TRIBUTES TO GOUDJI'S WORK
Goudji! With this striking first name alone, that ignites and soars like a rocket, this modern Benvenuto Cellini, with his unique style, made a name for himself. Like Arman, Balthus or César before him, to name only contemporary artists.
Monographie de Goudji
What strikes me most in Goudji's art, is the care he takes in instilling his objects with a mythical dimension whilst retaining their original significance. This art, transcending both time and space, reaching out to us from the depth of the artist's own sensitivity, is resolutely rooted in the world today, which it also reflects. Goudji merges that magical moment, where beauty transforms reality without losing touch with it.
Félicien Marceau, Member of the French Academy
Goudji's art speaks to the heart of men; because his work simultaneously expresses beauty, wisdom, boldness and balance; because he knows how to enhance everything that elevates man, be it the surreal or the love of one's homeland. Goudji transmutes metal into a poem incarnated in the fantasy menagerie in which he excels.
Jean Cluzel, Member of the French Institute
"A mystery of love caught in still metal
A pure spirit grows under a shell of stones."
It seems to me that Gérard de Nerval's verses, which also legitimate man's reverence for the animal world, could serve as a caption for Goudji's masterpieces
In revealing the sacred, the artist is literally and authentically "hierophant", high priest or mediator, linking man to what he believes he has risen above, and to what transcends him.
Goudji is this hierophant, the distant heir of the Dactyls and Orpheus.
Robert Turcan, Member of the French Institute
Both academic and sensitive, Goudji's art is a modern alchemy, a transmutation of matter, that needs to be selected and tamed before Goudji can breath into it strength, beauty, balance and permanence.
Contemporary witness of bygone ages, and archaeologist of present times, Goudji recalls, recreates, transforms and suggests. His reference is no longer the present, it is eternity.
Head Curator of the Museums of Loire Atlantique
Goudji's work appears to have arisen intact from a very distant past. It expresses eternity and defies the wear of time. Goudji insists on creating a timeless art that is bound to survive. The strength and dignity of his forms have a symbolic function which will be the imprint of his passage on this earth Let us just acknowledge genius as it passes.
Curator of the Museums of Riom
No one will be surprised to learn that Goudji was selected to design the first line of jewellery intended exclusively for the Louvre Museum. Besides the fact that several of this great artist's pieces have already been exhibited in museums throughout the world, there is an obvious link between his art, explicitly inspired by the goldsmiths of ancient civilizations Mesopotamian, Greek, Hittite, Etruscan-, and the French Museum where his work is most splendidly represented.
Moveover, one might say that the Louvre and Goudji share the same goal: the first seeks to celebrate, and the second to recreate beauty that shuns the transcience of fashion, and which we would like to call timeles
President of the Louvre Museum (1993)
Goudji's art work is compelling, restraint, timeless. His objects speak of beauty and culture.
I am convinced that Goudji is, and will remain, an eminent artist of our time.
Dr. Hans Hartl - Kunsthaus Dr. Hartl
Freising, Medieval Capital of Bavaria
Goudji's creative genious invites us to enter a univers where the association of unfamiliar materials blends into a unique harmony. Identifiable at a glance, we need no signature to recognize the object, the piece, the jewellery fashioned by this great master who returns to his workbench a hundred times over to offer us this perfection. Only a man of genius can breathe such life, strength and presence into inanimate matter, with a modernity leading the 21st century in a new direction.
Chantal Fernex de Mongex
Curator of Chambéry Museums
Much has been written already about Goudji and his art, unique amongst all. Who is he? A sculptor? An alchemist? I see in Goudji a man immune to definitions, containing them all, and revoking them, one after the other. He has no likes . The contemplation of Goudji's art provokes thoughts of the infinite : perfection is not circumscribed by the finite, but goes beyond it. The unique result is the sum of all possibilities.
Extracts from the Preface, Catalogue des expositions Goudji 1999
Goudji's art delights the Pope
Baptising a young fisherman in Longchamp during the World Youth Days, John-Paul II was so touched by the noble purity of the silver baptismal fount from which he drew the holy water, that he expressed the wish to know the hands which fashioned such a marvel. Those hands were Goudji's
Indeed, this conjurer of light knows like no one else the poetic path to the primeval archetypes. Those archetypes that we find so strangely related from one culture to another, from one period to the next, from one religion to another, the cradle of myths, which always seem appropriate to the time .
It is not that Goudji's art is timeless, it is resolutely rooted in today's world. His balance and generous mind are spiritual, his creativity is rooted in the eternal world of dream and fantasy.
