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Vive le vent

Michel Deverne

  • Michel Deverne (1927-2012), Vive le vent (Long Live the Wind), sandstone, molten glass

    Michel Deverne is a kinetic artist whose works for public spaces are on a large scale. Influenced by geometrical abstraction and constructivism, his work bears witness to an unremitting drive to integrate art and architecture resulting in what he calls ‘built art’, referring to the notion of architecture and the built environment. Deverne plays with optical illusions and movement within his work and his creations come to life according to the play of shadows or light on them.   With Vive le vent, Deverne continues what he started with his Mosaïque, created five years earlier for La Defense, at the heart of the Les Miroirs building. In order to cover the walls of these four impressive ventilation stacks, he used mosaics, and playing with graphic design and colours, he created an illusion of movement in the columns, as if twisted by the wind. This is where the work derives both its energy and its title. The idea of dressing up the raw concrete of a ventilation stack is not a unique one in La Défense. Along the Axe there are three works which have done just this, but with different results: the ‘floral waterfall’ of the Cheminée végétalisée by François, the lyrical Trois Arbres by Grataloup, and the nervous rhythm of the brightly coloured lines in Moretti’s work. In 1970, Deverne created Rythmes for the passenger hall of the RER station Grande Arche -La Défense. Rythmes, are two 40 square metre 2 reliefs in aluminum, placed above the access galleries. Through their composition and the play of light, these monochrome works create an illusion of space and speed.