We’ve both been quite taken with sculpture recently given the arrival of a new Alexander Calder book into the office bookshelf, the man was an absolute genius and a big inspiration to lots of you I’m sure. Casually browsing over his work last night I began to long to see other esteemed sculptors and in digging around I came across the work of this particular fellow, another Alex, Alexandre Noll. Now I’m sure you’ve gathered from the vintage photographs above and below that Mr Noll wasn’t born/alive in my lifetime, however his works have lived on and stand as a marvellous legacy to the life he did lead. He is perhaps remembered most fondly for his wooden sculptures that can be seen here in this post, although he did initially turn his hand to watercolour sketches before finding his calling as a sculptor. 1935 was when he began to really take this medium seriously having previously exhibited sculpted objects at the Crémaillère in the late twenties. Since then Alexandre had began creating projects of larger proportions, primarily furniture like we have here, although freeform objects also took prominence as he started to establish a style of his own.
By the time the Second World War had finished mass production was seen as the light to lead europe out of the darkness, Noll in contrast stayed true to his ideals for individuality. With this in mind he began to lean towards items and objects of a unique nature, organic, free and expressionist, breaking away from the mould that society was being presented with. I’m sure like many creatives before and after Noll it was hard for many to recognise his genius in the context of the present day. Looking back however and connecting the dots we can see what a marvellous mind and real innovator the man was.
Reading over quotes from the artist it amused me to read he once said something along the lines of, “I want to create everything out of wood that can be made out of wood” and he seems exactly this type of fellow. If you browse his creations it quickly becomes evident that he didn’t focus on the limitations of the material, merely the possibilities. People with these sorts of beliefs really empower me to think creatively, they are forever trying to push the boundaries of what is considered normal, and in doing so they define themselves.
No link for this one I’m afraid, unfortunately Alexandre didn’t get around to creating a website in his lifetime. I guess computers were slow in 1970. I do however highly recommend doing a little internet digging of your own to learn more about the Frenchman, he really is a legend in my eyes and someone I’m sure many of you will enjoy learning more about.