Nicolas Boulard

Colonne – Pouligny #1
Plaster on an MDF base, 20 x 20 x 120 cm
Work acquired in 2017

2017

Born in 1976 in Reims, Nicolas Boulard lives and works in Paris.

Nicolas Boulard’s artistic practice takes its inspiration from two registers of important references, which he puts to innovative use in his work. While he is deeply influenced by the history of modern art on the one hand, particularly American art from the 1960s and 1970s, his work is also strongly anchored in the sphere of the land. Long interested in the world of wine—which is very familiar to him, having grown up in a Champagne producing family—and having subverted its rules and conventions, both the manufacturing processes and the French certification system, Boulard turned his attention to the world of cheese in 2010. Sparking this interest was his observation of the formal proximity that exists between the shapes of cheese and certain recurring figures in minimal art. In his performative project Specific Cheeses, Boulard was inspired, for example, by Sol Lewitt’s 12 Forms Derived from a Cube (1982). In this context, he regularly has cheeses made based on their models, in turn based on the ancestral knowledge of local producers.

Column – Pouligny # 1 (2017) is a plaster column, inspired by the famous Endless Column by Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), variations of which were created between 1917 and 1957. Where the Romanian sculptor used a simplification of organic forms to achieve a pure artistic form, on the contrary, Boulard draws his inspiration directly from reality by using as the initial model for his column the characteristic pyramidal form of Pouligny goats’ cheese. In his sculptural proposal, the Romanian artist, influenced by the teachings of Auguste Rodin (1850-1917), elevated the base of his column to the status of a fully-fledged element, thereby fusing materials and forms. Boulard prefers to place his column on a base made up of eight circles of different widths and heights, giving his column a dynamic support that is equally inseparable from his work.