La Cascade

Thierry Dufourmantelle’s Cascade is a major work in the Collection. The suspensions suggest the movement of a waterfall. Poetry and lightness… all in concrete and steel.

The poetic universe that is mine today is situated between abstraction and figuration: it is a universe of evocation. There are strange architectures that evoke temples, castles, boats or primitive dwellings.” (Extract from the catalogue Thierry Dufourmantelle – Sculptures – May 2011)

The sculptor Thierry Dufourmantelle certainly owes his passion for the science of materials to his first training as an architect. During a residency at Casa Vélasquez in 1986, he began to develop the technique of partitioned cement: evocative shapes, such as crescents or flints, are cast in cement, held together by welded steel bars. Their surfaces are treated with pigmented coatings before being sanded. These subtly modelled elements are suspended from a rigid structure by metal rods, thus tracing a pattern in space.

In La Cascade, the sensation of movement suggested by this device is further accentuated by the gradual descent of the shapes. Made of iron and cement, the drops of strange shapes that we sometimes think we recognise cascade down. They remain suspended in space on metal rods, like puppets locked in their cages waiting for the performance. Everything is motionless, silent, the masses heavy, and the counterpoint, at the top, of curved, slender lines, but one nevertheless has the sensation of a movement that the gradual descent of the forms accentuates.

Thierry Dufourmantelle

Born in 1953 in Neuilly sur Seine

From 1971 to 1982, he studied at the Beaux-Arts de Paris, first architecture for four years and then sculpture, with CESAR, LEBEL and WALBERG.

In 1984 he was awarded the Casa Velasquez prize in sculpture, and in 1984 he moved to Madrid for two years, mainly to Palma de Mallorca. Using steel, driftwood and cement in an original way, he developed various techniques that renewed his approach to sculpture.

Between 1986 and 2000, Thierry made a living from his sculpture and exhibited both abroad (Austria, Spain, USA) and in France (Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Galerie Gérard Lauby, Galerie Marc Espinosa, Galerie Pierre Nachbaur, Galerie Ackka Valmay, Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes, etc.). He created a number of monumental sculptures (Antony, Ramatuelle, Valencienne) and fountains (Montpellier, Luberon). He also works regularly with the world of theatre through his scenic sculptures.

Since the year 2000, passionate about the world of manipulated theatre and video, he has shot and edited more than a hundred short films on the so-called “Puppet Shows” of the last ten years.

Scenographer of about ten shows, Thierry also makes animated films at the crossroads of manipulation and digital technology.

After training in art therapy at the Institut National d’Expression, de Création, d’Art et Transformation (INECAT), he runs workshops, projects and training courses. These creative adventures take place either with people in difficulty, or with adults in training, or within the framework of companies (interventions at INECAT with art therapists, at the Jean Macé centre with autistic people, at the “Carpeaux – Maison Blanche centre” with people in psychological fragility, with the companies Syngenta and P Val).

He is involved in the running of a Parisian association called “Le Local” which combines the organisation of amateur artistic practices with the presentation of professional shows.