It has been decided: after a career spanning 50 years, Michel Bassompierre is striding forward with the publication of his first monograph. The time has come for the artist to come out from behind the shadows of his bears and gorillas and allow the light to shine upon the scope of work that has been his driving force in life. The two hundred pages that make up the publication allow the reader to follow the path of an artistic journey through a selection of archives, sketches, photographs, and texts. A series of upcoming events will culminate in the release of this long awaited work, expected in April, and edited by Albin Michel from his prestigious department of fine books. A rare and precious peek into the private domain of the artist, who is opening the door to his world: an ode to wilderness of intense beauty.
Painting fifty years of creation: This is the challenge that this book takes up, which examines the career of one of the most talented and emblematic animal artists of our contemporary period. While our societies have moved away from nature and the animal world, Michel Bassompierre has never ceased to take hold of them, fascinated and fascinating. Through sculpture, he conveys the majesty of these subjects that we have forgotten to admire, from which we have increasingly eroded vital space and existence today more than ever. They are remembered then to us and through the artist, impose their charisma as much as their lines, perfect and royal. For Michel Bassompierre, it is an endless subject: the magic of nature operates, dominates, continuously nourishes him. In this line, who more sensitive to the question than Nicolas Hulot to introduce the work of Michel Bassompierre? He signs, with his words and his convictions, the preface to this monograph, the fruit of passions and encounters.
The virtuosity of Michel Bassompierre as well as his unique place in the field of art today, have seduced this beautiful publishing house that is Albin Michel and in particular Nicolas de Cointet, director of the fine books department who chooses to make it one of these ten annual publications. This relationship between the artist and the publisher was made possible by the intermediary of another personality dear to Michel Bassompierre, Rémy Marion, naturalist, and author in particular of the book "The bear, the other of the 'man' (2018). If his words resonate with the work of the sculptor, the images that Remy Marion brings back as a director in the field come to feed him directly because it is not only a question of the animal in Michel Bassompierre's work but also of restoring movement. This is one of the most uplifting characteristics of his work, the life that quivers in bronze or marble. To account for this, the artist called on the photographer Gaël Arnaud. Operating in the field of architecture, fashion or advertising, the latter magnifies volumes, the subtle light that caresses them and knows how to make the line vibrant and its curves so plastic.
More at ease with his fingers in the earth than for big speeches, Michel Bassompierre however confided on his career and his approach to Marie Groneau, editor specializing in the visual arts, for a series of interviews. Perfectly at ease in this kind of exercise, his pen was able to transcribe with talent, the career and the sensitivity of this discreet artist. In addition, this monograph is punctuated by contributions from gallery owners, collectors, scientists, journalists, elected officials but also founders who are part of the artist's ecosystem: They present their point of view on this long-term work and on the man who gave him life whose modesty does not suggest that he has exhibited throughout the world.