PIERRE LE FAGUAYS
BRONZE AND ALABASTER, SIGNED
A French sculptor of lithe female figures, monuments, ceramics and figurative lamps working in Art Deco* style, Pierre Le Faguays captured public attention with his early exhibitions of exuberant dancing figures, inspired by the statues of Tanagra*, a community north of Athens known for mass produced terracotta* figurines.
It is thought that he also used the pseudonym of Raymond Guerbe, which is reinforced by the similarities of subject matter and style.
Also there is discrepancy about his death date, given as 1925, 1935 and 1962. A biography of Papillon Gallery indicates that Le Faguays "exhibited in 1937 in Paris at L'Exposition Internationale." * Assuming this participation to be true, that would make the death date of 1962 the likely one.
Le Faguays was a native of Nantes, France. He studied at the Paris Salon* and in Geneva, Switzerland, and was a member of the Salon, La Stele and Evolution groups. His mediums included ivory, wood, stone and bronze. In 1927, he was awarded the French Medal of Honor.
Of Le Faguay's sculpture Faun and Nymph, a viewer wrote: "Most of the decorative bronzes that I have seen from the Art Deco era (such as those of Ferdinand Preiss and Demetre Chiparus) reflect Jazz Age subject matter, but were essentially academic in style. Yet here, Le Faguays takes the three-dimensional medium of sculpture and adopts the heavy lines and two-dimensionality of Art Deco graphic design. This may be seen the most strongly in the poses and hair of the figures and the musculature of the faun. It reminds me of Hildreth Meiers's sculptures on the outside of Radio City Music Hall. These were, by necessity, flat. But Le Faguays faced no such limitation and simply adopted the sharp angularity for purely aesthetic reasons."