photo: Jean-Pierre Loubat

Isabelle de Scitivaux

Metal Woman

Isabelle de Scitivaux conceives her sculptures to the extent of the place they invest and the spectator who paces the spaces. The place of exhibition becomes the material of her sculpture as much as the metallic or rattan wires that she assembles and models to create shapes that spread in the rooms. She reinterprets space, proposes a new reading of the place that takes shape through the works. Her art is contextual, it takes into account the architecture of the place, its history and its emotional charge.
When in Volterra she created an immense dragon in a vaulted room with a pigeon-feathered floor, her sculpture resonated with the history of the city whose coat of arms was adorned with a dragon and a griffin and whose door handles are decorated with bats. She leads us into a phantasmagoric world where the feathers of the birds become part of the fiction imagined by the artist which then becomes magically anchored in reality.
Similarly, the occupation of the B gallery of Nimes by two elephants was born of the desire to propose a saturation of the room by an animal whose presence and density were not perceptible by heavy weight and masses but by a maximal sit in of the gallery. One of the pachyderms was inscribed in the space of a vault and fitted to the walls in the manner of a bas-relief, the other spread out over the whole gallery space. This spatial writing between full and empty, the emergence of a form and the fragility of representation is one of the constants of her work.
Influenced very early by the Japanese culture of which she is close by her origins, she works her sculptures in the manner of a calligrapher whose technique requires not only a mastery of the hand that traces the sign but also an investment of the whole body and a control of the energies that pass through it. As in calligraphy, Isabelle de Scitivaux uses the whole of her body to create her monumental sculptures as spider’s web. The gesture, the form, the idea are only one and the same thing, and the plastic solutions she invents are always the simplest, the most obvious, the most concise.
When sculpting a mountain, she relies on the process that has generated their formation (vertical pressure and condensation) to tension the threads and model them by controlling each of her gestures to create the wished volume. The movement she imparts to the material also takes into account the passage of time, the erosion that softens the outlines and sculpts the landscape. For this realisation, the choice of the monumental scale was imposed from the start, the sculpture becoming a real habitable space in which the spectator can enter in the manner of an architecture.
One of the great wealth of the sculpture of Isabelle de Scitivaux is to allow the multiplicity of points of view on the objects and to act on our perceptions. Depending on the position of the spectator, the mountain spreads out  or compresses, the lines are superimposed or separate. The artist makes the spectator active, prompts him to set himself in motion to question his vision of reality.
In her sculptures, the process of creation and assembly is never hidden, all the points of connection between the threads are visible The economy of means is always searched. Sometimes the sculpture is duplicated by its shadow carried by the illumination or the reflection on the mirror surface of a mirror of water; The sculpture then becomes a real optical trap for the viewer.

Alongside her artistic approach in the galleries and traditional places of exhibition, Isabelle de Scitivaux develops a work in partnership with brands such as Lafuma or more recently Le Printemps Haussmann. As part of this last project, she designed nine sculptures of monumental flowers and giant insects whose luminous beauty radiated into the street. All of a sudden, the look of the passerby is caught, the latter is invited to an unexpected aesthetic experience. He stops for a moment to contemplate these singular objects so far removed from the commodities to which he is accustomed. These creations are for the artist a way of touching another audience, they are manifestoes, poetic and political objects inscribed in the city, which transform the daily life and give to dream a world where art and life would be one and the same thing.

Martine Guillerm

Isabelle de Scitivaux © 2019