Philippe Hiquily

Philippe Hiquily, a reluctant hero, came into this life on a path that would often tempt him to stray away under the onslaught of an unpredictable destiny. His incongruous endeavors seemingly deviating from the initial goal only appear to do so and actually push it forward in a single direction. His path reveals a unity captured by his work. An alert mind, actively engaged in restless questioning, attests to an independence that kept him at a distance from groups. Never fully agreeing with the Surrealists, nor with the abstract artists, he exploited an aesthetic vein whose enchantment would never run dry.

 

1925 Philippe Hiquily is born in Paris on 27 March.

1927–1930 lives in Sèvres.
1931–1936 lives in Mont-de-Marsan, meets the sculptor Charles Despiau.
1936–1944 lives in Orléans.
 
1945–1947 Brief enrolment in the School of Beaux-Arts of Orléans, then enlists for Indochina in the Leclerc Division. He receives the medal of the Royal Order of Luang Prabang personally from King Somdet Prachav Sisavang Vong.
 
1948 Enters the National School of Beaux-Arts of Paris in the studio of Janniot and Gimond, where he mixes with César, Michel Guino and Albert Féraud.
 
1953 Hiquily leaves the Beaux-Arts after winning the Prix de Sculpture for his piece Neptune.
  Buys a studio at 32 rue Raymond Losserand in the 14th Arrondissement of Paris. The same year, he develops the “direct metal” technique, consisting of autogenous welding, inspired by Gonzalez and the ancient Greeks.
He frequently visits the studio of Germaine Richier, who, seduced by Hiquily’s work, encourages him and passes orders on to him for the pedestals and mountings for her own sculptures. She introduces him to art collectors, dealers and critics, including Alain Jouffroy, Rencontre Kijno and Robert Müller.
He creates his first mobiles: Fontaine Mobile (1954), Automate (1955) and Danseur de corde (1955).
 
1955 First exhibition at the Galerie de Palmes (Paris). The Nationa Museum of Modern Art of Paris purchases La Bicyclette.
 
1956 Germaine Richier has him invited to the 12th May Salon, where he will exhibit until 1986. He presents L’Echassier. Meets Eve and Henry Miller.
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1957 He begins to use rusted sheet steel, with a phosphoric acid patina.
 
1958 Second solo exhibit, at the Galerie du Dragon (Paris) , directed by Max Clarac-Sérou. Alain Bosquet writes the catalogue text.
 
He meets Albert Camus with whom he develops plans for an adaptation of The Penal Colony, which never comes to fruition. He exhibits with Cardenas and Chavignier at the Galerie Saint-Augustin in Paris.
 
1959 marks the debut of his trans-Atlantic success. He exhibits at The Contemporaries Gallery in New York . All the pieces are sold the night of the vernissage, and Guggenheim museum buys a sculpture: Jeux de H. Hiquily achieves stardom and for the next three months lives the life of parties, dinners and receptions at Rockefeller Center with Noguchi. He meets Pop Art artists Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Jaspers Johns and Rosenquist, lunches often with Léo Castelli and visits Edgar Varèse.
 
Upon returning to Paris, he receives the Prix des Critiques during the first Biennale of Paris, when participating with his sculpture Jérémie.
 
1960 He participates in an happening « L'Anti-Procès » organized by Jean-Jacques Lebel and Alain Jouffroy, André Pierre de Mandiargues, the painter Hunderwasser and Marie-Laure de Noailles who meet at the home of journalist Ninette Lyon. Meets Georges Bataille, Max Ernst and Man Ray. At the Galerie des Quatre Chemins, he experiments with his Machine à peindre , which he invented in New York as a mockery in reaction to the “action painting” style.
Uses a pneumatic jack previously designed to build the bodies of Citroën cars.
 
1961 Hiquily returns to New York for a new exhibition at The Contemporaries Gallery, along with Jean-Jacques Lebel and Alain Jouffroy . They meet up with Juliet and Man Ray, who introduces him to Marcel Duchamp.
 
