Olivier Seguin

(France, 1927)

The work and evolution of the artist Olivier Seguin correspond strongly with the themes structuring the “art and architecture” collection of the Frac Centre-Val de Loire: his life as geographic and disciplinary migration, his architecture-sculpture as a program, his experiments toward a synthesis of the arts in Morocco with the architect Jean- François Zevaco and in Mexico, where he lived from 1959 to 1972 and where he realized many monumental public sculptures. The expressivity of Olivier Seguin’s monoliths evoke the primitive forms that the Viennese architect Hans Hollein was drawing during the same period after his return from Mexico (1958- 1959) which are so many illustrations of an architecture that has been emancipated from functionalist dogmas, which moves toward capturing emotion and the power of the human spirit. The Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans highlights these lines of influence while celebrating Olivier Seguin’s contribution to the legendary project La Ruta de la Amistad [The Road of Friendship]. This project united twenty-two international sculptors who had been invited to produce monumental artworks for the Mexico City Olympic Games under the direction of Mathia Goeritz. In Orléans, the Mexican architect Frida Escobedo makes homage to the French contribution, by reproducing the metallic structure of Seguin’s concrete megaliths. By doing this, she is “walking in the sculptor’s dreams,” she unpacks a questioning of the limits and ends of utopias.