A carousel, its wooden horses turned to crystal, four of them taking flight around the huge chandelier suspended in the central well of the museum at La Grande Place, in Saint-Louis: this fairytale piece — like an ice sculpture from the palace of Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen — is the work of Patrick Neu, an artist inspired by his role as the Cristallerie’s creative director. Neu exploits the medium’s fascination, challenges and contradictions — its fragility and hardness, its technical complexity and purity, its transparency and air of mystery — to relive the sparkle of childish glee and popular excitement at the arrival of the fair.
To recapture that sense of sheer delight, Neu has worked with the master glassmakers at the Cristallerie Saint-Louis, through complex production stages and in minute detail, to shape the six crystal horses — part animal, part angels of light. Using resin casts of two fairground horses, he has personalised their anatomy, poses anddecoration, fnishing each with a real horse-hair tail. The museum’s spiral itinerary follows the architecture of the space and gives visitors a sense of the carousel in action: the gentle rise and fall of the horses that lulls their young riders, excited by the magical setting, their crystal laughter tinkling as they turn. The four horses — a fairground quadriga — draw us into their airborne dance, like the four seasons marking the duration of the exhibition, and the four ages of life, forever Illuminated by the glow of childhood memories. This solo presentation by artist Patrick Neu continues the series of temporary exhibitions produced by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès at La Grande Place, Musée du Cristal Saint-Louis in Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche (Moselle) – part of the Foundation’s international programme of activities
in partnership with museums and at its art spaces in Brussels, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo.
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