May 04, 2009

André Hardy, Le bestiaire fantastique/The fantastic bestiary



Part of a large collection of other animals, above dog in front of a lovely shell- and mosaic-decorated kennel, during many years kept watch at the Hardy estate. Unfortunately, this art environment doesn't exist anymore.

Life and works

André Hardy (1921-2013) and his wife Thérèse lived quietly in Saint-Quentin-les-Chardonnets, a community of some 300 inhabitants in Normandy, France.

An ironmonger (ferronier, in french) by profession, around 1971 at age fifty Hardy began making sculptures, mainly depicting all kinds of animals. He displayed the sculptures in his garden which in this way was transformed into a bestiaire fantastique, a fantastic bestiary.

Hardy has been active in making these creations until the early 1990's and then, becoming older, he refrained from creating new ones but kept active in taking care of the menagerie and welcoming visitors.

the garden could be seen from the road

When Hardy was approaching age ninety he moved to a home for the elderly and sold his house.

Early 2011 it was announced that the sculptures were on sale through the Grenier de Marco, a french company located in Normandy, which trades in (surplus) furniture, books, garden utensils, etc. Hardy's sculptures have been advertised on the company's website as art brut pour jardin (art brut for the  garden) without any indication of prices (The relevant webpage is no longer available on the internet).

an item for sale on Grenier de Marco's website

Some sculptures have been bought by the Lille Art Museum, others by private collectors, like this fisherman:

this picture courtesy of ML

March 2013 André Hardy passed away.

Documentation/more pictures
Website Habitants-paysagistes (by Lille Art Museum from march 2018 on) has a series of pictures by Francs David (1982-1983)
Sophie Loubaton, photographies, has a set of pictures on her website 
* Video shot around 2010, additional sequences of the Rémy Ricordeau/Bruno Montpied movie Bricoleurs de Paradis (2011), available on Vimeo, the part about Hardy continues until 2"20
Andre Hardy
Le bestiaire fantastique
61800 Saint-Quentin-les-Chardonnets, dept Orne, region Normandy, France
site doesn't exist anymore

1 comment:

  1. More beasts for the bestiary ! Another fine find Henk ! I really don't know how you do it...

    ReplyDelete