Je dors, je travaille


At Home with Valentine Schlegel


Je dors, je travaille: deux énoncés peints sur une pancarte réversible accrochée à la porte de l'atelier sétois De Valentine Schlegel ils correspondent à deux temps différents de ses journées, invitant à l'isolement ou à la compagnie. Ele partage sa vie entre Sète et Paris, des lieux de travail où elle façonne des coins à habiter.

I sleep, I work: two statements painted on a reversible sign hanging on the door of the Sétois workshop De Valentine Schlegel they correspond to two different times of her days, inviting to isolation or to company.  She divides her life between Sète and Paris, places of work where she shapes places to live.


Often part of a house–and therefore of private space–Schlegel’s works investigated movement while being “at home,” and were for some time, secreted away because of it. A look at an artist who formed her pieces within the “domestic,” though her bending works defied settling, and so lived in liminality between too narrow labels.  


Personalizing her coiled technique by the 1950s, Schlegel crafted curved and hilly sculpture out of clay; made for the inside but inspired by the outdoors, she echoed and maybe longed for organic forms (rock formations, plants, and shells of her seaside home in Sète) which would eventually lead to her famous works; otherworldly fireplaces. A nester and a natural cook, Schlegel made art meant for the home within her at home studio; blurring the boundaries with handmade objects, such as dishware, sitting somewhere between the two. 


In the current moment, when we are indoors, Schlegel’s work presents a possible dynamism that, paradoxically, comes from working within confined parameters; the unexpected effect of fluidity within her fixed indoor arrangements. Expanding our expectations of what can be done at home, these pieces use the domestic setting as an initial site, but extend and flourish outward from its forms and formalities–making the home not only livable but in its way, also alive.