Montreal, QC, Canada
Art Medium: sculpture, clay, wax, stone
The Question / La Question (detail)
2007 Bronze 45 x 18 x 10 in
American native 3 / Am�rindien 3 (detail)
1996 Bronze 20 x 13 x 9 in
Distorsion 2 (detail)
2003 Bronze 14 x 6 x 8 in
La bouche (detail)
2013 Epoxy resin 30 x 13.5 x 6.5 in
2006 Marble 35 x 7 x 8.5 in
Woman interrupted / Femme interrompue
2010 Fiber glass 55 x 30 x 26 in
1995 Bronze 7 x 9 x 8 in
Ponytail / Jeune fille a la queue de cheval (detail)
2004 Bronze 25 x 16 x 10 in
Philippe Coudari was born in March 1956 in Aleppo, Syria, to a French father and an Armenian mother. The same year his family moved to Montreal, Quebec, where he is still living. He feels privileged to have grown up at the crossroads of the European, Mediterranean and North American cultures and traditions.
He went into Pure Sciences and Graphic Arts Studies. He obtained a Business Administration degree at the University of Quebec in Montreal.
It was in 1992 that he discovered sculpting, quite by accident, when a friend asked him to attend a course with him. This is when something clicked inside and at thirty-six years of age he became enamored with sculpture. Largely self-taught, he developed his own methods with clay such as forming and modelling with a stick, an idea that came from the artist painter and sculptor Dù Reng Sang.
Although Coudari is attached to the human figure, he rarely works with a live model.
His work has been exhibited both in Canada and internationally and is part of private and public collections. He has received many awards for his sculpture.
In 2012, he designed and developed a unique sculpture class, see sculptingclass.ca open to beginners and more advanced sculptors.
“Ancient Egyptian sculpture, classical Greek sculpture, Renaissance or contemporary sculpture, modern, abstract or figurative sculpture, it’s all about form. Everything in Nature is form: fullness and emptiness, objects, human beings, all things, as well as the space that separates them. The smallest atomic particles to the largest planets, all are form. It is form that defines Nature. And it is Nature that gives it its existence.
What is form if not a volume defined by an inner structure upon which a series of planes give it its appearance, as does an envelope or skin. And if we consider the basic plane, which is to the form what the gene is to the living, it is a triangle, we can say by extension, on both the micro and macro level, that the universe is an assembly of triangles.
It is this idea that is the source of my work…”
During the process of my work I try to not lose sight of the quest for simplicity, because in my opinion, it is in the simplicity that a work can demonstrate its strength. Too often the abundance of details stifle the work, as the essence of a speech may become lost in an abundance of words. So I try both to remove anything that may seem superfluous to me and show detail without resorting to the actual detail.
In this context, reproducing reality holds little interest for me. What interests me is expressing the truth that I perceive to the best of my abilities. I try to achieve this, among other things, by exaggeration and by deforming what is familiar, or even by highlighting planes to suggest or reveal the structure that lies beneath the form; to go beyond the mere surface appearance of our surroundings, including objects, people, ideas and language. To bring out a truth that sees beyond what is visible.
By revolving my work on three axes – to form, to simplify, to exaggerate – I hope to bring out in space and time the immateriality of the inner world, the intimate and vibrant fabric of the human condition, to question or challenge the observer in his being, his body, his culture and memory.
By doing so I hope to give the sculpted object a power of attraction strong enough to establish a personal relationship with the observer, one that evokes his own unique story, from his own human experience. In doing so, as was the artist before him, he becomes both actor and creator.