December 29, 2008

Frédéric Séron, Sculpture garden

pictures are screenshots from a 1954 tv program 
(see documentation)

In the 1950's in artistic circles in France, especially among the surrealists, interest arose in creations made by art brut artists as they were labelled these days.

Frédéric Séron (1878-1959) was one of them.

Life and works

Séron, a baker by profession,  lived in the small community of le Pressoir-Prompt, Essonne, south of Paris.

In his dreams he saw images that he wanted to reproduce in reality, so he began making sculptures which he displayed in the garden in front of his house.

The story goes that he put newspapers and other documents inside these sculptures "to give them a soul".

All together Séron made some 90 sculptures, depicting a variety of animals (such as a giraffe, a lion, a swan...) and people (such as young ladies dancing or blowing a horn ....).

In 1958 André Breton and Jean Cocteau  paid him visits (cf le Poignard Subtil, 14-11-2009) and Gilles Ehrmann portrayed him in his famous photo-book Les inspirés et leurs demeures (1960)

Séron also made paintings in a naive style.

It's not clear what happened with his paintings after his death. Although there has been some vandalizing, a number of the sculptures still are present in front of the house (see streetview in the location data, below).

* Weblog Art-Maniac (in french) has a number of pictures by Gilles Ehrmann.
* In his weblog le Poignard Subtil Bruno Montpied has a variety of referrals to Séron, included references to a number of articles about Séron published in the 1950's

* In 1954 Séron was interviewed by French TV. The recording, 8'31" is currently in the INA archive.

Frédéric Séron
Sculpture garden
(formerly) le Pressoir-Prompt, France
(currently) 140 boulevard John Kennedy
Moulin-Galant, municipality of Corbeil-Essonnes, dept Essonnes, region Île de France, France
streetview 2018

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