Spazio Nobile Gallery presents a solo show by the French artist-designer François Azambourg

Spazio Nobile Gallery presents a solo show by the French artist-designer François Azambourg

Spazio Nobile Gallery in Brussels presents The Glass Pine: Blowing with Nature, a solo show by the French artist-designer François Azambourg.

As one of the leaders in contemporary French design, François Azambourg is fascinated by the idea of “light as material”. Since 2007, he has enjoyed pushing materials, tools and craft techniques to the limit. He explores the expressive potential of manufacturing processes and the shaping of materials, whether industrial or handmade, innovative or traditional. As part of this process, he has occasionally conducted research into glassmaking techniques in the workshops of the Centre International d'Art Verrier (CIAV) in Meisenthal in Moselle, France. Based on the principle that points of rupture are points of departure, Azambourg has been making epic experiments that liberate him from the deterministic processes of traditional glass production.

For Spazio Nobile, Azambourg is presenting the sculptural containers Douglas and Brindilles in close collaboration with CIAV Meisenthal. He designed them spontaneously, in the moment and in the dance of the workshop, like a magician suspended on the ladder of his dreaming mind, an inventor at heart. In the world of the CIAV glass workshop, anchored in an ancestral territory marked by an industrial era dating back to the beginning of the 18th century, Azambourg brings back to life the sylvan beauty of slender pines and light twigs. 

The Douglas vase, for example, born of a mould that burns during production, is a perfect illustration. This now iconic object, available in different formats, colours and shapes, bears the scars of its wood matrix in its flesh: sinuous veins, twisted knots and tiny crevices. In the same vein, the vase Brindilles, freezes forever in the blown glass the delicate imprints of elements drawn directly from the surrounding nature (foliage, twigs and other fir thorns...). This approach, while not specifically academic, is so innovative that it gives the work created a unique and non-duplicable character. It is an innovative way of reinventing tradition without betraying it, and of compressing into the modest volume of a domestic object the strength of the landscapes and forests that surround the village of Meisenthal.

Celebrating the grandeur of a landscape blossoming between the Rhine and Moselle, on the borders of Alsace and Lorraine, the designer becomes the artist and conductor of a hypnotic choreography. The gaze is lost in the incredible dance of glass blowing: the ball of fire hugs, crackles and consumes the evergreen foliage of this coniferous tree, whose branches are prepared with great care by the artist, who collected them a few hours earlier in the Lemberg or Saint-Louis forest. 

Moulded or cast in an artistic gesture, the Douglas fir becomes once again the textured bark of a trunk reaching for the sky, a fragile presence, coloured or silvered, sometimes deformed, or premature. The elegant twigs of a branch are encapsulated in the material or leave their light and indelible trace on the transparent surface of the Brindille vase. Containers and contents merge in the clarity of the undergrowth, the trace of nature becomes the receptacle of our own culture, the form emerges as the symbolic value of a subject - the pine, the resin tree, the sap tree, the essence of the Vosges, the conifer with resistant foliage, the needle tree - which becomes the object of all our desires.


François Azambourg
The Glass Pine: Blowing with Nature
19 November 2021 - 16 January 2022
Spazio Nobile Gallery
in collaboration with CIAV Meisenthal 
Opening: 18 November 2021, 18-21.00, in the presence of the artist-designer


Download the catalogue here:

SN_Catalogue_Season XIX_The Glass Pine_CIAV_Azambourg_20.10.21_SpreadFINAL.pdf 14 MB

Download the invitation here:

SN_Season XIX_Invitation.pdf 607 KB

IMAGES

Portrait image here
Context / Landscape / Process here
Objects here
Ensemble here

All photos: Margaux Nieto, courtesy of Spazio Nobile.


FRANÇOIS AZAMBOURG

CIAVMeisenthal_Azambourg_spazionobile_2021_suite_HR-93
CIAVMeisenthal_Azambourg_spazionobile_2021_suite_HR-93

François Azambourg explores the expressive potential of shaping materials and production processes, regardless of whether they are industrial or handmade, innovative or traditional. After training in electrical engineering in high school, he went on to study fine arts at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (National Fine Arts grand school), and then applied arts at ENSAAMA – Olivier de Serres (National School for Applied Arts and Crafts), in Paris. With a technical and artistic education, François Azambourg’s work is driven by research, an alliance between art and techniques, and a consideration for resources and streamlined design. His drawings are influenced by fabrication processes and the nature of the materials in use. While his production mainly focuses on designing furniture and lighting, François Azambourg also does scenography and theatre sets, and interior design for municipalities, hotels and individuals. Azambourg was a Laureate of the Villa Kujoyama in 2015, a recipient of the Grand Prix du Design de Paris in 2004, the Villa Médicis in 2003, the Prix de la Vocation of the Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet Foundation in 1993, the Fondation de France in 1988 and the Museum of Decorative Arts competition in 1985. The VIA has given him support through five project assistance grants, one Carte Blanche in 2005 and several Labels. His work has been exhibited several times, including at the Festhalle Frankfurt, Salone del Mobile in Milan, Maison & Objet, Paris Design Week D’Days, MAD - Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris, Villa Noailles, Palais de Tokyo and MNAM – Centre Pompidou  (National Museum of Modern Art). Some of his work is included in the collections of the FNAC (French National Fund for Contemporary Art), the Centre Pompidou, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris. François Azambourg has taught design for 20 years in several Parisian design schools such as École Boulle, École Camondo, and since 2003, ENSCI – Les Ateliers, the French national higher school of design, an interdisciplinary school for industrial design.


SPAZIO NOBILE STUDIOLO

Kaspar Hamacher & Jo Magrean, Duo Show
Fire of Joy

Artist-Designer Kaspar Hamacher and photographer Jo Magrean engage dialogue on the fertile ground of the Eastern Cantons of Belgium. Sublimating both the beauty of the forest and the textures of the wood, they make us feel the creative strength and the telluric matter of this Fire of Joy which feed our senses and the spheres of our life.

Story image

Download the invitation here:

FINAL_Invitation_Kaspar Hamacher x Jo Magrean.pdf 228 KB

 

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