As the new kid on the block at 49 Geary Street, San Francisco's reputed den of art activity, our introduction of glass sculpture to art aficionados continues to draw surprising response - from congratulations to outrageous curiosity. For our first Winter Salon, a group exhibition of blown and kiln-fired sculpture, digital art, and video, one of the artists whose work has elicited some of the most interest is Chantal Royant.
Born in France, Chantal Royant's work infuses personal philosophies and poetry, creating a lyrical visual work, dynamic with color, drama, and form, yet infinitely delicate. Chantal's work possesses fascinating exchange of light and optics, which forms the sculpture within a sculpture, a classical hallmark of polished cast glass artwork.
Questions about Chantal's work range from the ubiquitous, "What is it?" (It's kiln cast lead glass, commonly known as crystal), to "How did she achieve such a distinct bubble pattern?" (The bubbles are formed by gases trapped during the kiln-firing process).
According to her editor, Edith Herlemont-Lassiat, Chantal's sources of inspiration are infinite and permanent, everything brings her back to the creative act: a moment of particular light, a work of art, an emotion, a look, a promise of beauty. Nourished by childhood in Brittany and memories of granite and rain, the paradox between materials and matter influence an attentive sensibility of space. Presenting contrasts of shape, color and clarity in tandem with formal presence, Chantal's work of highly polished sculptural mass is belied by effervescent air bubbles suspended in surprising clear forms. Strands of glass thread in unlikely silken weavings, colors are saturated or transparent, always intense - her sculpture, with its definitive interior and exterior shapes, capture a moment that is forever suspended in light and delicate space.