Figaro Magazine N° 1000
The comparison will offend his modesty, nevertheless it is compelling: like Michelangelo, Raphaël, Rembrandt and Titian, he is already known by his first name alone His hands produce masterpieces in vermeil or silver, inlaid with semi-precious stones whose name alone make poetry : lapis lazuli, jasper and sodalite, tourmaline, hawk's eye, orthoceras and ivory, nephrite, chrysolithe, aventurine and chalcedony.
Marie-Gabrielle Leblanc - Famille Chrétienne
Rader of a lost art
He is like a rock, with a physique à la Picasso : his art is hard labour. Goudji does not draw his objects. He often dreams of them at night, and then makes them himself, in a mood of sheer excitement, cutting the silver or gold sheet, shaping, hammering, and inlaying.
Francine Vormèse - ELLE
A millennial modernity inspiring awe and emotion, something of a celebration of love between man and creation.
Josette Mélèze - Pariscope
Highest sanction! They beg him to come back, for a grand event, to the city that he struggled so long to leave : Moscou! A lot of Volga water has passed under its bridges
Edith Mannoni - Art et Décoration
In truth, Goudji's art is entirely timeless, with a few certainties : the simplicity of his ornemental language, his rare control and astonishing strength suggest a state of grace.
Axelle de Gaigneron - Connaissance des Arts
Goudji - the moon catcher
The Viennese Secession texts on "total art" seem to have been written just for him. It is Goudji the sculptor that fashions always unique gold pieces, and Goudji the colourist that decorates them with blue sodalite, red jasper or green chrysoprase. For Goudji, beauty is redeeming; it expresses the sacred. In his studio, the firing of metals is not innocent: he transmutes the opacity of minerals into a pool of light.
Béatrice Comte - Figaro Magazine
He has the assurance of those who have found the path to quintessence he does not look for effect, he goes beyond it. Goudji's universe is an aesthetic setting. He lives the exceptional as a regular, everyday matter. His work is innovating, yet anchored in the canons of classical beauty. The richness of Goudji's uvre reflects the richness of his character. Steeped in all cultures, he is also filled with life. He realized that to reach the heights, art must be drawn from life.
A special welcome to Goudji who has arrived suddenly at the top of a tree which normally takes a life-time to climb. I must have seen thousands of modern jewel or silver shows, and I cannot remember one which has surprised and delighted me more. Goudji's vocabulary of ornament is extremely simple, yet it has an arresting decorative quality. Everywhere you will be impressed by the sureness of his style, his refined and boundless originality.
Goudji, the artist with golden hands
But true endorsement comes following his meeting with Claude Bernard, the Kahnweiler of the latter part of the 20th C. Over a period of five years, Claude Bernard assembles a collection of Goudji's most beautiful and most striking objects, and undertakes a complete tour of the world; before exhibiting the work of the artist in his gallery, he wants to be convinced that he has before him an authentic, unique oeuvre, surpassing all others. The exhibit takes place in 1989. Goudji has finally proven to the world that his hands are indeed made of gold!
Delight in works and words
If I had to illustrate what precedes with an example, it would certainly be Goudji. There are a hundred reasons for this choice, starting with my frustration at never having had the occasion to write about an artist and a work that I have "followed" nonetheless since his beginnings in Paris. Goudji, as you know, practices the art of goldsmithery, that very distinctive art that inextricably associates drawing and sculpture, the beauty of materials and the magic of fire, manual work and pure creation.
Finally, next to the pieces, there is the poetry of their names. Custode, hydrie, puiselle, oenochoé, aquamanile, cratère, rhyton, situle, torque : who wouldn't be seduced by these terms?
Goudji, sculptor and goldsmith
The man fostered his creative force in these dark moments to bring us a powerful and luminous uvre transcending the here and now.
Francis I brought Benvenuto Cellini from Italy to set him up in the Tower of Nestle. Goudji chose, alone, to settle and create in France. Let us take advantage of our good fortune.
Goudji, the Great
The Fine Arts Museum of Chambery gives us a new opportunity to view Goudji's immense work.
The contemplation of these exquisite pieces sheds a new light on the artist who can build such a treasure with true humility, sincerity, and passion. Goudji is an outstanding artist.
Ariane Grenon - France Catholique
Goudji, goldsmith of the dawn of time
His objects have the beauty of a prayer. They illuminate the chancels of Paris and Chartres cathedrals .The Vatican commissioned him to design the liturgical objects for the Holy Year. Itinerary of an exceptional artist.
