Valerie Chaussonnet, Texas Sculpture Group
From Austin, Texas
I weld and forge poetic, profound, heavy steel sculptures, stylized busts, and Baroque landscapes. I also weld or knit whimsical, unreadable love letters, which are actually love letters to welding and art making, and create writer's sets, which I enjoy using on my own desk. Writing is important to me.
I use the welding rod as a drawing tool. I often work with other people's discarded practice materials. Their perceived "failed" attempts touch me. I like the feel of sincere vulnerability carried by this marked material, and my sense of rehabilitation from making it into a sculpture. I like the notion of collaboration with others and with the material.
I crochet French pastries and pursue various visual arts experiments, in fiber and other materials. I also paint exuberant, colorful watercolors and oil paintings. I enjoy illustrating texts I wrote.
Many of my pieces and series are inspired by my love for prehistory and my past professional museum experience in curating non-western art.
My sculptures are evocative, not strictly speaking representational. They call on the viewer’s imagination. Some are frankly abstract. Many are whimsical. I have a joyous nature and am curious about the quirkiness and deep soul of my fellow humans. These traits of character inform my work. Each piece carries a personal narrative.
Valérie Chaussonnet is a French-American visual artist who has been working in both painting and sculpture for over 30 years. She attended the Corcoran Art School while working as a museum anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution, 1986-1997, a specialist of the Arctic people and women’s art. Her anthropological research and her interest in world cultures greatly inform themes and aesthetics in her artwork to this day. They include our attachment to our landscape, to our ancestral, prehistoric and biological origins, and to one another as humans. She moved to Texas in 1997.
Chaussonnet has participated in over fifty exhibitions in the last five years, including a solo show in Midland, Texas, and exhibits at the Austin Museum of Art, the Lawndale Center, the Grand Rapid, Michigan Museum of Art, Artspace111, the San Angelo Sculpture Park, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum, the Neill-Cochran House and Museum, and the Contemporary Art Museum in Plainview.
Her favored medium in sculpture is steel, mostly reclaimed, re-cut, forged and re-welded into expressive, stylized busts, landscapes inspired by Asian sumi ink paintings on paper, fantastic birds, goddesses from ancient times, and abstract pieces full of movement. She also enjoys working in fibers.
A full (illustrated) bio and a full CV can be read at www.valeriechaussonnet.com.