Manon Gauthier’s is a Canadian artist whose work focuses on the human figure and different aspects of it, from busts to full bodies, with the intention of exploring the wide spectrum of human emotions. Manon likes to explore what she refers to as the “human condition,” a reflection that allows her to better understand human interactions, including her own. She incorporates elements of fantasy to her figures to elicit a response, and to enhance both emotion and expression. She is intrigued by what motivates people to do, say or react the way they do.
Manon works mainly in clay, a material that allows her to stretch the forms and movements to their limits, while also accepting other materials such as metal that will accentuate the fantastical and mystical aspects of her compositions. The resulting sculptures offer a visual complexity that, when combined with the intrinsic need of people to associate themselves with the human form, encourages wonder and contemplation.
Manon’s artwork can be found in many personal collections, nationally as well as internationally. In 2018, the Salon National des Beaux-Arts de Paris selected two of her sculptures to be exhibited to their annual salon at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris.
Manon was born in June 1967 in Montreal, one of the largest cities in the province of Quebec, Canada. With the advent of the first World Fair in the summer of 1967, Manon grew up in an environment of change as Montreal became one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the province of Quebec where this French-speaking province in the country integrated a multitude of new cultures. Manon discovered sculpture in 1995 and developed her art in a self-taught approach until she decided to formalize her education in 2009, when she enrolled as an online part-time student at the Academy of Art of San Francisco. She is scheduled to graduate in Spring of 2020 when she will receive her BFA in Sculpture.
I am fascinated by the beauty and complexity of the figure. I work mainly in clay because I find it best for interpreting the human form: it allows me the flexibility to express the dynamism of the body, pushing movements in constant exploration.
I choose to work with the human form not only because it’s a challenge to properly execute, but it’s also a form of meditation where I can reflect upon my own humanity, understand myself and evolve as a person and as an artist. The human figure is as complex as the feelings it conceals. It’s hard or supple; it has its ups and downs. However the human body is represented, or the portrait is executed, it will never fail to attract people who will instinctively identify with the artwork.
Figurative art touches people. There’s no ambiguity about what is represented through the human form, whether it’s a full body depicted in all its glorious beauty, or whether it’s the portrait of a total stranger. No matter what it is, we recognize that there’s a story behind the form, something waiting to be discovered. We all possess the instinct to capture the meaning of body language and the subtleties of facial expressions, whether we recognize that instinct or not – this is what defines us as human beings, this wide spectrum of emotions some embrace and others repress. Appealing to that instinct, I attempt to communicate with my viewers in a way that remains personal.
The blend of realism and stylization in my work opens a vision on one’s dreams, and the “what it might be” should someone explore her or his own dreams. Through my sculptures, I strive to reveal beyond the mirror of the eyes, the soul that is buried inside each of us; to have it speak through the forms and posture of the body or through the gaze and facial expression of the portrait, and reveal a life that touches us.
This human connection is what motivates me to do my work, and hopefully bring the viewers on the same journey of exploration and share with them my moments of creation.
|2019||BFA Sculpture Academy of Art University of San Francisco|
|2019||Choice of the Circle of Ambassadors – St-Jean-sur-Richelieu|
|2017||Valléd’art, First Prize Sculpture Professional|
|2005||Recontre des arts, Prix de la Sculpture|
Select Group Exhibitions
|2019||Chabèche, Galerie du Vieux St-Jean|
|2019||Fire and Fusion, Bronze Museum, Inverness, Quebec, Canada|
|2018||Salon National des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Carousel du Louvre, Paris, France|
|2005 to 2019||Rencontre des arts, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada|
|2014 to 2018||SCVLPTVRE, Convention Center of Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|2015 to 2018||Printemps de la Sculpture, Ste-Adèle, Quebec, Canada|
|2016 to 2018||Art au Jardin, Montreal Botanical Garden, Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|2012||Winter Show, Academy of Art University of San Francisco, California, USA|
|2011||Spring Show, Academy of Art University of San Francisco, California, USA|
|2016||TV09 (channel) – Vos Artistes (Laval Présente), Mr. Jean-Jacques Lapierre, Manon D. Gauthier (invited artist, sculptor) and Martin Alarie (invited artist, photographer)|
- Instructor, sculpture, pottery and shaping
- Les Ateliers Argil’Art à Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Québec, Canada
- Portrait Sculpture, Philippe Farault
- Figure Drawing, Sabin Howard
- Instituts des Arts Figuratifs, Member of the Board, Director
- National Sculpture Society