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  • Catalogue Essay

    Where to rest your cup or eye? Little matter, a cyclone leaves no time for idle worries. A climatic scene is at play, climactic too: under pressure seams split, fronts shift. In his recent work with sculpted bronze, steel, and wood, French designer Vincent Dubourg captures the decisive moment. In doing so he evokes a universal truth: things fall apart, new forms rise up. His constructions, in a fluxed state of dissipation and development, supersede mere functionality.
     
    Dubourg’s bronze ‘Vent sur la table’ (Wind on the table), 2008, comprises sculpted branches joined with intersecting rectangular panels which represent sections of fractured wall. In a violent play of expression, organic offshoots challenge brittle geometry. Above it all, the wind vents its rage: three fluted Empire legs (the fourth has blown away) float through the swirl like tornado debris. Denuded branches convey a wintery mood—apocalyptic is not too strong a word. Perversely, Dubourg embellishes his bronze panels with raised rosettes and scrolling foliate borders, a formalised wallpaper in counterpoint to the wild mess and lack of leaves.
     
    Dubourg’s studied combination of interior and exterior motifs—antique furniture, wallpaper; branches, wind—creates a surprising balance. Ruptured planes shift apart; they also join together, although the combination is one of fragments (Picasso would have been proud). Dubourg states, "When I first started with wood, it was like a game between two people, each trying to tame the other: a young branch, inflexible, and me, demanding. And this led us to find a harmony together, which is translated into a dance of curves.” Man vs. Nature, that old saw, blows in through the window. But what conflict has raged longer? Dubourg’s console, a distillation of that grand conceit, aspires to the unbowed wild—those branches will snap back—but relies on human ingenuity: it needs those Empire legs to stand.

 

18

‘Vent sur la Table’

2008
Bronze.
97.5 x 152.5 x 52 cm. (38 5/8 x 60 x 20 1/2 in.)
Produced by Atelier Vincent Dubourg, France. Number one from the edition of eight. Underside incised with artist's signature and '1 / 8'.

Estimate
£18,000 - 22,000 

Design

15 Oct 2009
London