Galerie Adriano Ribolzi rolled out the red carpet Thursday evening for the opening of a two-week exhibition by Corinne Chauvet, winner of the GemlucArt 2016.
The Grand Prix d’Art Contemporain Gemlucart is an international competition under the Honorary Presidency of HRH Princess of Hanover and awarded by the Gemluc, the Group of Monaco Enterprises in the fight against cancer, which since its creation in 1973, has donated €1,920,000 worth of equipment to various hospitals, including the Princess Grace in Monaco.
Ms Chauvet exquisitely epitomises the 2016 theme, Explosion of Joy (“Fous Rires”), with her 44 clay sculptures and paintings, each of which offer an extension of the artist’s own enlightened disposition.
“I am honoured to win this award, but equally as moved by the warmth and welcome I have received here in Monaco,” Ms Chauvet, who studied art history and visual arts at the Paul Valéry University Montpellier and the University of Leicester, told Monaco Life. “And it’s wonderful that GemlucArt is in support of the fight against cancer.”
As an artist-in-residence, Ms Chauvet has been influenced from her time in León in northwest Spain, and the small pottery town of Shigaraki in Japan. “I didn’t know Japan at all when I arrived,” the award-winning potter shared. “I discovered an international community, with a mix of rich cultures and exchanges.”
She was also introduced to a population with kindness and warmth, which she says is a contrast to the French. “While the French have everything to be happy about,” she commented, “they are always complaining while in less affluent countries, people smile and support each other.” This distinction influenced her work.
Her serenity and ability to live in the moment is apparent in her Buddhist-like miniature sculptures, each of which tells a tale although Ms Chauvet says she does not attach a specific story to a specific work during the artistic process. “I want to create an energy that represents the Buddhist mentality and that speaks to people and makes them smile.”
This synergy is something the artist works on daily. “I nearly lost part of my arm in an accident four years ago,” Ms Chauvet shared. “I work with my hands and this was terrifying. But I was able to find inner peace at the possibility.” She said that ever since, she takes time every day to remind herself of what is important in life.
She added, “For me, art is the ability to nourish each sculpture as I nourish each of my children.”
Ms Chauvet accompanied Princess Caroline on a tour of her work in the standing-room only gallery.
GemlucArt awards seven prizes as decided by a jury of museum curators and art critics. The 2016 judges were: Jean-Pierre Pastor (President), Guillaume Barclay (Vice-President), Doctor Beatrice Brych (President of GEMLUC), Adriano Ribolzi, François-Xavier Ciais, Frank Michel, Ondine Roman, Michele Beddington, Mercedes Duerinckx (with the assistance of Nathalie de Weerdt) and Clivio Piccione.
The 2017 edition – the ninth year of the competition – brings the work of a hundred artists to Monaco, and helps to raise money for clinical cancer research, support cancer patients and their families as well as to contribute to the prevention, detection, and care of the disease.
This year’s edition runs from October 11 to 16 at Auditorium Rainier III.
Observing from a corner his sister with Princess Caroline, Ms Chauvet’s brother was brought to tears. “Corrine has worked so hard, and we lost our father only two weeks ago. He would have been as proud as I am.”
Corrine Chauvet’s exposition runs until September 30 at Galerie Adriano Ribolzi (3 ave de l’Hermitage), open Tuesday to Saturday, 9:30 am-12:30 pm and 2:30 pm-7 pm.