1962 Upon returning to Paris, he participates in a second happening , exhibiting an exorcism mask: “In order to ward off the spirit of catastrophe […] you must engage in a collective exorcism,” created by Jean-Jacques Lebel and produced in the Galerie Raymond Cordier, with Erro, Malaval and Kudo .
 
Hiquily uses a new, more powerful machine for bending sheet metal: a Kraftformer.
 
“Hiquily” monography by Alain Jouffroy, Editions Georges Fall.
 
1963 His friend Roland Penrose organizes an exhibit for him at the l'ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) of London.
 
Under the supervision of a psychiatrist and in the presence of Alain Jouffroy, he experiments with creating under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug.
 
Creates a series of three monumental mobiles, 12 meters in height in steel and bearings, installed at Marbella in Spain.
 
1964 He presents an exhibition at Claude Bernard Gallery in collaboration with the Galerie du Dragon. The Vicomtesse Marie-Laure de Noailles , who also exhibits in this gallery, asks him to create_a small piece of furniture from a piece of porphyry that caught the attention of Henry Samuel . The decorator—who had already worked with César, Arnal, Diego Giacometti and Rougemont—places an order with Hiquily for pieces of furniture in brass for his rich collectors.
 
A period of artistic research begins for Hiquily through furniture and the applied arts, which he considers creations in their own right. He creates for the Rothschilds, the Van Zuylen, the Princess de Broglie and Jacqueline Delubac, while continuing to create_for Marie-Laure de Noailles.
He creates Edmond de Rothschild’s office, as well as a living-dining room in stainless steel for the Quai Malaquais apartment of collector Robert Haas, whose elements have been reproduced and available at Yves Gastou Gallery on rue Bonaparte since 2005.
 
1965 Jean-Luc Godard films “Paris vu par ...,” in which Hiquily plays himself as a sculptor. Chabrol, Rouch and Rohmer meet there in their debut.
Hiquily goes to Canada to participate in a symposium during which he creates La Caravelle, a steel mobile measuring 5 meters tall, kept at the Museum of Modern Art of Montréal .
 
1966 Participates in the “Le Mouvement, l’Objet” group exhibitions, Galerie Lacloche (Paris) and “Le Corps,” Galerie du Dragon.
For technical reasons, Hiquily abandons rusted sheet metal for the more malleable brass.
 
Fashion photos in his studio for Issy Miaké by Jean-Loup Sieff that will appear in Vogue.
 
1967 Hiquily is invited to Cuba to “El Salon de Mayo” (the May Salon), accompanied by César, Valério Adami, Arroyo, Recalcati, Wifredo Lam, Cardenas, Roger-Edgar Gillet, and others. He creates a piece La Campanera and participates in a collective gigantic fresco . It is now part of the Havana Museum of Fine Arts collection and is presented in Montreal in 2008.
 
“The Portrait” group exhibition, Galerie Claude Bernard (Paris).
 
1970 Hiquily wins the William Copley Prize in New York.
 
1972 Louise de Vilmorin orders two low tables for André Malraux and herself.
 
1973 The Galerie Hervé Odermatt (Paris) presents the "Accouplements" exhibition, whose catalogue is prefaced by Alain Jouffroy. This marks a return to the object and the mixing of materials. Caustic humor and a zest for self-deprecation characterizes his sculptures in which the object obliterates boundaries with art. Lady Cocofesse , comprised of two sea coconuts brought back from a visit to the Seychelles and 08-15 , named for the model number of the German machine gun. His Autoportrait , which parodies Rodin’s The Thinker, has a photograph on top, a technique taken up during this period.
Exhibits at the Seibu Museum in Osaka and in Tokyo in the context of Master of Modern Culture. Group exhibition of “Les Masques,” Galerie Germain (Paris).
 
1976 Solo exhibition at the Galerie Bideau (Paris): Pièges à louves .
Group exhibition “Les Boîtes,” ARC Paris.
Maison de la Culture of Amiens first rétrospective: Forty sculptures from 1954 to 1976. l'Automate Immobile (1963) is stolen during the exhibition.
 
