Posted on: Sunday, May 29, 2022

A new work of art exhibited in the middle of nature: Colliers Or by Jean-Michel Othoniel

© Arthur Péquin

A few metres from Rondinone’s Sun, from bronze to gold, from a huge circle to a discreet one, from the ground to the trees, visitors discover two stainless steel necklaces covered in gold leaf by the artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. These pieces Collier Or #3 and Collier Or #11 (2021) adorn a pair of lime trees, gracefully clinging to their old branches. A golden branch by the woods. A bench at the foot of a tree invites the solitary walkers to observe the variations in light on the beads with the passing hours pass and the changing sky. The hanging necklaces embody the poetic relationship with nature that the artist nurtures in hiswork. His aesthetics remains true to the notion of emotional geometry. Through the repetition of modular elements, such as these beads – his most common motif – he creates sculptures whose relationship to human scale varies from the intimate to the monumental. Here he celebrates the intimate, as if his delicate jewels had acquired a special glow by melting into the perennial vegetation and taking on an almost architectural form. Like a fragile and shinyjewellery case protected by the strength of a tree, like a treasure lost in nature that only the birds, the leaves and the eyes of attentive visitors, as they look up, will honour. Living in trees, like a necklace made of gold leaves: only the poetry of an artist such as Jean-Michel Othoniel could invite us to contemplate the beautiful and the absurd united in one momentum.