With extremely pure lines and an imaginary bestiary echoing antiquity, these objects, whether liturgical or not, seem to have existed from time immemorial. The sacred and the profane are united in a single poetic fervour in this artist believer who does not dissociate the two spheres of creation. For Goudji, art is sacred. He devotes every minute of his life to it. The silver and goldsmith never ceases to work, dreaming at night the forms that he shapes during the day.
Pélerin Magazine - April 14, 2000
TRIBUTES TO GOUDJI'S LITURGICAL WORK
Goudji's work in Chartres
This is marvellous work, simple, grand, in harmony with its purpose and with the site which called it forth. For once, an uvre that one dares to call sacred, so rarely can we use the term without fawning. I understand the enthusiasm of the congregation and clergy who perceived in the depths of their being that true art is an inspired, demanding achievement, timeless in its expression, universal in its materiality. It is an unexpected testimony to our time, and that is how the altar of Chartres Cathedral will be perceived in art history.
Head Curator of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris
Luçon Cathedral - Chancel furniture from 1770 to 1995. From the first arrangements to the contemporary contribution of Goudji
Upon discovering the new furniture of Chartres' Cathedral in 1992, the Bishop of Luçon was awe-struck. Contact was immediately established with the designer of this prestidigious ensemble, and in 1993, Goudji went to Luçon to familiarize himself with the cathedral. What needs to be known and remembered is that, to paraphrase Françoise Plessis : "Goudji is not a man of the past, but indeed an artist of the future; long after us, his work will remain a unique symbol, in the century, of an artist who aspired to leave an imprint of his passage on the earth".
303 - Arts, Recherches et Créations
Goudji works for the Pope
The name and work of Goudji, sculptor and distinguished goldsmith in France and around the world, needs no introduction The artist, who comes from the Orient, has put his talent at the service of the Church of Rome, as did once the monks of Byzance driven out by the iconoclast emperors.
Curator of the Fourvière Museum
Consecration of the altar at Chartres
Homily, May 30, 1992
Before opening this celebration, I would like to express my gratitude of course, but also my admiration for the work of Goudji. Installed only yesterday, it has already won the acclaim of the people of Chartres. It combines strength and exquisite details, restraint and magnificence, tradition and modernity, reflected symbolism and instinctive sensibility.
Bishop of Chartres
Consecration of the altar at Luçon
Homily, May 21, 1995
When we decided upon the realization of this magnificent work, we wanted it to be a sign as well as an opportunity. A gift of beauty offered to the beauty of God
Bishop of Luçon
Letter to Goudji, August 29, 1997
Following World Youth Days
The powerful simplicity and beauty of your creations have impressed all the participants, starting with the Pope himself. Your work possessed the same degree of aesthetic and spiritual quality as the event itself.
Archbishop of Paris
Letter from the Vatican to Goudji, September 8, 1997
Grateful for your time, the Pope has asked me to express his profound gratitude to you. He appreciated the fact that, for major celebrations such as the baptism of ten neophytes from five continents, the nobility of your objects helped to manifest the fundamental sacramental signs to a fervent assembly of such magnitude.
His Excellency GB Ré
Deputy to the Pope
Letter to Goudji following the opening of the Holy Door
The Vatican, January 5, 2000
I write to thank you for the "Jubilee door knocker" that you designed for the Holy Year 2000 at the request of the "Office of the Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations". It will be placed in the "Papal Sacristy".
I take this opportunity to congratulate you for the "clasp" of the liturgical mantle worn by Pope John-Paul II on the evening of the Holy Door's opening in Saint-Peter's basilica. It was admired by all.
Monsignor Piero Marini
Master of Pontifical Ceremonies
Letter to Goudji, March 9, 2000
State Secretary of the Vatican
Touched by your thoughtfulness and the manifestation of your affection, the Pope has asked me to express to you his gratitude. He is delighted that your goldsmithery and jewellery, profoundly inspired by the Scriptures and the liturgical spirit of the Church, illustrate the "alliance established between the Gospel and art", as he indicated in his Letter to the artists (N. 14). May the beauty of your art and the creative inspiration that animates it help men marvel at the mystery of the Incarnation that we celebrate particularly in this Jubilee year!
Monsignor G.B. Ré
Deputy to the Pope
Arrangement of the new sanctuary
Church of Saint-Philibert Abbey at Tournus
A dominican communicates his emotion:
According to some, Beauty is a transcendental, that is to say a reality capable of expressing God. The work that Goudji has designed for the sanctuary of Tournus' Abbey is a testimony of Beauty. It is an expression of the divine that we will endlessly contemplate.
Brother Arnaud Lamouille