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Francis Beboux (1915-2015)

Price Tax incl.:
7500 EUR

Sculpture in welded iron Mounted as a sconce Signed Circa 1970-1975 H: 91.5 cm - W: 143 cm In 1915, Rosa and Francis Béboux moved to Neuallschwil, where their son Francis was born on December 10 of the same year. The years of childhood and youth Francis Béboux shared with his older brother Ernst, his younger brother René and his younger sister Ruth left a deep impression on him. Francis Béboux likes to reminisce. He recounts vividly and picturesquely how he watched the old master carpenter Jehle at work. It was there that he learned how to use a sculptor's chisel, how to work wood, and how to turn a piece of junk into a miniature airplane. Young Francis also enjoyed stopping off at the village locksmith's and tinsmith's, where he got his first impressions. He was proud to be able to help the mechanics at Erhard and Dalward's car garage with odd jobs. This childhood, devoid of all pampering, nonetheless bequeathed him a wealth of practical examples and a genuine sense of esteem, leaving a strong imprint on the artist's later life. The story of how little Francis came to own a bicycle is a case in point. This anecdote, which certainly belongs to a bygone era and is recorded in the annals of the village of Allschwil, is a good illustration of the tenacity and strength of character of this child who, as an adult, was able to harness this energy to work with the most intractable of materials. In the 1920s, a bicycle was not yet the everyday item that every child today owns, but it was once a luxury item for children, especially those from modest families. For letter carrier Béboux's family, a bicycle was a dream come true. In those days, the letter carrier made his rounds on foot. Engineers and other experts still marvel at the sovereignty with which Béboux works chromed steel, bronze and copper. Many Béboux admirers would like to spend a day observing him in his workshop, but to no avail. What's most striking about Béboux is his principle that no foreign hands are involved in the work. In autonomous work processes, the material is prepared, forged and welded; even the stone base on which the sculpture is anchored is first worked on by Béboux Schweissen himself. He combines the power of imagination with manual dexterity, artisanal technique with artistic creativity and the pride that once animated those who took part in building the great medieval cathedrals. The technique Béboux uses to weld and assemble different metals in his own unique way never ceases to amaze. The melting points of the different materials diverge enormously from one another - how does Béboux manage to combine them? The artist, who uses only a limited number of tools, essentially an electric welder, a hammer, an anvil and a cutting machine, is reluctant to divulge his secrets. He is reluctant to reveal a way of working that would undoubtedly be very difficult to pass on. When Francis Béboux says: "I am the greatest admirer of my creatures", this is not an expression of self-esteem or delusions of grandeur. It's characteristic that he doesn't speak of works, but expressly of "creatures". After an initial phase of composition, creatures develop a life of their own; their creator thus becomes their observer, and sometimes even, under certain conditions, their admirer or even critic. Béboux's respect for materials also makes him an admirer - indeed, he often makes his sculptures from scrap materials or metal fragments. Evolution is perpetual. For Francis Béboux, every day marks a new beginning, which constantly demands concentration on the essential, contributes to personal fulfillment and leads to new forms of artistic creation. Beginning and end merge in the process of artistic creation. It's always the beginning - and evolution knows no end. Meta Zweifel French translation: Marie-Claude Buch-Chalayer

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