In alabaster and bronze, French contemporary artist Jean-Marie Fiori fashions humorous and whimsical sculptures of subjects from across the animal kingdom.Read More
Fiori was born in Limoges, France. He went to Paris to study sculpture at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and then completed an MFA at Paris Vincennes VII. Before embarking on his sculpture career in the early 1990s, he worked as a decorative interiors painter, specialising in fresco and trompe l'oeil.
Jean-Marie Fiori's speciality is depicting and interpreting animals, which he has rendered in various sculptural forms and in a variety of materials throughout his career.
His material of choice is alabaster, which he carves and paints to make animal busts ranging from tropical birds and big cats to farm animals and domestic pets. The rich texture and translucent white hue of this material forms an ideal base for these vividly painted zoological portraits.
More recently, Fiori has turned to bronze to create functional, but still highly decorative, pieces of furniture. More abstracted than his other works, he uses animal forms like that of a bull, deer, or eagle to shape a table, or the image of a cat, turtle, or duck to create a bench.
Some of Fiori's artwork has taken inspiration from traditional Chinese culture, in which animals play an important role. For example, he completed a series of zodiac figures for the Monnaie de Paris in 2000. He brought his bronze work to China in 2010, when he was invited by the Chinese Official Committee of the World Expo, Shanghai to interpret traditional animal symbols for a public sculpture display.
Public commissions include Zodiac, Monnaie de Paris (2000); Dolmen de Serris, Marne-la-Vallee (1999); La Tour aux Bêtes, Mallorca (1997); Frescoes of the Grand Salon de l'Hôtel du Golf, Sainte-Maxime (1992–1993); and Nativité, Commission d'Art Sacré, Churches of Saint-Merri and Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot, Paris (1985–1986).
Fiori won the Prix Edouard-Marcel Sandoz in 2009.
Jean-Marie Fiori has been the subject of both solo and group exhibitions.
Solo exhibitions include Jean-Marie Fiori: Golden Age, Dumonteil Contemporary, Shanghai (2022); Monument for a Horse, Statue Square, Hong Kong, Le Gray, Beirut (2014); World Expo, Chinese Pavilion, Installation of Sculptures-Benches, Shanghai (2010).
Group exhibitions include Trois siècles d'élégance, Manufacture de Sèvres (1740–1950), Jinsha Museum, Chengdu and Qujiang Fine Arts Museum, Xi'an (2016); Sèvres: Porcelain of the Kings, Hong Kong University Museum (2015); 100 Sculptures Animalières: des Années 30 à l'Art Contemporain, Musée des Années 30, Boulogne-Billancourt (2012); 60e anniversaire de l'exposition des Arts Décoratifs, Grand Palais, Paris (1985).
Fiori's sculptures are represented in collections across the globe, including the Sheikh Zayed Foundation, Abu Dhabi; Hôtel de la Monnaie de Paris; and Collection of the City of Shanghai.
Fiori's work has enjoyed much secondary market success. In 2021, five works were sold by AuctionArt Rémy Le Fur & Associés and Sotheby's Paris, all selling for several times the estimate. That year also saw an auction record for the artist of 69,300 EUR for one of his bronze benches.
Besides at auction, Fiori's work is often seen with the gallery Dumonteil Contemporary at art fairs internationally, including Paris Art + Design, Masterpiece London, and Design Shanghai.
Rachel Kubrick | Ocula | 2022