S.A.G.V.A. - Empreinte



Such is the last name, the first name, official designation, the job, the identification of the sculptor , in one word it’s a patronymic : BERTHET !

Berthet is a true artist, discreet, contemplative, creative he plays a particular role in this art which really is difficult to handle : the sculpture in bronze.

Berthet creates, elaborates, invents, imagines, carves as he likes, acting out of his feelings.

His gestures are led by his deep belief in human nature yet difficult to transfer into a so cold and smooth material like bronze. This is probably the reason why all his work is made of shades of light and drakness, full of bumps and hollows smooth faces and wrinkled ones, indefined bodies.


He was born in 1942, not far from Lyon (Fance) ; when he was 15 he started a course in engraving and sculpture at the “ecole des Beaux Arts “(school of Fine Arts) in Lyons. He also tried the graphic Arts, before deciding, in 1965, to focuse his work on sculpture.  This sculpture  is aesthete and visionary it aims at representing the human bodies and faces were diversified at the most thanks to  an endless combination of androids. All his works swarm with androids the beauty of which is cool and platonic. Some of them , hydra-like are mutiplied in close knit manner leading you  to see the image of an android either twin or Siamese clustered to its fellow creatures. Yet ; these faces are deshumanized  because of the coolness of bronze which leads to a conflict between the force of creation and the inertia of the matter.

Artistic approch

Berthey’s work is mostly based on the relation between relief and hollowness and to some extent on the balance between empty and full, positive and negative, interiority  and exteriority.

The space that surrounds any solid, here the sculpture is conceived in a three dimension scheme and it is completely merged in its visual identity. Sculpture in bronze has a limited duplication, eight copies in addition to four EA others.

They are unique pieces as well.

In this world with subtle inversions,contradicting prospects reveal the desire to get back to basical  shapes. The universe described by Berthey is a world full of tensions, tension between  figuration and defiguration. The whole or part, this universe gets involved in the secret of bronze achievements which might seem full of enigmas.

His empty spaces are as many silences which echoe the full and lead us to go through the strata of memory.

All the work of Berthet is multifaceted just like the sides of a well carved diamond. He sharpens the object till it loses its shape , these coveted and absorbed  faces by other difigured faces under the hands of the master who wants them to be either in harmony or in a state of chaos therefore the identity tries to shy away till it completely gets completely merged or turns into an identity metastasis.

Berthet deals with a conventional and academic style, he presents a variety of sculptures on plinth in many sizes vertically moulded faces on concave or accordion-shaped bronze sheets or bronze trees with android –faces carved in low relief.

About the works...

In smaller dimensions, he displays a series of shingles called fossils, oxided and spinned at his liking and within which  faces and bodies are carved bearing names most of the time derived from mythology. Rectangles with closed hinge which hide in their bosom faces in their positive on one side or negative on the other one.

BERTHET also invented a series of jewellery which refer to the French on the one side tradition and on the other are jewels  the  shape of which and the mass imply both ambiguity in the artist ‘s work) his jewellery adopt shapes and volume that combine the performance of ambiguity and the human being attitudes.

Since 1968 many of his numerous exhibitions were devoted to his personal production in France and Germany.In group collective his works were exhibited his works in groups in France, Germany,Switzerland and in the USA.

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