arguerite oirel

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The M of Marguerite Noirel:    

by Françoise MONNIN


Machine : Marguerite Noirel recycles and welds fragments of metallic objects that were originally designed for work purposes. The curves of her sculptures are the result of mechanical twisting, their shadows from industrial cutting.
Lopsided exhaust pipes, the paddles of cooling fans, the prison of forks, the lace of moped chains, the horizon of saw teeth provide the artist with graphic structures whose powerful original dynamism was dictated by the requirement for resistance to wear and tear. Though no longer in use, these tensions remain all the more superbly respectable because they were indispensable. Only that which once was useful remains agreeable..
Magic : Because she does not find it worrying, Marguerite Noirel respects strangeness..

Magnetism : "I have always been fascinated by junkyards," she says. "I have always felt an emotion, a pain, a beauty at them. An aesthetic, a visual pleasure." For the past century, the capitalist West has believed so strongly in speed that it wallows in consumerism; but the more it throws out, the less it breathes. The straight lines of short cuts do not go through the fairy kingdom. The poet wandering through one of these cemeteries of the old-fashioned avant garde, believes in the closeness of treasure as she believes in the need for detours, supple loops, ripples in the water and the flight of birds. The edges of Marguerite Noirel’s works are not sharp. .

Mastery : Tool = domesticated weapon..

Mischief : "Humor is very important to me. There are horrible characters so why not present them in a ridiculous manner?" Humor is perspective. Perspective is memory. .

Make over : "I like rust. If I mill it to assemble two pieces of metal, I make over the shiny parts by painting them." Marguerite Noirel wreathes her work in autumn dust as if the mark of Time were the sign of sublime elegance. It is true that rust resembles earth ..

Material : "At first I let the material take me over. I know I like it, but I don’t know what I want to do with it." .

Medusa : "They need to be able to see." Marguerite Noirel often fixes a glass eye or two on her soldered creations, eyes that she finds in flea markets or gets from taxidermists. .

Melancholy : Working with the memory of objects confirms their disappearance. Because the practice of recycling confirms the passage of time. Melancholy likes to worm its way into assemblers’ workshops. .

Memory : Marguerite Noirel told me: "The first thing I stripped down was a bed". And: "The sculpture I baptized Passé Composé is dragging a saucepan and has a rear view mirror which has no utility".
And again: "I have a fusional, harmonious relationship with time. The idea of space time, the two axes, the cross fascinate me". Space-time is sculpture memory. In the Middle East, the god of time is the also the god of blacksmiths. .

Metal : Marguerite Noirel is a woman with magnificent eyes possessing metallic reflections. There is no metal without fire. .

Microcosm : "I like to make things from nothing. I did that in the garden of my childhood in Reims. I still do it today in Auvergne"..

Mirecéa Eliade : Writer. Author of a book Forgerons et Alchimistes (Blacksmiths and Alchemists). Mircéa Eliade wrote in particular "We shall not insist on the sacredness of fire whether it is considered as having fallen from the celestial vault or been brought up from the bowels of the earth, it is charged with sacred power. Reverence towards metal is observed even in civilizations of high culture. Not so very long ago, Malay kings kept a sacred lump of iron which was part of their regalia and surrounded it with an extraordinary veneration mingled with a superstitious terror. For primitive peoples who knew nothing of metalworking, iron tools were even more venerable: the Bhil an ancient Indian people offered the first fruits to their arrow heads which they obtained from neighboring tribes." .

Means : to an end "I do not bring forth from the earth like a sculptor. I assemble. I have the impression of making a sentence by looking for my words. I weld when I am sure, before that I use clips and clamps." .

Monster : "I like to make things that don’t exist, between man and animal, figurative in tendency but hybrid creatures. With tails, pincers, antenna. They are not aggressive, they capture".
Marguerite Noirel applies a recipe formulated five centuries ago by Leonardo da Vinci. Beyond the monster, she defines poetry. Sparks only fly from unexpected closeness. .

Monument : The shapes made by Marguerite Noirel are hieratic and symmetrical..

Montage : The works of Marguerite Noirel come forth less from a universal feeling than from a cosmopolitan sensation. By combining samples, the artist certainly pays them homage but most of all celebrates their tears. An assembly is an indelible scar. .

Mort: It is to announce the Apocalypse that Marguerite Noirel wheels her wheelbarrow between the jagged and rusted mountains of the scrap yards. She fills it in jubilation. By magnifying abandoned tools, by acknowledging their resistance while underlining their rust, by seeking their lost time, Marguerite Noirel tames death. "Not in any morbid fashion", insists the artist who agrees that to practice assembling it is necessary not to believe in metamorphosis; that it is necessary to prefer the historical line to the natural cycle. "Saturn with his scythe is an image I adore", says the lady with the brown hair..

Movement: "I started by collecting pieces for their beauty. Then a sculptor friend taught me how to do welding ten years ago. And I have been exhibiting now for four years." .

Mythology: "Mythology inspires me. News and current affairs too." Between the two, Marguerite Noirel, gives shape to contemporary gods. To Wear, Time’s last wife, to Disappearance, recently accepted by Death; to Poverty all powerful and to all M words like a flower whose petals are plucked, whose ABC defines Matter.

Paris, Avril 1995.


Translation : Kevin Harrigan




This page belongs to the Marguerite Noirel's website. This french artist realise contemporary art sculpturs. She works in Paris and in Puy-de-Dôme (Auvergne).