guy and Linda Peters’ personal collection.
The Malmaison Art Centre is offering a circuit in contemporary art. A joint ticket allows access to two summer exhibitions: Picasso’s Nude In Liberty at Malmaison Art Center and Folon, the Unprecedented Journey at Villa Domergue.
Exhibition until September 29, 2013
Every day from 11 am to 07 pm.