PONTOREAU, Surveyor of the Imagination
To describe Daniel Pontoreau’s works in the same manner as objets d’art, long privileged by sculpture, is to offer a restricted view of the artist’s practice. Art, artists – the terms don’t seem to fit such a strong, singular oeuvre.
How can Pontoreau be described? As a ceramicist? – that would be to limit him to the primitive material he employs. As an architect? – there is no building which could hold the expansive forms which he defines and delineates. A poet of ‘interior spaces’ ? (as he was once described) – though here poet must be understood in its first sense – as someone who creates, who gives form to the imagined, without prior conceptualisation. What are his territories? We return to the earth. The earth handled and shaped by this insatiable traveler, who goes on, endlessly seeking out unknown places.
Actions respond to desire, and the space opens around the place in which Pontoreau’s object takes its form. This form creates distance between itself and its surrounds – a distance which is emphasized in meetings (of figures, dimensions, consistency, material…)
Earth, wood, metal sheets, wires, and mirrors are incorporated into the construction of objects, described by the artist as ‘bêtes’ – spontaneous, immediate and physical.
Pontoreau writes: “Like Henri Michaux, I would like to be able to draw the scents which drift between people. I am interested in concepts, in signs, which can be perceived by people of all cultures. There is a language of forms which speaks to everyone.”
I could not better describe the work of this surveyor of the imagination. Georges Raillard
Daniel Pontoreau was born in Paris in 1947, and continues to live and work in the city. The artist has exhibited internationally, with recent exhibitions including:Galerie Fatiha Selam Paris, ‘8 artistes et la terre’, held at Erskine, Hall & Co, in London’s Mayfair (2013), and the Musée Ariana, Geneva (2012); ‘Doki Doki’, at the Gifu Museum, Japan.; and ‘Métissage’, at the Musée des Beaux Arts, Lyon. Pontoreau’s work is featured in the public collections of: the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Strasbourg; the Musée de Shigaraki, Japan; and the Musée de Fuping, China, amongst others. The artist has produced a number of public installations for locations including the Ministry of Finance, Paris-Bercy CEACC, Strasbourg , and in Marseille, where his 40 tonne, polished-marble stone sits in a public square.