CATALÀA Françoise
  • Introduction
  • Creation process
  • Text extracts
  • Some press reviews
  • Biography
  • News and Contact



    Pierre RESTANY
    Art critic

    Catalog, public order, June 29, 1990.

    All of Françoise Catalàa's arrangements are thus part of an evolving style of the absence /presence dialectical model: dissemination of modular forms, different repetition and at last a final stage of relative stability which would be akin to a stasis of deconstruction.

    A great wealth of interactive messages is conveyed through this circuit which, beyond Derrida and Deleuze, leads to the fractal fatality of the identical, Françoise Catalàa, that's all...

    .Françoise Catalàa is not content to polarize the space with a sculpture in the traditional sense: she organizes paths for the gaze and also for the body.
    The purity, the monumentality, the poetic force of his creations touch me all the more because under their rigorous geometry circulates and vibrates an abundance of themes that are dear to me: myths, enigmatic messages from forgotten languages and scriptures, essential forms of nature, among others. A complex symbolism offers itself to our decipherment in these monuments which sometimes cut through space like the crystals of some unknown mineral system, sometimes haunt it like the ruins of a forgotten civilization.

    François-Bernard MÂCHE
    Member of the Institute, Academy of Fine Arts, Paris
    Composer, Grand Prix national de la musique.

    Exhibition catalog March 1988.

    Madanjeet SINGH

    Special Advisor to the Managing Director
    of UNESCO, responsible for issues of Culture and
    Education, Blanc-Mesnil PATH to PEACEcatalog,
    Paris, July 28, 1994
    All this, and Heaven too, is reflected in the fascinating artistic works of Françoise Catalàa, which effectively demonstrate how cultures, across all of humanity, in places of the world so radically separated, converge, transcending both time and space, and continually manifest themselves in their wholeness of form and content. It is this “passage”, a phenomenon of ultimate and cosmogonic universality of different cultures, which is the leitmotif and the “vital foundation” of the natural symbols in the artistic creations of Françoise Catalàa…
    “Your book is superb, overflowing with richness. Sculpture is for me one of the most difficult registers: it requires a slow, absorbed meditation, entering the thickness. I have only written twice about works of sculpture (Etienne Martin and Lucile Bertrand). Your production is moreover itself very broad, very varied through its constants of which gravity or rather weighing is a major one. Which doesn't mean lightness: it means gravity. Maybe we will have the opportunity to talk about it…
    Jean-Luc NANCY
    Philosopher and writer
    Emeritus Professor at the University of Strasbourg
    (letter of March 28, 2008).

    Philosopher and writer,
    University professor, director of the CRHIA
    (Hegel Center for Research on the Imaginary German).
    University of Poitiers, UFR Human Sciences and Art.
    Fragments of sending the book 'Catalàa libre parcours 2007.

    Like Bergson, Françoise Catalàa unites objective expression and inner life. It is not surprising that it has found, in the superpositions of duration with itself, in the interpenetration of states of consciousness into each other, the expression of the metamorphosis which is the law of creative evolution (…).
    That visual art can become an art of time, this is what Cataláa shows by realizing in each of his works, a journey, that is to say a real spiritual pathing(…)
    …That time is deposited on the fabric in letters signifying the most immediate numerical sequence, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, this is what Françoise Catalàa understood (…) Written fabrics of Cataláa bear the mark of this profound humanism which is nothing other than the feeling of human unity.
    The deposition of time is the living deposit of creative time in the individual consciousness; the exposure of time is its effective realization and its expansion into the moving universe.
    Contrary, indeed, to this modernity too often claimed as a vast site of disenchantment with the world, this work, familiar with the most 'archaic' cultures as well as the most current and most delirious mathematics, attentive to the sound of rhombs as to those of the computers of Xenakis or Mâche, never ceases to celebrate, in the vertigo of creating, the reconciliation of scientific knowledge and the mystery of spiritualities... This work is a journey with infinite correspondences.
    Gérard BARRIÈRE
    Art critic and philosopher

    Jacques LACARRIERE
    Catalog Incantare Blanc-Mesnil 1990.
    .From threshold to threshold, edge and horizon merge. They are the reinvented space of Stonehenge where mistletoe and star pickers sleep. You have to enter through the door of the palimpsests to discover the virgin soil of words and dream in the motionless maelstrom of time.
    Encrypted chaos «The fall
    bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerron ntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!»...The hundred-letter words to say the storm associated with the fall: the components of the decomposition of the terms saying the thunder in more than twenty different languages, Joyce invents the origin of language and languages at the same time. Two combined myths, that of the origin and that of Babel in a single big telluric word.
    In a comparable gesture, Françoise Catalàa continues this movement by which creation is back to chaos, but to the chaos of cipher words. The lightning is born from the meeting between the softness and the roar, the material of the fabric, tender for the eye and soft under the fingers and the nature of the noise, shattering for the ear, power of danger. Is this encounter provoked by the fallen words of an obscure disaster, or is it what gives birth to them, both ordered and confused? The power of the work is to decide nothing about it. Will more than five thousand languages say the storm enough, the fear that we continue to have of it because we think we are dying from what we obscurely came from?
    Tiphaine SAMOYAULT
    was a professor of general and comparative literature
    at Paris 8 Sorbonne Nouvelle Universities.
    Director of Studies at EHESS since 2021,
    Director of the Arts Research Center and language
    (CRAL-EHESS/CNRS). Lightning Book 2011

