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Philippe Anthonioz Showcases His Artwork

The Wall Street Journal - November 2014

The Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal

In 1980, young Parisian artist Philippe Anthonioz received an unusual request. Diego Giacometti, a friend of his father’s, had taken a massive commission of furniture and lighting for the city’s new Picasso Museum, and the 78-year-old was having trouble with his aging hands. Would Anthonioz help? “He asked me to work with him for a few weeks—I ended up staying three years,” says Anthonioz, then a student of carpentry who was soon inducted into the ancient practice of lost-wax bronze casting. While the animal imagery Giacometti favored was not for him, Anthonioz fell hard for the scumbled, finger-marked surfaces of bronze and its ghostly opposite, plaster—both of which he’s employed ever since. A compact show of his recent sculpture and photography is on view at the Ralph Pucci gallery in New York through January 31, revealing Anthonioz to be deft in a variety of media—and consistent in his methods. “I’ve had the same Rolleiflex since I was 14,” he says. “I don’t want to use a computer. I use my hands.”

By SARAH MEDFORD