An artist's studio intrigues and fascinates: it is a place of creation, often the artist's home, hidden from the public, and the likely key to many of art’s fascinating enigmas. Although it has had many different faces since its birth in the Middle Ages, it truly came into its own as the artist's introspective space in the 19th century. This is when it became his private, introspective space. A cabinet of curiosities composed of various objects related to his research and concerns. The studio resembles the artist’s inspiration and reflects the nature of completed works. Like a vault that holds the secrets to artistic creation, they continue to fascinate people, to the point where the studios of certain artists have been rebuilt or preserved, for instance: Gustave Moreau (Paris), Paul Cezanne (Aix-en-Provence), Constantin Brancusi (Paris), Alberto Giacometti (Paris), or Francis Bacon (Dublin), to name only a few. These spectacular reconstitutions become the material symbol of a life, a society, and a time.
Benoit Rondot lives in Nantes that has become both his home and the studio where he paints and works. Here, without any restraint, he methodically collects piles of objects in series. It is a saturated universe where his artwork stands alongside rolls of paper, cans of paint, brushes, books, photos, and newspapers – to which are added electronic circuit boards, tool catalogues, and old blueprints for trains and industrial motors, which occasionally serve as inspiration for his paintings. And then there’s his collection of worthless (if not sentimental) objects, like metal boxes, ball bearings, kid’s games from the 60s... And since he’s a passionate entomologist, Rondot also collects insects and has stunning encyclopedic volumes containing fauna and flora that date back to the 19th century. By generously agreeing to play along with this game of reconstitution, Benoit Rondot has filled the spaces of Galerie Rayon Vert – the former vicarage of Église Sainte Anne church – with this impressive and one-of-a-kind exhibition.
© Jean-Dominique Billaud / LVAN