Germaine Richier’s « Les visiteurs »

from 17 June to 29 October 2023

A century after their first meeting, sculptor Germaine Richier is reunited with her teacher Antoine Bourdelle at the Donjon de Vez, where her funny animal-headed visitors are escorted by the chapel’s gargoyles.

An ecological visionary, the woman who was nicknamed the Sorcière royale (the royal witch), places as much value on animal life as she does on human life. Fascinated by insects, and all of those miniscule lives that she dissected and reproduced in her engravings, Germaine Richier announces the mutation of the human being with Nature. The artist’s mythology is marked by a certain violence, its creatures alternating between prehistory and science-fiction. She creates transgender persons, with no identity, humanoids with grasshopper legs. Skeletal bodies where shreds of flesh are fossilised on bones to better express the passage from life to death.