When she was 18 she could be seen at auctions, buying hyperrealist artists with her sister Lorraine. The vision of the two beautiful sisters, one dark and one blond, was striking, and this is the image I always kept of Annabelle d’Huart. After being an arts photographer in New York and a collaborator of architect Ricardo Bofill in the 1980’s, she is now a full time artist with an overwhelming variety of supports.
After spending four years at the Sèvres porcelain workshops, creating jewelry in ceramics on a maritime theme and tableware, she is now working out of a fancy studio on place de l’Odéon, in the Latin quarter.
Her exhibition at Piasa Auctioneers last month made me curious of her versatility and I fell in love with Annabelle’s microscopic drawings on giant canvases. Done on Korean paper and with HB pencils, they are poetic and forceful, they let you evade yourself in another world.
But what I saw, when I went to visit her studio, were huge drawings of ribbons in multicolor pencil, the “Shitao” series, which she describes as a tribute to a Tibetan priest she studied with, who trains you to temperate your moods and your emotions, teaches harmony. He was called “Shitao, the pumpkin monk”.
They are drawn on a canvas covered with blanc de Meudon, a material she used in Sèvres and they are inspired by Piero della Francesca’s fluidity of light. They are drawn in a bichromy of cold and hot colors and these huge canvases are covered in tiny pencil strikes. They are very soothing.
As is her private apartment above, where she shows me her sculpted jewels, her photographies and more intimate drawings. Her career included designing jewelry for Karl Lagerfeld in 2000 at Chanel, and for Yohji Yamamoto in 2007. She is preparing a book of photographs of all the great artists of the 70’s in New York, Robert Ryman, Dan Flavin, Donal Judd, whom she met in their studios as a very young photographer.
When she exhibited at gallery Pixi-Poliakoff, she was showing stellar constellations. For her work is often inspired by science and photography of the sky or of underwater worlds.
Rarely have I met someone so dedicated to her art, with such versatility.
Working with her on an object must be a fascinating experience and if you are curious, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
(Some of her jewelry can be found at 107 Rivoli, the Musée des Arts décoratifs’s shop)
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