(Vence) The french canadians artist Jim Ritchie is in the proces of writing " A Sculptural Life-his life and works " estimated publication date April 2010. The Norwegian investor Chrstian Ringnes, making a sculpture park in Oslo, the capital of the New rich oil country Norway,did not know about Jimmmy Ritcies "Dream Garden" in Vence in southern France, where nordic-news.com has visited the artist.
Jim Ritchie,Sara and Olivia(Photo:NPTandero)
The past twelve years Jimmie Ritche has been rebuilding the family house.“Le Mas de L’Ormée”, an Italian style villa overlooking Vence and the Matisse chapel.Here he continues to produce his book marble and bronze works, and am currently working on my life story.“A SCULPTURAL LIFE”, which he hopes to publish in April 2010. Nordic-News.com met him in Vence in the autumn of 2009 in his " Dream Garden" i the Vence hills under the grapes on the path on the way to his swimming-pool.
His artist life started
Jim Ritchie was born in Montreal, Canada December 5th 1929.Raised in the town of Mount Royal, where he attended grade school and High school.At age 16 he attended The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts school for a very short period, as I soon discovered art must be self taught.Here is where the bokk about his laife startet. He had started experimenting with ceramics in his basement studio at home.In need of money, he accepted his father’s offer to join the family businessWorking in the lab of the flavor business during the day, he continued teaching himself ceramics in the evenings.After four years, he had saved enough to start out on his own.At the age of twenty he opened what would become Montreal’s first ceramic studio, on Stanley Street in downtown Montreal
The way to Pietrasanta
After some shows at Adelson Gallery, he had the last show in 1996,still working in Vence and Italy.During this period he worked with several foundries and marble studios, but today, he works exclusively with Giorgio Angeli in his marble studio, and he does all his bronzes at Fonderia d’Arte del Chiaro, located in Pietrasanta where he has been going every 3 months to work for the past 45 years.Here he met the famous Norwegian artist Knut Steen, who has made the sculpture of King Olav the Fifth, standing at the west coast of Norway in the hardest wind in the dorld.
-Why are you not more famous in Europe ,Jim Ritchie ?
- I cant tell you. I have been working in Vence and Pietrasanta, but I feel that 1 have got more response n north America. But I have a culpture in front of the Hotel de Ville in Vence in Franse, which is an acceptance of me as an artist, says Jim Ritchie to Nordic-news.com.
-How do you work with your sculptures?
- I make the original in marble and after that I make the sulpture in bronze, in several exemplars. I sell them for a prie between 30 and 300.000 euro.
-You have a fantascic castle with a "Deam garden " around- how have you been able to afford such a place twenty mnutes from Nice?
- My son has made his way in the world of finance, and he as hekped me to establish this fantastic home ten mnutes from Vence, with a sculpture garden, a castle like house, and a swimming pool.
-We think your works ould be similar to Henry Mores works. How do you consider this ?
- it`is not up to me to evaluate my works as an artist. This is up to the artis world beyond our control, says jimmy Ritchie during a helathy lunch behind the city walls of Vence a sunny day in ocotber 200
Ferdinand Finnes last home
It was in 1959 when an old friend and fellow sculptor Robert Roussil suggested to have a show together, and with the proceeds, go to work in the abandoned olive mill he had found in the south of France, a small town called Tourretes sur Loup(Ferdinand Fines siste bolig)in July 1959.After one year living and working in Tourrettes sur Loup he went back to Montreal to have an exhibition of his sculptures.A few months later he returned to Europe and made his way to the island of Ibiza, where he worked on wood sculpture for six months.While staying in Ibiza as a guest of his old friends from Montreal, John Gerra and Frank Powis, they received an invitation from an old friend from sailing days Hugh Millais, he asked them to visit him in his family’s home on the mainland, overlooking Algeciras and Gibraltar in Europe.They stayed at Hugh’s “Huerto” for a seven month period, during which he worked in the local fruit wood. There he met Nina MariaLeander-Engrstrøm, a young Swedish artist.They moved together, she was doing her French studies, and he did his sculptures.In march 1966 they became the proud parents of a son, Paul, who was to become part of the Leander-Engrström family of artists in Sweden, where they now lived.
Jim Ritchie Exhebitions and Collections through his life:
1951 Opens an experimental ceramic workshop on Stanley Street, Montreal.
1956 Participates in L’Exposition du Printemps at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
1957 Has his first one-man exhibition at the Gallery Libre, Montreal.
1959 Leaves for Europe and lives in the South of France, where he works in wood and fired clay.
1960 Solo exhibition of wood and ceramic sculpture at the Klinkhoff Gallery, Montreal.
1961 Returns to Europe where he lives and works in the South of Spain.
1962 Travels to England and participates in the Royal Academy, Summer Exhibition, has a one-man show at the Broadway Gallery, Worcestershire, and then at the Grafton Gallery, London.
1963 Returns to Montreal for second exhibition at the Klinkhoff Gallery.
1964 One-man show of terra cotta sculpture and drawings at the Madden Galley, London.Decides to live in Vence upon returning to the South of France.
1965 Has an exhibition at the Galerie Minotaure in Vence, and participates in a group exhibition at the Galerie Municipal de Saint Paul de Vence.
1966 Begins working in bronze and marble and has a show at the Alwin Gallery in London, while also showing in Montreal at the Galerie Martal.
1967 Participates in the 5th Annual Festival of Plastic Arts in Antibes. Begins sculpting in Italy at the Henraux marble works, and casting bronzes in Pietrasanta.
1968 Shows at the Pollock Gallery in Toronto, then at the Moos Gallery, Montreal.
1970 Second solo exhibition at the Moos Gallery, Montreal.
1971 Has a one-man show at the Galerie Alphonse Chave Gallery, Vence.
1972 One-man show at the Waddington Gallery, Montreal.
1975 One-man show at the Galerie Bernard Desroches, Montreal.
1976 Spends seven years working in bronze and marble in both France and Italy without interruption.
1983 Shows in a collective exhibition at The Foundation Emile Hughes, Vence.
1984 His sculpture is shown in the Henraux collection exhibition, Marmi nel Parco, Versilia, Italy.
1986 Participates in a group shows, Sculpture di Passagio 86, Montignoso, Italy.
1987 Shows in a collective exhibition at the Galerie L’Orangerie in Geneva, followed by a one-man exhibition at the Galerie L’art Française, Montreal.
1988 One-man show held at the Galerie Alphonse Chave, 30 Ans a Vence.Group show, Ommagio a Noguchi at La Versailiana Pietrasanta, Italy.One-man show at Coe Kerr Gallery, New York.
1990 Shows in “Inaugural Exhibition: One hundred years of American and European Art” at Adelson Gallery, New York.
1992 Exhibition at Pucker Gallery, Boston.
1992 One-man show Adelson Gallery, New York.
1996 One-man show Adelson Gallery, New York.
Publisert: 29.01.2010 06:06 av Nils Petter Tanderø, reporter