31.5 x 24.5 cm
India ink on hand-made paper
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by Martin Kraft
Jean Mauboulès (born 1943 in Poey-de-Lescar, France) was 19 when he left his hometown to attend classes at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Initially interested in painting, he began to make sculptural works in the course of the 1960s, all the while continuing to work intensely in the medium of drawing, which Mauboulès associates with artistic freedom. Drawing lets him express his ideas immediately – unlike when making a sculpture. Although he also uses drawing to make sketches, studies, or designs, he also regards it as means of expression in its own right – one that is just as important to him as his sculptural techniques.
His investigation of plane and space focuses on the tension between movement and stasis, balance and imbalance, volume and immateriality and is based primarily on “mouvement bloqué,” or “mouvement arrêté.” He found iron, steel, and industrial glass to be ideal materials for this purpose, and up to the 1990s, the combination of metal and glass were a constant in Mauboulès’ sculptural oeuvre, which include free-standing and often large works, reliefs, floor pieces, and wall objects, such as “1986 – Nr. 27 – Skulptur.“ These works express the key theme of balance/imbalance and volume/immateriality by exploring the contrasting aspects of mass vs. transparency, heaviness vs. lightness, rough vs. polished surfaces, and rust red vs. greenish colors. In the early 1970s, he began to work with a third medium: glass collages made of hand-cut glass plates mounted on cardboard in metal frames. These come in many varieties, depending on how the lines are drawn as well as the shape, polish, and thickness of the glass, the latter of which results in different levels of transparency and intensity of green color. While “1974 – Nr. 16 – Glascollage” is fascinating because of its subtlety, the two-part work “1987 – Nr. 24 – Glascollage” is a remarkably powerful expression of the theme “mouvement arrêté.”
In all areas of his oeuvre, the artist’s expressions are richly multi-faceted, ranging from a robust presence (“1986 – Nr. 27 – Skulptur”), a delicate appearance (“Untitled” from 1992), to the elegance of his newer sculptural works, which focus purely on the line. As one of the leading Swiss Constructivist sculptors today, Mauboulès has received a number of awards (including the Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France). His work can be found in many famous art collections, and he is well-known for his public artworks.