Transforming nature into art

Alchemist, Pierre Bonnefille transforms nature into art. With his powdered materials, he recreates the textures and colors of water and earth, sublimated by light.

Mural creations, furniture or paintings, each work of Pierre Bonnefille finds its origin in his passion for nature.

His awakening to art and beauty was made as much in contact with the countryside as in his great aunt’s painter’s studio. The hybridization between nature, applied arts, and design has always seemed obvious to him. If the Boulle School and the Decorative Arts brought him a whole range of know-how, it is through his experiments and his travels that his work with materials was built, crowned by the title of Master of Art, in 2010. In his studio, a library of pigments – some of which are no longer available – stands next to a vast shelf classifying by color the souvenirs brought back from his peregrinations, a veritable repertoire of inspiring forms. Here, the convolutions of a stone picked up in a Chinese river are echoed in his “rhizome” console from the “Metamorphosis” series; there, a flamboyant lacquer object refers to a screen from his “Urushi volcanic” series. Over the past twenty years, his discovery of Asia has been a source of new aesthetic explorations, as reflected in the exhibition of his work at the Musée national des arts asiatiques, Guimet, in September. From his stools with random shapes, like the stones of an African copper mine, to his “water foam” coffee table, conceived as a reminder of an Icelandic river, to his “bronze paintings” evoking the shimmering of water, each work transcribes an emotion felt in front of a landscape. Pierre Bonnefille observes nature under the microscope and puts his thoughts on paper with an intuitive drawing that serves as a framework for all his creations. The The effects of beetle shells are enlarged to the size of “Cortex” boxes, while those of fossilized textiles are intended to cover entire walls. The colors, which become matter through the play of powders, pigments, and coatings, come to life thanks to natural light, the light of the sun’s fire or the flame of a candle. From conception to completion, each of Pierre Bonnefille’s works is a mental landscape. His “Meditation Room” is an example of this, an immersion in his world with universal references.

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By Sophie Reyssat

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