Born near Geneva in French-speaking Switzerland, nothing earmarked her for an artistic career. And yet we can perhaps see in her wild gambolling in the fields of her childhood, in a land where people still farmed, and farms were still numerous, the loam and foundations of what would become the basis of her work: a passionate quest for the light, and things immaterial.
Her parents are art lovers and collectors, and it was in such a cultural environment that Caroline fashioned her sensibility and her culture, not in books but by living day in, day out surrounded by artworks. They wanted her to pursue an artistic education at a school of fine arts, but after reading Malevich’s Writings, she wholeheartedly rejected anything to do with academicism, and decided to go to England on the day of her 18th birthday to be with her first love, a musician, singer, and composer—and a gifted artist.
The initial impact of Sheffield, where she lived in the underground world of rock music for a year, would naturally steer her towards Paris, that cultural capital where she decided to settle in 1987, enrolling in the Advanced School of Industrial Design, a choice dictated by the books she was reading and thus in step with the precepts of Russian Constructivism.
As her professional activities developed apace, she decided to no longer give in to the compromises imposed by that work, and in 1993 she left Paris to live in the south of France, in Toulouse (pure chance). There she rediscovered her rural routes and started to place cut-up mirrors in nature. The work started to blend with its subject.
She exhibited at the Grange aux Belles in Paris, and took part in the Grands et Jeunes d’Aujourd’hui Salon, where her work caught the eye of galerie K, who offered her a solo show.
In 1997, having gone to the Nîmes Féria to see a bullfight, a new and passionate encounter persuaded her to stay in that city, with its harsh light and its extreme climate. In no time, her work and her talent interested both galleries and their visitors. She responded to many private and public commissions, where her sense of space and the depth of her work went remarkably well with contemporary forms of architecture, finding their way with unerring aim into interstices and terrain that were anything but obvious, be it with a ceiling made of suspended mirrors and glass in the school building at Veyrier in Switzerland produced with the Ichnos architects, a piece measuring 7 metres/23 feet in the stairwell of the headquarters of the Crédit Municipale in Nîmes with C + D Architecture, or a work for the Eric Satie Museum in Honfleur with the architect François Confino.
She also produced many installations in religious places, where the spirituality of her work was revealed. Her quest for immateriality magnified the places she used, presenting us with the invisible, examples being the Chapel of the Salamander in Nîmes, the Charterhouse of Valbonne where she occupied six chapels and two cloisters, and the Chapel of Perseverance…
In 2006, on her return from South Korea where she had been invited to show her work at the Shilla Gallery in Deagu, she designed her house in a pine forest where she elected to set up home.
The result was striking, calling into question the precepts of local conventional architecture. This original and profound construction is nothing less than a manifesto which cannot be pigeonholed in the history of architecture. All its details are carefully thought out and we feel in it the permanent presence of the architect/artist, in every square foot.
This work involving a space that is lived in and looked at would be extended in the interior architecture of the new studio she built for herself in town near the station. In addition to its functional aspect and its space which is transcended by being twice the normal height, this workplace, which could be one of the most beautiful art galleries in the south of France, is completely inhabited by its artist-owner, and it makes it possible to properly present the work of someone who is sacrificing their life on the altar of transparency.
In 2008, her mother’s lengthy illness and death took her away from her day-to-day work. Part of her house burned down, but she rebuilt it, and her soul. In 2009, she won a competition to make a fountain at Chêne Bougeries in Switzerland, which she inaugurated in 2010 after a year spent studying and developing prototypes of luminous walls of water, whose colours change with the outside temperature.
An installation in the exhibition “Paul Ricard, from Advertisement to Publicity” at the Musée du Vieux Nîmes in spring 2010 offered her a chance to become familiar with the premises and to be called upon to coordinate the Museum Night by creating an installation for one night in the Museum’s main courtyard, involving the projection of reflections onto the walls of the 18th century façades of the old Bishops’ Palace.
I pay well-deserved tribute to this work which has just one vocation: to make us beautiful, and to sublimate us.
