Last year, the artist Chloé Quenum took part in an artistic residence for several months with the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, during which she worked with the team at the Saint-Louis crystal works (Europe’s longest-standing crystal manufacturer) located in France’s Moselle region.
Drawing on her remarkable know-how and a broad range of technical possibilities, she designed and manufactured a series of around 160 crystal fruits, each featuring different textures and made with various cutting or engraving techniques.
As this multidisciplinary artist is curious about many subjects, particularly those associated with botany, she focused her research on the movement of fruit within the world and throughout the ages. This inspired her to create a project that would address these issues while highlighting all of the expertise and the individuals present at the crystal works. These crystal fruits thus make up a kind of portrait of the craftspeople who work at Saint-Louis and illustrate the variety of forms that exist in nature.
Chloé Quenum named this installation La Grande Place (the main square), an expression which usually denotes the most qualified glass-makers.
To showcase her creations, she wanted a display unit that would contrast with the very precious and noble nature of crystal, so she opted for a backlit USM Haller unit. As she uses a USM Haller unit at home, this element was already connected with her everyday life. She likes the contrast between the baroque aspect of the installation and the modern, clean lines of the USM design. What’s more, the USM Haller E lighting system helps to reveal all of the nuances of the crystal and give the sculptures a new dimension and even more depth.
The USM Haller shelving and storage system is used extensively in museums and cultural venues throughout the world, highlighting the objects that it showcases and blending in with its location without detracting from the works of art.
Chloé Quenum’s installation was presented at the most recent online International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) and will be revealed to the public soon as part of an exhibition organised by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès.
Chloé Quenum graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Paris and her artwork mainly focuses on sculpture and installations. In her artistic practice, she works from designs and objects that she deconstructs to update their history and meaning, and to show that they stem from various cultural encounters. After graduating from art school, she continued her education by studying botany and the anthropology of writing at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS). This helped her to adopt a cross-cutting and multidisciplinary approach to the topics that she deals with.
Discover Chloé Quenum’s work on the galerie Joseph Tang website
Photos © Tadzio