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Michèle Chast est née et travaille à Paris. Après des études de stylisme, elle pratique le dessin et la sculpture sur des modèles vivants aux ateliers des Beaux Arts. L’étude des formes et des matières et sa passion pour Camille Claudel, Alberto Giacometti et Henry Moore, lui donne envie de travailler la terre et le bronze. Son modèle : la femme, son corps, ses attitudes et plus récemment le couple. Depuis ses débuts en 2002, le style de Michèle Chast évolue vers des formes et un style plus épuré et plus contemporain et donne à ses sculptures plus de mouvement et de modernité.

Artiste engagée, sculpteur de l’âme,

Michèle Chast vit et travaille à Paris.

Ses oeuvres sont présentées dans plusieurs galeries françaises et étrangères.

Et depuis peu dans le  jardin d’un magnifique Palais italien transformé en maison d’hôtes par le Chef Guy Martin.

Le Palazzo Maritati e Muci dans le village du Salento, en Italie.

MICHÈLE CHAST, HER ART, HER WORK

Sculpture was the very first man-made thing to exist when the abilities of Palaeolithic craftsman evolved beyond the utilitarian manufacture of tools and weapons. This, of course, was many, many millennia before the slightest notion of art had any significance and, indeed, long before the advent of history itself as a coherent account of human doings. These prehistoric sculptures, then, are old images of the female form, the so-called "Venuses" named after the locales of their discovery, Willendorf, Savignano, Laussel and others. They are the works of men actually and acquainted with the concept of beauty as an aspect of mental contemplation, and yet they possess such inherent aesthetic character and spiritual immanence that the contemporary eye sees them as works of art no less true to life than any sculpture created since, amongst which, needless to say, evocations of the female form have for centuries produced countless masterpieces. Next to none of these, however, have been created by woman, a poignant proof of social and marital constraints. Time, though, has begun to set things right, and the past century brought eloquent evidence of a feminine, one might almost say maternal, command of the dynamics of sculptural accomplishment.

It is consequently appropriate to approach the works of art made by Michèle Chast as her own challenge to The Academic idea of an artist's raison d'être. The sculpture produced by her meets this challenge head-on and comes away with felicitous aplomb. Like every artist sensible and sensitive enough to see that the road to fulfilment is found to be long and hard, Michèle Chast wisely sets out a path made less taxing buy the example of a forerunner of rare creative integrity and pure representational purpose, Henri Laurens. After a preliminary, but distinguished brush with Cubism, Laurens devoted his maturity entirely to sculptural exploration of the female form as nature's supreme expression of human life. These works barked back in no way to the so-called Palaeolithic goddesses of love and beauty but sprang nonetheless from a kindred spirit of awe before the generative grandeur of women's biological magnitude. Chast's creative imagination was sufficiently robust, however, to make use of Laurens's experience as a spiritual affinity rather than a stylistic influence. One might observe that her sculpture speaks the same language but has something quite different, something subtly original, to say.

The expressive quality of Michèle Chast's sculpture, what distinguishes her art and suffuses her œuvre, is a significant conflux of coherent forms figuratively composed for the ideal contemplation of her own sex and for imaginative communion with all of womanhood. In this, perhaps one way suggests that she, too, evokes the eternal femininity of the prehistoric Venuses, while, of course, by no means emulating their disproportionate physical shapes. Sensuous, sometimes sensual, contours of Chast's sculptures are so serene and sensitive even in expressions of intense feeling they make no concession to facility of effect. We are never in the presence of technical affectation or strident sensation. On the contrary, indeed, from figurative figure, the artist addresses both her works and her spectators with creative modesty and professional self-effacement. At the same time, though, the œuvre stands - or reclines - before us with the confident authority of well-disciplined vision and gracious feminine competence. The artistry is gifted, seasoned, dexterous, imaginative, versatile, beautiful. It is accordingly the privilege of an enlightened public to appreciate - to applaud ! - spirited and winning sculpture, the art, the œuvre of Michèle Chast.

James Lord - Art Critic and Biographer of Giacometti

THE SCULPTOR IS AN ALCHEMIST

Standing before a lump of clay, damp from the earth.

He transforms this unformed mass and allows it to invade the surrounding space.

It is thus that Michèle Chast brings matter to life.

Her knife attacks, cuts, pierces, fashions it.

Little by little, the contours of the work appear, its angles, curves, plains and hollows. As Yves Klein rightly said she ‘works with the forces of space’.

 

Creation is an adventure, maturation.

To create is to seek immortality, to defy time, to become closer to the Gods.

It is poetry torn apart, a crazed act of love,

which is neither reasonable nor unreasonable.

It is relentless, a dual, a fight between life and death.

It is both pain and happiness, passion, a birth and rebirth.

It’s a wail, a rejoicement, a cry.

To create is volition, an interrogation, a strive for a form of serenity;

it is an offering. ​

Michèle Chast’s sculptures incorporate all this.

They are for her a natural means of expression,

a way to reach the limit of her ideas.

 

Her work is neither light nor ephemeral,

rather it accompanies life and gives it meaning.

Her art is energetic and powerful;

it is a whisper, a metamorphosis.

All this enables her to break free of her chains and to tear down the thickest walls.

 

From these works emotion is born.

These sculptures where light and shadow, evoking antique Venuses,

the works of Henri Laurens, Germaine Richier and Henry Moore.

We are in the presence of an artist whose creative spirit matches her remarkable talent.

 

Michel Chast (extract)