Back to the Roots

Marcel Pinas, Paintings and Installations,
Laurence Simode Franzon, Sculptures and Ceramics
at the Magnanerie in Seillans
12 Ancienne route de Fayence, 83440, Var, France

Since October 2011, this former silk factory’s art gallery has seen a renaissance, stepping up its previous artistic aims and offering 200 m2 of breathtaking contemporary art space for emerging and established artists in a magnificent listed heritage building.

This rebirth is due to a partnership formed between the Magnanerie’s owner, Pierre Dufrasne, his close friend, the contemporary art collector, Roland Daumesnil, and the well-known gallerists, Guy and Michèle Beddington, who have run these last eleven years an exceptional gallery and, in 2010, inaugurated a major sculpture park in seven hectares of olives groves, both of which are situated in or close to the nearby village of Bargemon.

As the Magnanerie’s opening show ‘Signes’ draws to a close (18th February 2012 ), the renaissance moves onwards from March 2012 with exhibitions by internationally established artists.

The first features Marcel Pinas, who picks up the thread of ‘Signes,’ for symbols play an important role in the work of this highly acclaimed artist from Suriname. Named by the World Economic Forum young global ambassador for culture in 2010, and honoured by H.R.H the Queen of the Netherlands’ personally opening his Amsterdam sculpture exhibition in March 2011, Marcel Pinas’ leitmotif ‘Kibri a Kulturu' (Preserve the Culture) remains the foundation stone of his creativity, a life force aimed at conserving and building upon the fragile cultural heritage of his people, the N’Dyuka, descendants of slaves transported from Africa to Dutch Guiana in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Pinas’ paintings, sculptures and Land Art and the Cultural Centre he is creating, safeguard against the otherwise inevitable erosion of their historic links to Africa and give a new cultural confidence to a younger generation humbled by civil war and polluted by gold mine exploitation. His canvases display a marvellous and rich colour sense allied to a complexity of geometric forms subtly embellished with the esoteric messages contained in the Afaka script, a native phonetic alphabet invented around 1900, and re-discovered by researchers in the 1960s.

On the 25th February 2012, the Magnanerie de Seillans will provide a most fitting backdrop, not only for the unveiling of Pinas’s majestic large format paintings, but also as the setting for a live performance by the artist . This opening date falls coincidentally  close to  the anniversary of Suriname’s brutal Civil War in the 1980s.

Marcel Pinas has kindly agreed to return to Bargemon later this July to become artist in residence and  continue his creative work.

Complementing Marcel Pinas fittingly, the outstanding and graceful ceramic and steel sculptures of Laurence Simode Franzon, too, are totemic, and in great part inspired by the Dark Continent and express her conviction that we are all shaped by memories and experiences. Having trained originally as a theatrical make-up artist, then as a fashion designer, discovering ceramics was a life-changing event that revealed to her this extraordinary alchemy formed by the elemental interaction of earth, fire and air.

« I take my clay and build it up to a roughly finished piece until it is in equilibrium ; I instil into it my emotions, experiences, even my anger, until it becomes something poetic, gentle and constructive, fragile, yet timeless ».

Unesco Prize-winner in 2008, Laurence Simode Fronzon, who lives and works in the Champagne region of France, shuns enamelling and favours instead a simplicity and purety of form permitting her to channel her feelings more directly. To work with clay draws one back to the fundamentals.

Marcel Pinas : Paintings and Sculptures
Laurence Simode Fronzon : Sculptures and Ceramics

From 1st March until 2nd June 2012
Opening Hours
Thursdays and Fridays :  2pm –  6.30 pm
Saturdays : 10am –  6pm
And by appointment / + 33  (0)4 94 76 64 06  + 33 (0)6 09 18 66 02

Email :

Tél :+ 33 (0) 4 94 76 64 06
Mobile Guy Beddington : +33 (0) 680 111 763
Mobile Roland Daumesnil : + 33 (0)6 09 18 66 02

La renaissance à la Magnanerie de Seillans en 2012 se poursuit avec des expositions d'artistes de renommée internationale.

La première intitulée Back to the Roots' avec Marcel Pinas et Laurence Simode Franzon, est en continuité avec celle des Signes' avec Lume et Laurent- Emmanuel Briffaud. Les symboles jouent un rôle important dans l'œuvre de cet artiste du Suriname dont le thème  « Préservez la culture »  est l'âme de son travail. La destruction de la culture Aucaneers, héritage culturel de la communauté surinamienne des N'Dyuka est la source de l'inspiration de Marcel Pinas. Ses tableaux marient la maîtrise de l'écriture Afaka, dont il détient les secrets, et l'art abstrait.

Dans ses sculptures et céramiques, Laurence Simode-Fronzon exprime l'idée que nous sommes tous formés de souvenirs, d'expériences.

« Pour cela, j'ai pris de la terre que j'ai empilée afin de faire des Suvres brutes qui montent et s'équilibrent. J'empile mes émotions, mes expériences, mes colères aussi, pour en faire de la sculpture poétique, douce et constructive ».

Marcel Pinas Peintures et Installations, Laurence Simode-Fronzon Sculptures et céramiques seront à l'affiche du 1er mars au 2 juin 2012.
Le jeudi et le vendredi de 13h30 à 18h30, le samedi de 10h à 18h et sur rendez-vous

Installations de Marcel Pinas et de Laurence Simode-Franzon Jardin de Sculptures Bargemon sur rendez-vous :

Email :

Tél :+ 33 (0) 4 94 76 64 06
Mobile Guy Beddington : +33 (0) 680 111 763
Mobile Roland Daumesnil : + 33 (0)6 09 18 66 02

return / retour Marcel PINAS
return / retour Laurence SIMODE FRANZON