A monumental monograph tracing ten years of the French sculptor's practice over some 500 pages, with an interview and five essays.
It is with remarkable technical skill that Jean-Marie Appriou (born 1986 in Brest, France) takes control of sculptural materials—aluminum, bronze, glass, clay, wax—to envisage fantastical worlds inhabited by human, animal and vegetal figures. Through their skillfully constructed scale, his often imposing works nevertheless maintain an intimate relationship with the viewer, as if to better communicate their disturbing strangeness.
Deeply dreamlike, Appriou's material universe is imbued with telluric concerns approached from an original perspective: that of the legendary. Horses, snakes, locusts, sharks and seahorses compose a bestiary charged with powerful symbolism. They evolve in a dream realm, a marvelous natural world that becomes a theater of striking characters. Sowers, gatherers, beekeepers and Japanese Ama divers—all represent figures of passage and transformation. The transition between elements—from the aquatic to the aerial, from the underground to the terrestrial—is one of the central themes of the artist's work.
From archaic ages to futuristic civilizations, between dinosaurs and child astronauts, Appriou produces visions on the edge of psychedelia, mixing pop culture and mythologies from Greek and Egyptian antiquity to science fiction. His sculpture combines the allegorical and the sensual, leaving his fingerprints visible on the material. He weaves a paradoxical narrative that unites the past and the future, the ideal and the perceptible, in a series of hallucinatory ecstasies.
Appriou's work has been exhibited at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; the Palais de Tokyo
, Paris; the Fondation Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; the Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles; the Abattoirs museum, Toulouse; the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Consortium Museum
, Dijon; The Villa Medici, Roma and the Biennale de Lyon. He was invited by the Public Art Fund to present a group of sculptures at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza at the southeast entrance to Central Park in New York, at the Château de Versailles and at the Vienna Biennale. His works have been the subject of solo gallery exhibitions at Perrotin, Shanghai; Jan Kaps, Cologne; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich and New York; Kaikai Kiki, Tokyo; C L E A R I N G, New York, Brussels and Los Angeles and MASSIMODECARLO, London.