Sylvain Rieu-Piquet | Short-Lived Love

  • Matt Towndrow
  • Teddy Freeman

Carpenters Workshop Gallery presents the digital exhibition Short-Lived Love, by the French multidisciplinary artist Sylvain Rieu-Piquet. The exhibition centres on the hybrid forms of Rieu-Piquet’s ceramic vessels and bronze mirrors. A selection of works from the digital exhibition will also be on display at Carpenters Workshop Gallery Paris. Rieu-Piquet’s ceramic vases exude an abstract organic imagery, yet the artist defines himself as neither a ceramicist, nor inspired by nature. He draws inspiration only from his own imagination, and chooses to work with clay as its plasticity is the ideal medium through which to express his visionary forms. The designs of each vase fluidly cycle between various states of creation and deconstruction. Rieu-Piquet’s appreciation of botanical literature give his floral motifs philosophical and psychological significance, whereas other vases incorporate oceanic and coral-like imagery, as if artefacts from lost civilisations on the sea floor. Experiments with glazes, as well as firing the clay at low temperatures, provide unexpected results and visual juxtapositions between matt, translucent, and reflective finishes. The artist allows naivety to guide his tactile process, relying more on instinct than experience. However, fractures and folds push the clay to its breaking point, revealing Rieu-Piquet’s mastery over the material. His mirrors convey the same appreciation for winding forms, born from Rieu-Piquet’s prior work as a successful illustrator. Details and shapes are sketched out, lead by the artist’s emotional explorations and his affinity with the Art Nouveau movement. Rieu-Piquet’s densely detailed artworks operate on both a micro and macroscopic level, sculptural manifestations of the artist’s subconscious. Paris 7th July 2022