Toni Grand (1935-2005) was widely regarded in France as one of their most original and inventive sculptors.
Since 1977 his works have been constructed through the combination of fibre-glass resin with a natural material, initially wood, then stones and animal bones; the synthetic material mimicking the wooden element of the piece. This became Reparation 15 Juillet 1987, and he continued to use eels in his work for the next six years. The works in this exhibition were all from this period.
Fish, which suggest constant movement, are paradoxically fixed and rigid in the work, often used apparently as supports and stabilising elements. In Entre 49 et 115 centimetres, the fish, rather than being contained by the fibreglass trays, seem instead to be holding them up and in the large installation Du simple ad double, the cylinders are held in balance by the weight of the eels.
Grand’s work was characterised not only by its sparseness and refusal of any spectacular effect, but also its compelling strangeness and quiet humour.