    Nathalie DARZAC
    Journalist and Dr of Communications
    Exhibition catalog February 1989
    Museum-Gallery of Fine Arts Bordeaux

    In harmonic sequences, cosmological and poetic meditation, Françoise Catalàa practices the alchemical fusion of black, white and red in an irreducible quest for ultimate reality, the absolute. Always on the edge of limit states, this work extirpates, in a body-to-body matter-spirit, the essence of being. Organized according to an initiatory journey that guides to the fiery heart of the most vibrant, the most luminous “Art of Love”, the artist’s installations create a magical place where space-time flourishes in its entirety.
    First of all, it is an impression of silence, of timeless calm, of a sumptuous presence, still concealed, of a heavy and motionless beauty.
    A rustle of time over, a murmur of silenced voices, then a muffled music, serious, deep, tenacious, voluptuously distressing rises. Few hear.
    Few deserve this hidden offering, these secret memories, this finally almost accessible serenity.
    Jacques LABARTHE-PON
    Catalog. Fine Arts Department
    of the Dordogne1987.
    Laurent DEVEZE
    Catalog of Catalàa exhibition,
    French Institute Krakow Poland 1993
    Happiness of a pathing that once again one would think sung. While around the visitor weaves the soft fabric of a complicity. A universe, perhaps a language, better a word, we are in the presence of a rare work.
    The Path to Peace in Blanc-Mesnil is undoubtedly a beautiful work of art that Françoise Catalàa created with great enthusiasm, love and poetry. The artist has indeed been able to convey through the Arrow, the Three Gates of Peace and the Memorial, the deep feeling of the coexistence between entities, symbols and historical facts, which are rarely brought together and presented to the public of simultaneously. The artist thus demonstrates ‘urban creation’. His work reflects better than any work of urban planner, what establishes the foundation of the city, that is to say this skilful mixture of individuals of diverse origins, belonging to varied cultures but pursuing a goal common.
    Cynthia GHORRA-GOBIN
    Urban planner, Research Director at the CNRS
    Professor at the Institute of Political Studies Paris
    Catalog Path to Peace September 1994.
    .Pierre RESTANY
    Art critic.
    Catalog Path to Peace September 1994

    This analysis underlines the semantic richness and the structural precision of this work. (…) The internal logic that unites each element of the system is highly significant: more than a remodeling, an architectural staging or an urban planning operation,' the 'Tribute to Peace' is a living and 'speaking' work, the humanist expression of the 'soul' of a community. It is a brilliant exercise in Cataláa style where the author testifies, without pretense, to the mastery of his means and the fullness of his language.
    Between the zero of vacuity, the one of singularity (this is how astrophysicists designate the initial moment of the universe) and the eight of accomplished infinity, it will be a question here of what Heraclitus called the Game of the World, or the Being-in-Becoming-of-the-Totality. Extensive program, of course. But seeing the works of Françoise Catalàa (…), one quickly realizes that, accustomed to the monumental and the universal, this artist is not the type to be discouraged by the distance or the extent of the horizons that she proposes to her step. Françoise Catalàa's work, like her spirit and her teaching, is essentially encyclopaedic, universalist, humanist and mystical. riddles, memory and imagination, in an adventure of the mind where your dreams will go to meet those of the whole world and of all ages. (…) Don’t go visit, go live, go on a trip…
    Gérard BARRIÈRE
    Art critic and philosopher
    Catalog ‘Austral’ Courtieux gallery,
    Suresnes, near Paris, November 3, 1995.
    Pierre RESTANY
    Art critic
    Catalog Incantare July 15, 1990.
    Objects, sculptures, pathings of Françoise Catalàa are naturally incantatory. All is said and all is to be said at the same time. Dissemination, deconstruction, fractalization, different repetition, the ‘CATALÁANE’ creation reaches its normality in the permanent and continuous present of its affective and sensitive consciousness. (…) An order, a silence, an inner harmony should emerge from the whole, free the spectator-actor from the selfish burdens of everyday life and put him on the path to peace of heart...
    Sculpture? Maquette? Model? Architectural element? Urbanism? Since defining her work is so problematic, since she refuses to be locked into a precise and delimited genre, Françoise Catalàa can’t leave you indifferent. On the occasion of the French institute of South Africa, this french woman – a sculptor, a designer of space – exhibits at our neighbours, Newtown Galleries of Johannesburg.
    Artist at the margins of the main contemporary art trends, Françoise Catalàa is interested in the symbolic dimension of mythical and ritual forms of all civilizations, and integrates them in contemporary sculpture. The results of this quest are often monumental works constituting roads of initiation. (…)
    A woman, a sculptor, an architect, an urbanist
    P15 Wolhuter mail n°1 IFAS South Africa 1995.