Nicolas Crégut, Architect
Nimes, December 31, 2010
English translation by Simon pleasance
BORN IN GENEVA, WORKS IN SAVIGNY (SWITZERZLAND) AND NÎMES (FRANCE)EDUCATION
Ecole Supérieure de Design Industriel et Graphique, Paris, France (ESDI)SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2018 / Andata Ritorno Gallery / Luminances / Sound creation : Dante Pannetier / Geneva, Switzerland /
2018 / Art Paris Art Fair – Switzerland guest of honour / Solo Show, Grand Palais / Paris, France /
2017 / Martagon Gallery / Malaucène, France /
2016 / Golf-Fit Center / Puidoux, Switzerland /
2015 / Modern Art Museum, Jiangsu / Nanjing, China /
2013 / From Point To Point Gallery / Nimes, France /
2012 / la Mezzanine Gallery / Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France /
2010 / Nuits des Musées / Musée du Vieux-Nîmes / Nîmes, France /
2010 / Installation in the exhibition of Paul Ricard, de la réclame à la publicité / Musée du Vieux Nîmes / France /
2006 / Chapelle de la Persévérance & Cloître des Cordeliers / Opening the cultural season in Tarascon / Tarascon, France /
2005 / Chapelle des Capucins / Aigues-Mortes, France /
2005 / Pascal Lainé Gallery / Avignon, France /
2005 / Shilla Gallery / Deagu, South Korea /
2004 / AVEC (WITH) / Chartreuse de Valbonne (6 chapels et 2 Cloisters) / Sound creation : Fred de Fed / Saint-Paulet-de-Caisson, France /
2003 / Chapelle de la Salamandre / Nimes, France /
2003 / Pascal Lainé Gallery / Avignon, France /
2001 / Quai des Allégories Gallery / Nimes, France /
2000 / Tiroir Régional d’Art Contemporain (TRAC) / Frac Languedoc-Roussillon / Montpellier, France /
2000 / Terre d’Ombre Gallery / Sommière, France /
1999 / Graphit’Art studio / Genève, Suisse /
1999 / k Gallery / Paris, France /
1998 / L’Hôtel des Allégories Gallery / Nîmes, France /GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2018 / Monte-Cristo space - Villa Datris Foundation / Sculptrices (selection of the collection) / Paris, France /
2016 / Villa Datris Foundation / Sculpture en partage / L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France /
2013 / Le Cabinet d’entomologie / Cur. Lydie Jean Dit Pannel / Paris, France
2013 / Contempory Art Biennial of Laudun l’Ardoise / La Mezzanine Gallery/ Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France /
2013 / Festival Trace(s) / La Mezzanine Gallery / Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France /
2013 / Villa Datris Foundation / Sculptrices / L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France /
2013 / Customization of the chair Mia of Jean Nouvel / RBC Center de Montpellier / sales by auction Artcurial / France /
2012 / A suivre … Chez P. Nataf / cur. Catherine Guilbot / Marseille, France /
2011 / Regard’Elles / Chapelle des Jésuites / Nimes, France /
2012 / A suivre … at the Meno Parkas Gallery / cur. Catherine Guilbot / Kaunas, Lituanie /
2011 / Customization of the chair Fourmi of Jacobsen / RBC / sales by auction Artcurial / Lyon, France /
2003 / Art center Le Village / Cardet, France /
2003 / La Maison des Arts / Carcès, France /
2001 / k Gallery / Paris, France /
2000 / Terre d’Ombre Gallery / Sommière, France /
2000 / L’Hôtel des Allégories Gallery / Nîmes, France /
2000 / k Gallery / Paris, France /
2000 / Arténim / Contempory Art Fair / Nîmes, France /
1999 / I.A.E. / Aix-en-Provence, France /
1998 / Agropolis Museum of Montpellier / France /
1998 / Bleeker Street / Anvers, Belgique /
1995 / Grands et Jeunes d’aujourd’hui Art Fair / Paris, France /
1994 / La Grange aux Belles / Paris, France /ACQUISITIONS / COLLECTION
2016 / Villa Datris foundation / Isle-sur-la-Sorgue / France /
2015 / Modern Art Museum, Jiangsu / Nanjing, China /
2015 / Hangzhou Liuchen Art Space Gallery / Nanjing, China /
2015 / University / Art Institut of Nanjing / China /
2015 / Zhuzi Museum / Nanjing, China /
1998 / Eric Satie Museum / Scenography : Confino &CO / Honfleur, France /PUBLIC PROJECTS
2017 / Laclinic Clinic / Montreux, Switzerland /
2010 / The fountain : Ode est Où ? / Chêne-Bougeries / Geneva, Switzerland /
2005 / Veyrier school Architects : Atelier Ichnos SA / Geneva, Switzerland /
2000 / Crédit Municipal of Nîmes / Architects : C+D Architecture / Nimes, France /PARUTIONS
2009 / David Brunel / Plasticity and creativity in Caroline Tapernoux’s work / Le regardeur - n°4, les femmes dans l’art / éd. AMAAC. (Association des Amis du Musée d’Art Contemporain et du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nimes) /
2009 / Sabine Wesemann & Ulrich Timm / Wohnen, die neue sinnlichkeit / éd. DVA. (p. 38-39-40) /
2006 / G.Staquet / About C+D architecture / éd. Alternative /
2006 / David Brunel / Appearance and apparition / Los Flamenco No Commen - n°9, research & création / éd. Autonome Vivance /
2004 / Bernard Teulon-Nouailles / Light games and mind games / Magazine Reg’art /CATALOGS
2016 / Dream light / Jiangsu Modern Art Museum, Nanjing / Texts by Marielle Barascud & David Brunel
2014 / Marielle Barascud / Caroline Tapernoux /
2011 / René Pons / Caroline Tapernoux / Regard’Elles catalog / AAMAC / Nimes, France /
1999 / Cécilia Bécanovic / Caroline Tapernoux / k Gallery catalog / Paris, France /OTHERS
2014-2018 / Architecture : Design and construction of a house (area 300 m²) / Lausanne, Switzerland /
2008 / Creation of Turritopsis company / Nimes, France /
2008 / Architecture : Design and construction of a workshop (area 250 m²) / Nimes, France /
2005 / Pro Helvetia (switzerland) grant for a exhibition at the Shilla in Deagu gallery / South Korea /
2004 / Architecture : Design and construction of a house (area 220 m²) / Nimes, France /
1998 / Graphic design of Museum of Eric Satie in collaboration with Pierre Huber & Bruno Doan / Honfleur, France /