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Wilfrid Almendra - Rock Garden

November 2, 2006 to January 13, 2007 - FRAC Collection Aquitaine

For this first monographic exhibition, Wilfrid Almendra presents a set of sculptures produced since 2001 throughout the FRAC Aquitaine space. Three new works are produced and shown on this occasion.

“When I look west, I feel something endless. »Led Zeppelin

As we speak Wilfrid Almendra tirelessly shapes one of his works. Like Bernard Moitessier gradually giving way, he opens his way, at the mercy of the elements and constrained by his own strength. There are aspects common to these two approaches to accomplishment through a determinate and indefinite act.

With “handcrafted Trow”, a series of mason's trowels reproduced by hand with rudimentary tools, Wilfrid Almendra borrows models and shapes from industrial processes, which he moves to another space. By confronting himself with his own means, by choosing an artisanal way of making, he delimits the perimeter of his action and gradually defines the scale 1 of his sculpture.

The hours spent shaping his pieces with meticulousness, absorb his days which pass in a few minutes, as in an interminable speeding violation. This methodology is at the heart of WA's work, it is decisive and initiates a movement back to the future.

Whether with "handcrafted Trow", "Handcrafted Pickax" a digger's pickaxe, "handmade guitar bodies" electric guitar bodies, or "Skateboard", a skateboard made of marble, Wilfrid Almendra draws on a library of common objects, from universes to which he is sensitive, subjects and forms that he puts to the test of a handmade art. All these referents are inevitably taken from their production chain, emerging from a piece of aluminum, a block of stone or a beech log, they reappear at the cost of considerable effort in a new light. Unlike Bertrand Lavier, who shows a skate mounted on a base, or manufactured objects painted in layers, those of Wilfrid Almendra are taken to heart. They constitute the elements of a language close to still life, to which we will prefer in this case, its Anglo-Saxon name “still life”.

His recent pieces approach this notion more precisely by favoring the association of different objects, shapes, materials and fabrication techniques. Recently presented at the Meymac art center, a large sculpture gives us an example.

It consists of a large snowplow shovel formed from steel plates, balanced on two stylized logs cut from wooden logs, and contains a tide of gravel deposited in the shape of a star exploded on the ground. Its important dimensions transport us rather in a landscape, but each of the elements remains distinct in this tangle. They are also the subject of special treatments, revealing a proximity to the decorative arts. The massive steel shovel is entirely sandblasted by hand, the logs which support it cut with a chainsaw are veined with scissors and pigmented, finally the modeled gravel reveals a series of waves contained in a template with acute angles. Between Waimea and Les Sables d'Olonnes, the alleys of the Jardin des Plantes and the riffs of Monster Magnet, Wilfrid Almendra composes with the universes that fascinate him and those that shape him.

“VLZ310”, a piece presented at the Buy-sellf Gallery in Marseille, in more domestic dimensions. It revolves around a ceramic pineapple fifty centimeters high set in a swimming pool porch supported on a steel wall. The care taken in the composition of this sculpture testifies to a pronounced taste for suburban culture, where from gardens to fences, everyone redoubles their creativity to enhance their environment, the diversity of effects ranging from enamel to gel coat are just as much. of clues.

Wilfrid Almendra's work has progressed, questioning the notion of object in the practice of sculpture through different postures. With “Parallel Bars”, a gymnastic apparatus whose bars make a bend, he diverts an object in the literal and figurative sense; With “ricochet track”, a sports pool intended to throw pebbles, he creates unexpected uses, an endearing and poetic relationship; With "handcrafted Trow", he revisits the standards and processes of manufactured objects, he re-evaluates the shapes

and products from industry. Through his recent sculptures and the exploration of these notions, Wilfrid Almendra unashamedly mixes references to the history of art with popular imagery and gives visitors an opportunity to visit a heritage of the common object, seen under a an angle both poetic and distant, charged with an optimism that our gaze had deprived it of.

Frédéric Latherrade

Curator: Frédéric Latherrade

Exhibition produced in collaboration with Zébra3 / Buy-Sellf

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