    . Ricky BURNETT
    Director of the Newtown Gallery
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Catalog of the Catalàa exhibition-1995

    The re-invigoration of public space, thr enrichment of shared man-made urban environments is, I believe as crucial for our future social health as is the provision of housing and sewerage. (…) Architectural inventiveness dedicated to the revision of urban landscapes is one of the great, yet rarely faced, challenges present in the developing world.
    Françoise Catalàa who is both an architect and a sculptor, has explored this interface for many years (…) Our thanks to Françoise Catalàa for her energy and commitment.
    We are delighted to be hosting this exhibition (…)
    Françoise Catalàa is a visual artist, teacher at the School of Architecture of Paris - Villemin. (…) The educational approaches of Françoise Catalàa had caught our attention by the place they granted to non-Western plastics, calling on the considerable corpus of arts that were once described as 'primitive', attributed to societies that were said ‘traditional', as opposed to our 'modern-developed' societies. This approach, to our knowledge not very common in the plastic teachings delivered in schools of architecture, could only intrigue the anthropologists of our network (…) A work of art structuring a public space is one of the constituent dimensions of the urban art that Françoise Catalàa offers us (…) Her personal approach, in which a dialogue is established with the cultures furthest removed, in the first analysis, from our 'modernity', (…) nevertheless directly joins the most lively and the most burning of the daily life of a Parisian suburb: the identity and the cultural membership of each one, to recognize and to find (…)

    Christelle ROBIN
    Scientific Manager and Director of the
    publication Architectural Research Network
    Editions de la Villette, Paris 1996
    Paris-La Villette School of Architecture
    Dossier: Art and public spaces. 126p. (pp.70 to 84)
    Architecture/Anthropology book. Network notebooks

    Claude PARENT

    Architect, member of the Institute,
    Académie des beaux-arts, Paris.
    Letter of 12/05/07.



    (…) I admit that I needed this second reading because at first I was disturbed by the incredible diversity of your works. But the drawings gave me the key, the common thread of all this (sacred) investigative monumentality. (…) the drawings of sculptors are often better than those of painters.
    I love 'Epectasis', 'Racine d'un carré' and 'Amaterasu' and I am overwhelmed by the fabrics '…and the winner is…'.
    (…) it is true that I find a relationship with my oblique requirement in many of your works.
    With my complicit friendships
    .“(…) I wanted to tell you that your work touched me a lot.
    (…) I really think that you have taken another step in your work. You have found a completely different vocabulary, and a very interesting concept.
    The only thing I regret is that Pierre Restany couldn't see it, but I'm sure he would have liked it very much and would have encouraged you.

    Dani KARAVAN
    Sculptor. Praemium Imperial
    Nobel Prize for the Arts Kyoto Japan 1998
    Letter of 19-02-2014 about encrypted fabrics

    Cédric VILLANI
    Professor at the University of Lyon
    Dr of the Henri Poincaré Institute (CNRS/UPMC)
    Fields Medal 2010
    Letter of 28-03-2014



    (...) I really appreciate your works (...)
    ‘‘I was overwhelmed by your creative work. I found it quite extraordinary’


    ProfessorPrinceton USA, Master of Arts
    Doctorate of Philosophy A.B. Harvard university
    Letter-mail of May 4, 2008

    Historian specializing in modern India
    Research Dr at CNRS
    Former Dr of the French Institute of Pondicherry (1991-1993)
    Chairman of the French Institutes
    Monitoring Committee in India (1998-2012)
    Mail of June 27, 2014



    « I can warmly congratulate you for the honor bestowed on you, the gaze of others makes you aware of yourself, and such public recognition necessarily helps you move forward, especially creators like you who draw so much from themselves! »
    "I was moved by your beautiful book [...]
    with my admiration. »

    Georges APERGHIS
    Letter/email of November 9, 2010

    Patrice HUGUES
    Author of 'The Language of Fabric'
    Email of March 8, 2011

    'Your hard work impresses me. Your sense of a certain form of perfection and also of monumentality...’
    “I am delighted for all these distinctions for you.”

    Catherine TASCA
    Minister of Culture from 2000 to 2002
    Mail of June 27, 2014