born on: 
05 Apr, 1966


Graduate from National School of Fine Art, Toulouse, France


2019 - “OutrAmour”, group show, Hoffstetter Gallery, Fribourg (Switzerland)
2019 - "Des oiseaux et des mères", solo show, Cultural center of Bolbec, Bolbec (France)
2018 - "Petites histoires en réserve"solo show, Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris (France)
2017 - Artist residency at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris as part of the project "De la main au feu" (february-june 2017)
2016 - "Des bêtes en ce château", solo show, Château des Terrasses, Cap d'Ail (France)
2016 - Solo show, Gallery le Hangar, Evreux (France)
2015 - Residency at the Institut Mutualiste Montsouris in the child psychiatry unite; Paris (France)
2015 - "Persona, ae", solo show, Sculptures Garden's of La Celle Saint-Cloud, La Celle Saint-Cloud (France)
2014 - Exhibition with the artist Tibo Streicher, OFI Asset Management, Paris
2014 - "Travers/ées" plural exhibition in several institutions of Rouen (France)
2014 - Residency at the university hospital of Rouen in the child psychiatry unite
2013 - Residency at the university hospital of Montreal, project supported by the Consul of France in Quebec
2013 - "Hommes d'équipage", solo show, Centre culturel des Docks Vauban in Le Havre and at the Pavillon M for the Marseille-Provence event
2013 - "Déjeuner sans l'Herbe" exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Evreux for the Normandie Impressionniste event and at the Galerie Le Hangar in Evreux (France)
2013 - "So Sorry", solo show, Rouen's Court of Appeal (France)
2012 - Residency aboard the container ship Le Fort-Saint-Pierre
2012 - "De l'oeil des statues" exhibition at the château du Val-aux-Grès in Bolbec, at the Musée d'Art, d'Histoire et d'Archéologie in Evreux, and at the Galerie Le Hangar in Evreux (France)
2011 - "Autour de l'échelle" exhibition, solo show, château des Terrasses, Cap d'Ail (France)
2011 - Residency in the EHPAD of Bolbec (France)
2010 - Residency at the detention center of Caen supported by Robert Badinter (France)
2009 - "Echelle 1", solo show, Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Caen (France)
2009 - "Envisage", Théâtre de l'Hôtel de Ville, Le Havre (France)
2009 - "Féminin/pluriel", solo show, Gallery Area, Paris (France)
opened up her studio to us. Watch the video of our visit to learn more about the artist's approach.

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Cécile Raynal is a French sculptor who lives and works in Normandy, France.

For several years, Cécile Raynal has had two passions : dance and sculpture. As of 2007 she has focused her work on portrait, scrutinizing faces like veritable geographies and places of endless souvenirs.

The substance for her work is clay. She gives it a great amplitude of motion, has a capacity for improvisation and a remarkable finesse in the detail of its expressions.

Sculpture is for her a way of exploring the world, between documentary and fiction. Thus she often sets up her workshop in remote, forgotten or marginal places, that she goes over and then reconstructs in clay. A prison, a retirement home, a hospital, a convent, a cargo-ship… are among the places in which she invites the inhabitants to pose for her, so as to sculpt their portraits and capture these rare encounters.

Sculpture offers the possibility, in traveling the world, of finding its origins, its structure in a supremely documentary register.

«From either fortuitous or sought after encounters my work stems from a sculpted portrait, a totemic record of each of these confrontations, and builds itself on the complicity, the exchanges and the correspondence that results from them. It's about the encounters and about the places where the encounters happen. These busts, these figures, these portraits imbricate human relation, artistic flair, "the trade of living"»…

And born of these sculpted encounters are the frameworks of blackened and atemporal portraits.

In amongst all the different human portraits will sometimes be those of objects or animals. The latter two being produced in her main workshop in Normandy, in a narrative taking into account mythology, tales, psyche and memory.

Between each residence is the very necessary spent in her proper workshop in Normandy where the firing takes place. Cécile Raynal uses chamotte (grog), the only clay capable of withstanding firing temperatures of 1200º and the subsequent smoking phase. This final stage, inspired by the Japanese method 'raku', imparts the black, grey and metallic aspect on the pieces that make it difficult to determine what the sculpture is made of. The bulk of the sculpture's supports are made of wood or steel.

Her Norman workshop enables her to get away from the outside, to traverse the interior of the sculpture, and develop more shapes, more narratives, more mythologies. In this place off the beaten track, the work commences, recommences, ripens, is embellished, is found and is finalized.

To address Cécile Raynal's sculpture is to delve into the very meaning of an artistic process in which it is difficult to separate art and life.


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