Petersen by Etienne Audfray

One day of spring 1959, I ask to be received by Armand Petersen. Why this step? Sculptor myself, I had been informed of the notoriety and the competence of a man, specialist recognized in an artistic discipline that I wished to deepen. With the first access, I discovered an elegant man, a little severe, rather not very inclined with a spontaneous and opened, but very polished and intelligent reception. I presented to him, a little awkwardly one of my sculptures which it looked with attention and courtesy.

It was a well raised man, me too; and finally we agree to re-examine us with his workshop which was street Agnès Sorel, at five minutes of the room which it occupied at the House of the Artists, 14 rue Charles VII in Nogent.

It was a well raised man, me too; and finally we agree to re-examine us with his workshop which was street Agnès Sorel, at five minutes of the room which it occupied at the House of the Artists, 14 rue Charles VII with Nogent.

Very quickly, we were tastes common. Affected by its loneliness (it had lost some time earlier his wife) saddened, it felt disabled and solitary. By very real admiration that I immediately carried to his work, very quickly, we sympathized and maintained the confraternelles and family relations during ten years, characterized until its death in 1969 by an active collaboration.

I had a car, him not, a little serviceable time to visit galleries, founders, antique dealers, museums. We went even to Brussels to admire Atomium with the International Exhibition in 1968. Thus it became for my wife and me, the family friend, a little the uncle of province which came to dine the bouquet of flower with the hand, sometimes even with an original sculpture. He yes, it was good man!

Become mayor of the town of Bry-on-marl in 1965, (...) I had the joy of ordering a large bronze panther to him. I paid homage to his talent thus, in a quite late way, because dying in 1969 at the time of the payment of work, I due to pay the fees of the artist to his succession of which I had become well in spite of me the executor, other than his Georges brother who (...) considered curiously that the work of an artist did not deserve the respect that I dedicated to him. A few months later, Georges his elder, died out in its turn in its residence of the Denfert-Rochereau avenue, only, him also without direct descent.

When, young sculptor dilettante, (...), I subjected to his appreciation one of my works, I addressed myself to the sculptor and to his experiment. By friendship, I proposed to him to help it in my turn for his plasters and mouldings which he did not like to make. I soothsayers to some extent his expert while benefitting from his lessons which made me reflect personally and correct my works. Sincerely, Petersen influenced me by showing me the preeminent role of the light if the form whose contours should not be brutally stopped, thus prolonging the harmony of the profiles.

Petersen taught me principles of sculpture applicable to the statuary for which I intended myself. While contributing to its work, (it took again taste with work in a larger and comfortable workshop that I arranged to him) settled a co-operation, a friendship, a comprehension in a expensive field with us two, artists and friends. If it had started with figures, Petersen had improved in the study of the animals: he lavished to me councils of sculpture, based on his research and his own experiences.

In Nogent, it was surrounded by other artists: like Marcel Gimond, sculptor, his neighbor of workshop as well as painters: Van Hasseit, of which I arranged the workshop and the mezzanine as I had done for Petersen where it posed for its portrait, seizing truth and of presence (...). I remember to have led it to the Institute in large dress of academician.

During our friendship, he spoke to me about his friends, the animalists, Pompom which he had studied thoroughly. As a mayor of Bry and a sculptor, (…) I proposed into 1974 to then collect the Living room of the Animalist Artists in the Hotel of Malestroit, restored by my care, in Bry.

When in 1969, my friend Petersen entrusted his workshop to me while dying, knowing that his/her Georges brother was not interested in it, it would have been necessary to destroy the work of a life which pointed out my friend and my engagement with the sculpture to me? I have in heart to continue to honor it, this is why, agent of his work, it seemed useful to me to better do it to know by publishing this work. Its sculpture is representative one time, golden age of animalist art, where this exceptional creator holds an important place

Etienne Audfray Etienne Audfray

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