The artist

The artist
Maria Conti, bronze sculptures and precious or semi precious jewelry

The first are monumental: which does not mean large of size but large of conception, "with greatness".

Indeed, they present an enormous scale potential: as they are presented, from 5 Cm, to 30 Cm, they are suffice to themselves in their aesthetics but contain a potentiality which allows to imagine them larger, either doubled, tripled to become sculpture of interior, as a table centre, on a shelf or a high base.
Or like small scale models of sculptures much larger of size like monumental achievements several meters tall, or even become the architecture itself of full and massive houses.

All these potentialities are contained in these works of art which are often made of 3 dense and powerful geometric elements, associated, encased in each other or close to each other but without touching.

The artist
Other works are made of 5, 6 or 8 full and vigorous forms with smooth planes creating a concretion.
It is their particular geometry which expresses their form so well. There is indeed a density in these smooth and compact forms. Their finish is close to jewellery. All the parts fall under a triangular rise, as if they were pushed by the ground upwards. There is always dialogue of volumes. When two forms are in place, there is only an encounter, but from three of them the composition is revealed.

Each person will see an image there and will project a vision on it: for one a large jewel, for another a paper weight, a third forms to be caressed, a fourth an urban sculpture, etc...
The jewels are also compositions of forms or dialogues between stones squared and polished in a more rigorous geometrical silver surface.
Which holds the other? Which dominates?

There is always a round, square surface which meets, borders, is used as background for stones treated geometrically with more flexibility.


The artist
Maria Conti, the mastering of shapes

Jewels and sculptures constitute the two axes of the work of Maria Conti. In both cases, noble, polished matters without exuberance, through which the artist seeks the harmony above all.

Contrasts of shapes, play of angles and curves contribute to create this balance nearing the breaking point but without precariousness, so much the objects created by Maria Conti exist by themselves and seem to come without saying. Here the simplicity is not saving on means or renouncement vis-à-vis the difficulty.
It touches with the diagram of an art with two faces which prefers serenity to tension, fluidity to contortions.

The artist
In the register of the sculpture, Maria Conti exploits certain heaviness while preserving the dialogue with space. And if certain pieces have this reassuring intimacy of forms that are a little squat, others launch out to the attack towards unlimited space, piercing it fwith their powerful edges.

These assemblies of several distinct parts sometimes evoke the forms of the urban architecture. In certain cases, they quite simply constitute an object carrying harmony, unless they play of their internal movement to create a particular dynamics which plays of the various forces involved.

The artist
Her jewels draw their elegance and their beauty from the same sources: purity, balance and cleanness. Pendants, rings, pins and earrings are composed of metals such as gold or silver as regards the support. Maria Conti confirms here her taste for the line, smooth surfaces, and multiple thicknesses. Sometimes she enchases in these fragments of minerals whose natural tones and dominant colour create contrasts of form and matter.

D.P., 2007

The artist
Maria Conti by Maria Conti

I was born in Italy where I attended artistic secondary school and the first year of architecture. I continued my studies of architecture in Brussels with "ACA" (Academy, currently I.S.A. Victor Horta). It is also with the ACA that I followed the formations of ' non-figurative sculpture ' and of 'sculpture monumentale'. Between 1994 and 1999, I learned the technique and art of jewel creation.

As of the beginning of my artistic studies I was challenged by the shapes, their infinite number and the combinations quite as infinite which can exist between them. The approach of the non-figurative and monumental sculpture made me discover that aesthetics is no other than the result of the relationship between the shapes and the emotion and the feeling which they can cause. When I was young I was moved by work by Paul Klee. My work of sculptor has later being defined as being of ' constructivist' inspiration.

The artist
First as sculptor and then as a creator of jewels, I continued this research task of "research of balance to the limit of breaking point". To create a bond between elements in contrast, of different nature or aspect, by purifying them more and more.

Full and empty, opaque and brilliant, different slopes of the planes which constitute the various elements, interpenetration of the shapes, all leading to a single element. Emotion and pragmatism make me a moderate and structured person at the same time, in my personal life as well as in my work. The challenge is that of make a great sensitivity and a whole character cohabit without dissimulation, so that these two antagonistic elements become complementary.

Artistic studies

July 1972: Artistic maturity - Liceo Artistico di Bologna, Italy
June 1983: Diplomas of " non-figurative Sculpture " and "Monumental Sculpture" - Royal Academy of the Art schools of Brussels.
Academic Studies
1972 - 1973: Architecture: Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy (certificate 1st Year) and the Higher Institute of Architecture Victor Horta, Brussels (diploma) professional Experience in the capacity as architect
1978 - 1992 Work as architect employed and independent while practicing the sculpture
Training in jewellery
At the Institute of Ornament, Jewellery and Traditional Jewellery of the Technical school of the Town of Brussels of 1994 to 1999:
Short trainings
Lost wax Modelling and Concepts of gemmology
Jewellery and Traditional Jewellery, Contemporary Chiselling and Jewels, email in Jewellery

Professional experience in jewellery

Since 1995: Work in workshop Jenner street 10 in Ixelles
Since 1999 Professor of "contemporary Jewels" to the International summer Academy of Libramont

Awards and Recognitions

1982 P J.C. Chauray award at the Louis Schmidt contest in Brussels
1989 Displayed at show room from May in St Gilles
1993 Displayed at the Louis Schmidt contest’s fair at the U.L.B. (Free University of Brussels)
1996 Marie-Claire award - "5 In Arts" 1996
Nominee at the Sculpture contest of the French Community of Brussels Capital in the Park Solvay
1997 Special Mention from the Arts centre of the Royal Air Force "Oasis" in Evere

Other references and actuality: please consult French language pages.

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