The Wind and the Birds Inspire Me

Between dream and natural contemplation, four contemporary artists respond to Postman Cheval’s body of work.

By Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Flying Machine (2017) by Ali CherriPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

The Exhibition

Artwork from Ali Cherri, Rebecca Horn, Kate MccGwire and Jean-Luc Mylayne offers a new, poetic vision of this dream, which has transcended across all cultures and ages: to feel weightless, and to fly, carried by the wind. 

No. 8, September 1979 (1979) by Jean-Luc MylaynePostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

The exhibition is opening for the first time in the home of  Postman Cheval. The Wind and the Birds Encourage Me takes on an intimate perspective, with artists who have transformed attentive observation of nature, and patient, into a temporal experience.

Flying Machine (2017) by Ali CherriPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Ali Cherri

Melancholy of Birds B is formed of a coherent collection of animals and plants, and restructures the imagery of 19th-century herbariums. The central section depicts a bird amongst flowers. It disappears into a wash of blue and viewers will only be able to make out its contours through very close observation.

No. 8, September 1979 (1979) by Jean-Luc MylaynePostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Jean-Luc Mylayne

 Jean-Luc Mylayne's photographs depend on the establishment of a relationship between the artist and his subject—a fleeting yet intimate relationship which he develops during many months of preparation. The artist chose to photograph the birds without using a telescopic lens, and therefore needed to create a trusting relationship with his subject, to allow him to get close. Over the course of his time spent with the birds, he designed a precise composition for what he called his "paintings". 

No. 8, September 1979 (1979) by Jean-Luc MylaynePostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Jean-Luc Mylayne works as a painter does, through successive approaches, selecting the content and structure of the image, and through defining the positioning of figures and colors. For this reason, the harmonious intimacy between the artist, the birds, the landscape, and the light is at the heart of his work.

Swan Ladder (1994) by Rebecca HornPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Rebecca Horn

Positioned on a writing desk, Rebecca Horn's Swan Ladder, evokes the task of writing, the search for inspiration, and the necessary introspection. A swan's feather positioned with a spilled inkwell, stained with ink. 

Le Vent et les Oiseaux M'encouragent (The Wind and the Birds Encourage Me) by Françoise the antique dealer from Hauterives (2019) by Palais idéal du facteur ChevalPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Françoise, an antique dealer from Hauterives, explains the origin of the exhibition.

Trance (2018) by Kate MccGwirePostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Kate MccGwire

For her fanciful sculptures, Kate MccGwire patiently collects millions of feathers, which she gathers together in her studio, recovering them directly from nature or from specialist associations involved with pigeon racing. Using glue, she arranges them in the form of scales, one by one, like strokes of color on a canvas.

Trance (2018) by Kate MccGwirePostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Trance is a fascinating artwork that plays on the seductive power of feathers (that of jewelry and courtship rituals) to which she adds a certain softness (that of nests,d reamcatchers and angel's wings). 

Flying Machine (2017) by Ali CherriPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

The Flying Machine by Ali Cherri

In tribute to the first attempts at flight, such as those by Abbas Ibn Firnas, Leonardo de Vinci, or the Wright Brothers, The Flying Machine by Ali Cherri revisits the dreams of these visionaries. The hybrid machine imitates bird flight, combining elements that transcend the contradiction between nature and culture. The bamboo was a living organism that was turned into building material. The crow's wing was a living organ, which is now nailed to the ground.

Flying Machine (2019) by Ali CherriPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Ali Cherri Explains his Flying Machine

Flying Machine (2017) by Ali CherriPostman Cheval's Ideal Palace

Positioned in one of the gardens of the Ideal Palace, it can be seen by ascending the viewpoint designed by  Postman Cheval: the Ideal Palace stands on one side while the flying machine is on the other, like two sides of a dream.

Credits: Story

The exhibition "The Wind and the Birds inspire me" was realized with the collaboration of the Imane Farès Gallery, the Galerie de France, the Filles du Calvaire Gallery and the Saint-Etienne Metropole Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. 

The exhibition was presented from September 14, 2019 to January 05, 2020, in Resonance of the Biennale of Lyon 2019.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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