1977 Salon de Montrouge where he will exhibit until 1983.
 
1978 Start of a new series of mobile pieces until 1984, particularly fountains, Fontaine-mobile I (1978) and Water Games (1982); mobile sculptures activated by a steel ball, Bill trappe Poly-Games (1981) and La Chute (1982), and by an electric motor, Sinusoïde Lady (1984) and Jack Hammer (1984).
 
1979 The Dutch gallery owner Herman Krikhaar orders a mobile fountain, Fontaine-mobile II , from him.
 
1980 FIAC Galerie Odermatt, Paris.
 
Participates in “Energie et Mouvement” exhibition at the Maison de la Culture in Reims.
 
1981 La Marathonienne is included in a sculpture pathway, commissioned by the city of Vitry-sur-Seine. It will be reproduced in different sizes in 2004.
 
1982 “Machines…machines” exhibition at the Brétigny Cultural Center.
 
1984 FIAC 84, Fabien Boulakia Gallery (Paris) with sculptures that include vibrations: Jack Hammer (1984) and Sinusoïde Lady (1984).
 
1985 Hiquily is named Chevalier de l'Ordre National des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the National Order of Arts and Letters), then Officer in 2010.
He regularly participates in international fairs and salons. Tokyo and Anvers Biennales, Salon Grands et Jeunes, Salon de Montrouge, Sculpture Biennale in Yerres (Essonne) 2007 and 2009, Lacoste (Marquis de Sade Château) Pierre Cardin, 2011 “Le mouvement en sculpture.”
 
Exhibits his objects and furniture at Galerie Eolia (Paris).
 
1986 He meets Patrice Trigano , who offers him a contract for the production of a series of bronzes, whose casting is entrusted in the Regis Bocquel artist foundry.
 
1988 Exhibition Loft Gallery (Paris) : Drawings.
 
1989 Exhibition FIAC 89 Patrice Trigano Gallery (Paris).
 
1990 J.G.M. Gallery (Paris), Objets sculptures.”
 
1991 Solo exhibition Thierry Salvador Gallery (Paris).
 
1992 Signs a contract for Le Métal direct with the gallery owner. Second solo exhibition Thierry Salvador Gallery and publication of a substantial monograph written by François Jonquet, Editions du Cercle d'Art, Paris .
 
Foire de Bâle, Patrice Trigano Gallery.
 
1995 Retrospective at Couvent des Cordeliers in Châteauroux.
 
1997 Exhibition “Fers 1954–1958” J.G.M. Gallery (Paris).
 
1999 Creation of works for the Lutétia Hotel and in particular for the Ernest Bar and its room dedicated to cigar smokers.
 
2000 “Fers pièces uniques” exhibition, Loft Gallery (Paris).
 
2001 “Fers” exhibition Ratton-Hourdé Gallery (Paris).
 
2003 F.I.A.C. Patrice Trigano Gallery (Paris).
Foire de Bologne, Patrice Trigano Gallery (Paris).
 
2005 Exhibitions: “Mobilier” Yves Gastou Gallery (Paris) and “Bronzes” at the Patrice Trigano Gallery (Paris) to mark the publication of Hiquily Bronzes et Mobilier by Pierre Cabanne (Editions La Différence).
 
2006 He becomes a resident of Tahiti .
 
2007 “Hiquily Fers” exhibition at the Ratton-Hourdé Gallery (Paris).
 
2010 His plan for a monumental sculpture for the City of Shanghaï for the World Expo is realized in Jing’an Park. Standing 12 meters high, his sculpture draws its inspiration from the Girouette of Marbella.
 
The Hiquily Suite is inaugurated at the Hotel Lutétia.
 
2011 Exhibition at the Modern Art Gallery (Taiwan).
 
2012 Publication of the artist’s Catalogue Raisonné in two volumes.
Presentation of gigantic sculptures in the Places Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
 
Solo exhibition at the Jean-Marc Lelouch Gallery (Paris).
 
 
 
Philippe Hiquily dies at the age of 88 on March 27, 2013, on his birthday, in Paris.