“I got into sculpture at the end of 1989, during the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, where I drew every week on the closing day. There was a small Cycladic sculpture that I liked. I gazed at it for the four months of the exhibition. When I got back to Burcy, I picked up a knife in the kitchen. And in the remains of a broom handle, I began to carve a body, I didn’t know how to create the head, I sculpted a bird’s head looking upwards. Since then, I’ve forgotten everything.” (Folon, Letter to Pierre Alechinsky, May 1995)
Between 1989 and 2005, the year of his death, Folon created almost 400 sculptures. The iconography was wide-ranging: he took the themes and signs that had characterised his work since the 1960s and transformed them into three dimensions. Along with these, he undertook more formal research, which was clearly influenced by tribal art: from Amerindian Totems to African masks and from Etruscan figures to Cycladic sculptures. He began working with wood, but that is not very resistant to changing weather conditions. So his friends, the sculptor César and the founder Romain Barelier, suggested that he switch to bronze. He first modelled with clay and ultimately chose plaster. He produced his first bronze figures in the early 1990s. He also tried his hand at creating some very large pieces, some of which were up to 6 metres high. Sculpture provided Folon with opportunities to explore new materials: wood, clay, plaster, bronze, silver, iron, cast iron, copper, various stones and pâte de verre.
Folon worked for years with the assistance of the founder Romain Barelier, for his bronze statues, and Franco Cervietti’s studio in Pietrasanta for those he created in stone.
For more information see:
Folon, R. Piano, S. Angelroth, M. Pasquali, A. Michel, M. Resseler, I. Douillet-de Pange, Folon. La sculpture, Fonds Mercator, Brussels, 2020.