Le Sacre de la Matière
In September 2021, ‘Le Sacre de la Matière’ ushered in its second chapter at the Ancienne Nonciature. Bringing together ten artists represented by Spazio Nobile, the exhibition showcases unique new artworks united around the evocative theme of sacred materialities.
In September 2021, Le Sacre de la Matière ushered in its second chapter at the Ancienne Nonciature. Bringing together ten artists represented by Spazio Nobile, the exhibition showcases unique new artworks united around the evocative theme of sacred materialities.
The Ancienne Nonciature is well known as a heritage site, an emblem of the period when it housed the embassy of the Vatican to Brussels as the residence of Cardinal Pecci, the papal nuncio who later became Pope Leon XIII. After its first edition in 2020, Le Sacre de la Matière is returning to this elegant historic building, which has become a prominent meeting place for the art scene. With its carefully preserved aura, the Ancienne Nonciature offers an aesthetic respectful of the past, as well as a beautiful texture and quality of space and light. Formerly dedicated to the splendours of the church, it is now an “Embassy of the Arts”. The daring and perseverance of owner Anne Derasse in the restoration of the site, united with the artistic vision of her companion Jörg Bräuer, led them on a quest for a new, modern identity, through the hosting of selective art exhibitions. At their invitation, Lise Coirier and Gian Giuseppe Simeone, art historians and founders of Spazio Nobile, first took on this unique artistic adventure. With this second exhibition “outside the walls” of the gallery, they are bringing their philosophy and culture of authenticity at the crossroads of fine and applied arts to the site.
In 2021, the featured artists of Le Sacre de la Matière include Anne Derasse and Jörg Bräuer themselves, alongside Ernst Gamperl, Kaspar Hamacher, Amy Hilton, Silvano Magnone, Élise Peroi, Päivi Rintaniemi, Bela Silva and Fabian von Spreckelsen.
Ernst Gamperl’s masterful corpus of 20 sculptures, hollowed out to the thinnest skin of the tree, creates an impression of a forest with unique essences, patinas and oxidations. Placing them on Kaspar Hamacher’s burnt monoxyle Table Beams, creates a visual counterweight to the lightness of the turned wood. In his timeless works, Ernst Gamperl reveals the visible in the invisible, in reference to the Japanese culture of emptiness – U-Tsu-Wa – meaning vessel, emptiness, universe. This meditative installation unites East and West, across a universal culture of art.
Kaspar Hamacher’s Mother Earth spheres have been turned, burned and brushed to evoke the fertility of woman and nature in peril. Imbued with the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, he uses Douglas pine from the Eastern Cantons in these works, which plunge us into the abyss of our origins. The earthly power of his conceptual, methodical and monoxyle works is strongly felt in his new creations, sculpted with fire: Der Stein and Burnt Sculpture Bench.
With her aesthetic blending nobility, sensitivity and authenticity, Anne Derasse displays her creations, which include the Hildegarde console in hammered iron and smoked eucalyptus, her Athénaïs coffee table and Viktor & Viktoria benches in elegant leather ‘braid, as well as the Adélaïde table-bench, covered in silk velvet. She designs her projects like a Gesamtkunstwerk, incorporating her furniture within them, to express a timeless yet paradoxically modern universe.
In his new collodion series, Aigua Xelida, Jörg Bräuer cites “this place where the eternal inevitably keeps company with the ephemeral. Girona’s Mediterranean coastline, composed of sheer rocks, majestic pines, polarising light, and trees that shiver in the breeze, constitute the motif of this series.” In his Terra Temporis paintings, the artist explores the theme of the landscape in abstract form, intensifying the alteration of the material and the entropy.
Amy Hilton is stirred by the sensitive dialogue between man and the universe. Seeking harmony between the earth and the cosmos, the artist created the diptychs Luminous blue (Devotion to a noble spiritual ideal) and Luminous violet (higher spirituality). Finding inspiration in Charles W. Leadbeater’s The Visible and Invisible Man and the theories of Rudolph Steiner on the nature of colours and the aura, she examines the invisible bodies of people, exploring emotional states and colours of the soul.
Silvano Magnone brings a sense of the sacred to the portrait and the still life. Following Dialogues, he continues to work on the meeting between Man and Nature. This new cycle is the result of several outings in the Sonian forest. Magnone plunges us into a forest of beeches with elongated bodies and twisted branches. An appreciation of slowness remains his “modus vivandi”, far removed from the cliché of landscape photography.
The diaphanous and architectural installation La Forêt by textile artist Élise Peroi, interweaves painted linen and silk thread in a symphony of vegetal shades. Her artworks invite immersion and wandering, with the dense foliage and the alternating shadows and light that escape from it; we feel the fragility of the being and the need for a tighter and more sensitive connection with nature.
Finnish artist Päivi Rintaniemi’s ceramic sculptures are meditative. The organic, folded and split shapes are a metaphor for the sensitive and spiritual relationship of man and nature: Ameona, Adspectrum, Ara, Confido, Domus, Filius, Thesaurus. Chamotte stoneware comes to life under a delicate touch that brings forth round and harmonious surfaces: cracked seashells, chrysalides, nests or corollas. Calix, the centrepiece of her recent eponymous exhibition, brings forth a meditative and mystical chalice. At the heart of her creations, we find an alliance of strength and fragility, reflecting the miracle of life.
Shaped and enamelled, Bela Silva’s “Simplicités blanches” are positioned in the diaphanous atmosphere of the first floor. Two large Baroque sculptures from the artist, “Rome me manque…”, flank the hearth and the double doors with their transoms decorated with bas-reliefs, creating a space full of the joy of homecoming. Silva makes reference to cultural artistic movements, reinterpreting them in a universe of shapes, where the animal and vegetal worlds meet as part of a mythology that she reinvents.
Combining two organic materials, weathered iron and tanned leather, Fabian von Spreckelsen presents a new collection of seven cabinets, each symbolising an important stage in his existence. The ritual lies in the simple gesture of lifting the leather to reveal the interior of the furniture-sculpture. “In life, we reach different stages; periods punctuated by experiences and discoveries. The cabinets refer to the objects of this daily, emotional and spiritual experience.”
Interweaving meditation, reflections on the sublime, nature and mankind, Le Sacre de la Matière and its themes are embraced in their full meaning in this once-sacred place.
Le Sacre de la Matière ran from 9 September to 3 October, 2021 at Ancienne Nonciature.