Alain Séchas in Paris Musée Bourdelle : “Rêve Brisé”, a never ending dream

Paris Musée Bourdelle often welcomes living artists (previously, Henry Moore) and for this new exhibition, Alain Séchas has worked in relation with the world and art of Antoine Bourdelle.

The magnificent cat in the poster, sitting in front of a Bourdelle’s nude bronze might sign an important evolution in Séchas universe, up to now mostly composed of stylized white cats.

As in this 2002 installation in Salpétrière church, called les Somnambules (the sleepwalkers)

Since I have seen these half human cats wandering in circle around the frozen canopy bed of a wide awake catlike princess, I kept being interested by Séchas work.

And this last one is worth visiting.

In the museum ‘s great hall, among Bourdelle’s sculptures, Alain Séchas white centaur stands like on a scene, brighty lighted every fifteen minutes. It has taken the usual place of one of Bourdelle’s Dying Centaurs, which is waiting in a nearby room with a clock called Gong, showing hour and date since the beginning of Séchas exhibition.

The Dying Centaur is a major mythological figure in Bourdelle’s work, and in the museum, you may find another one in Bourdelle’s studio, and another more in the inner garden.


They do look alike, for Alain Séchas’centaur is made of white polyester, from the moulds made for the bronze versions of Bourdelle’s scuplture. It’s not called Dying Centaur but Rêve Brisé (Broken Dream). Broken dream of a creature not only half human, half animal but half human, half god too.

So every fifteen minutes, after light has come on the white centaur, it starts slowly collapsing.

It comes more and more to pieces as it falls.

And at the end of the process, its head bangs against the ground.

But after a while, it starts rising from the dead.

Until it’s completely up and restored.

And then light fades out, and fifteen minutes later, the centaur dies and comes back to (still) life.

Though of course, it is the movement (in circle) which sighs the artist’s singularity in his tribute to Bourdelle.

In other rooms are shown pastels, pencil, paintings made by Séchas without preliminary drawing, in a continuity of time, on a rotating support. Like le plaisir, four acrylic paintings on cartboard :

Or Criterium, named after a famous pencil pen trademark :

or Ping Pang Pong :

All titles testify of the artist’s sense of humor.

Alain Séchas, Rêve Brisé, Musée Bourdelle, 18 rue Antoine Bourdelle, Metro Montparnasse, everyday  except Monday 10 to 18, entrance 5 euros, up to August 24. Tel : 33(0)1 49 54 73 73.

It might be worth while calling, for the first time I came to visit this exhibition, the centaur’s mecanism was out of order, and could be fixed only the next Monday (while the museum was closed).



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