Simon Vignaud, true magic in drawings
When you meet Simon Vignaud, you realize that the same charm and sensitivity exudes from him as from his drawings. It takes a little time to get into his very special atmosphere whether in Portugal or in Sicily, since all the works exhibited at Documents 15 (until February 3) are exceptionally intimate. Talking to him was an extra bonus. Trained as an architect in a family of artists, he worked with is partners on the rehabilitation of Musée de la Chasse with Claude d’Anthenaise in 2007 and on the Memorial de la Shoah in 2005. His grandfather Jacques Bié was a sculptor and a painter, his grandmother designed motifs for porcelain and fabrics, and his father was an urbanist as well as an architect. He developed his body of drawings while taking his students from ENSA Belleville on trips to Italy, Portugal, Malta and Spain. He teaches arts plastiques, along Jean Baptiste Sécheret and Erik Desmazières, in this architecture school where he was himself a student in 1974.
An active militant of the art of drawing, he is also a print maker when he finds the time for the long process. The works exhibited in this show are done in mine de plomb or in pierre noire, in ink, with a few prints and two lithographs which are sold with the catalog (200€). The majority of them are very architectural with views of Palermo’s “Porta Reale” or “Largo dei Cavalieri di Malta”, Genova’s “Harbor” and “View from Palazzo Rosso”… His steps and staircases are particularly fascinating as we can see in “Trepponti” in Comacchio, in the valley of the Pô. I also loved his views of Granada, Spain and his interiors of artists’ studios. The latest is of Hélène Garache‘s, a sculptor who passed away last April. He drew a large canvas of her studio as a memento of her sculptures and the space which has since disappeared.
While his city drawings are incredibly architectural and sensitive, his still lives of fruit and vegetable are very sculptural. The show extends from works made twenty years ago until today and the gallery is populated with visions of all these classical cities. Since his major activity is architecture, he had never taken the time to organise exhibitions. Besides his traveling visuals, more personal drawings of Gueuche and les Usières in Charente were exhibited last fall in Maubeuge and can be seen in the catalog. But they are not for sale.
This is yet another artist whom Mireille Romand puts forward in her pretty gallery of Documents 15, 15 rue de l’Echaudé. Do not miss the show (until February 3).