Hölderlin called it the "journey to the colony". In order to find our origins, we must abandon them, forget them. Victor Ségalen, after exploring the Middle East and the Pacific, returned to Brittany. My journey is also marked by "steles".
Imbued with a Rhenish heritage, from Dürer to Grünewald, and schools of polychrome wood, I penetrated the marine ode in my studio on the island of Groix, in Berlin, the laceration of German expressionism, then, in residence at the Academy of Fine Arts at the Villa des Pinsons in Chars, the landscapes' tranquility of the Vexin painted by Corot. Then, as a member of the Casa Velázquez in Madrid, I discovered Spanish Baroque and its cult of death, its sculptures painted with waxy pulpit or enamelled ceramics by Juan de Juni and Alonso Berruguete. And finally, the eternal return to the Celtic land where by a happy coincidence in the meandering Scorff Valley's landscape, only a few steps away from the enclosures, the porz a maro (the gates of death), the famous dance of death of Kernascléden, and the marvelous rood screen of St Fiacre, I put my bag down and opened my workshops, an imaginary museum in the colors of the "Sarrazin". A return to the source can only be accomplished if a poet originally sings, I had to take this detour, the foreign road to start over again without end.
— Cedric Le Corf
Losing the daily Midi; crossing courtyards, arches,
bridges; try the branched paths; run out of breath at the steps, ramps, climbing ;
Avoid the precise stele; go around the usual walls; stumble
ingenuously among these fake rocks; jump this ravine ;
to linger in this garden; to go back sometimes,
And by a reversible lace finally mislead the quadruple sense of the Points of Heaven.
— Victor Ségalen - Steles
There are artists of brutal inertia or of the recluse idea, two symmetrical ways of cutting art from life. The great modernist unraveling still has, in fact, its supporters. Cedric Le Corf never consented to separate himself from the world and its breath, as well as from its increased fragility. He does not practice detachment or indifference, refuses to break with the order of nature. Order, not its simple representation. An obscure order, irreducible to our reason, and all the more necessary to delve, from within, through the energy, also irrepressible, of forms.
More than figurative, consequently, the sculptures, engravings and drawings of Cedric Le Corf touch the heart, the sacred perhaps, of the organic mystery of which we are the ephemeral passengers. What is this universe made of, his own, which he himself says is baroque by expressionist choice and attentive listening to the elements where he seeks a right place? Anatomy, human and animal, seems to be the organizing principle, and almost the implacable law, from which arise all kinds of bones, skulls, jaws, limbs, fragments... It would seem that Le Corf is more a skinner than a sculptor if the materials used, from wood to porcelain, did not immediately restore the truth of his approach.
His darkest works, which bring us back to Géricault and Delacroix out of any banal mimicry, contain a caressing, active, epidermal mood, which is not the effect of too skillful contrasts. Rather, one can guess, since baroque there is, the concern for circulations and mutations within which the vital forces victoriously confront the powers of suffering, doubt and death. The Corf makes no mystery of it, his curiosity has always led him to the most relentless humanists to understand the machine of bodies and the fluids that ensure their miraculous functioning. Michel Servet, martyr of truth, and André Vésale belong to his imaginary pantheon, as do, closer to him, Philippe Étienne Lafosse, Jacques Fabien Gautier d'Agoty or Honoré Fragonard, the cousin of the painter we know. Among the ancients, anatomy and dissection are one and the same. Open to understand, no alternative. But what about art where the "open form" often remains the alibi for the empty interpretation of the object? I like Le Corf's answer and his way of finding naturally, beyond the romantics and Baselitz, the path of the great Sevillians, from Montañés to the young Velázquez. The representation, at home, is suddenly threatened by its very realism, figuration by disfiguration. Borders slowly fade away and, like The Corf, the bodies become landscapes. And the anatomy, by blurring the reigns, comes alive and enchants us.
— Stéphane Guégan
Scientific advisor to the Presidency of the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie.