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‘Eden’ by Bastok Lessel unveils Jean-Guillaume Mathiaut’s exploration with wood
Designer Jean-Guillaume Mathiaut with his works
Image: Courtesy of Bastok Lessel

‘Eden’ by Bastok Lessel unveils Jean-Guillaume Mathiaut’s exploration with wood

Bastok Lessel in Paris showcases Mathiaut's artistic journey with fossilised tree trunks inspired by African and Oceanian tribal art.

by Ria Jha
Published on : May 11, 2024

Multidisciplinary designer, artist and architect Jean-Guillaume Mathiaut, nurtured in the forests of Fontainebleau has a close bond with the natural world. As an appreciation for the designer’s oeuvre, the Paris-based gallery Bastok Lessel founded by Tom-David Bastok and Dylan Lessel will unveil its inaugural solo exhibition featuring the works of Mathiaut. The exhibition titled Eden is scheduled to take place from May 16 to July 13, 2024, taking over every corner of the art gallery, and offering visitors an immersive experience through its four levels.

The forest is a source of inspiration and energy for the product designer, who incorporates these aspects into each of his creations. He meticulously collects the smallest fossilised tree trunks, sacrificial bark fragments, or abandoned branches and transforms them into ‘landscape furniture design’ to give them a new lease on life. The main focus of Mathiaut's work is moulding wood in its most natural form, encapsulating the unadulterated and undeveloped spirit of the forest.

This exhibition will allow visitors to immerse themselves in an enchanting narrative, as the artist unveils a tale on each floor. The journey will commence in a ‘Sculpture Garden’, leading through a ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, traversing an ‘Architect's Office’, culminating in the genesis of his artistry, a tree house known as Cabane inspired by the enchanting tales of A Thousand and One Nights. The tree house holds a pivotal position within Mathiaut's body of work, built in a colossal style, he views Cabanes as transitory havens seen through the eyes of awe. Mathiaut's product designs evoke a powerful contrast between wood's gentle allure and perceived intensity, with imagination and the essence of childhood serving as important motifs. Strongly influenced by the great masters such as Constantin Brancusi and Isamu Noguchi, as well as by the artistic traditions of African and Oceanian tribal art, Mathiaut creates totem figures, masks and Okibo seats, testifying to the richness and diversity of his artistic practice.

Mathiaut aims to exude authenticity, truth, and honesty through his work. This exhibition will be a sensory journey, beckoning viewers to immerse themselves in a realm where the genuine beauty of nature and the materiality of wood are celebrated. His meticulous craftsmanship and innovative use of materials, particularly wood sourced from the forest, underscore his commitment to authenticity and sustainability. As a profound reminder of our interconnectedness with the world around us, Mathiaut's work celebrates the complexity of cultural traditions and pays homage to the timeless allure of nature. Mathiaut urges us to reconsider the significant impact of human creativity on nature and to rediscover the magic of the natural world by embracing the spirit of Eden.

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