Daniel Grobet, Balance and Movement
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Daniel Grobet
Video portrait

Produced by
Télévision Suisse Romande (TSR)

The artist

1936 Born in Saint-Imier, Switzerland.
1955-60 Studies protestant theology in Paris.
1960-74 Minister of the Reformed Church of France in Paris and Corsica.
1974 Encounters a work by Alexander Calder at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Deeply moved and intrigued by its balance and movement; decides to use sculpture to explore this dynamic.
1974 - 96 Self-taught. Produces first works.
Creates the collection "Attrape-Feux".
Sculptures exhibited in Switzerland and Germany.

Lives in the South of France.
Works on subjects that involve ever more complex balances.
Exhibitions in France, Switzerland and Germany.

Daniel Grobet’s works can be found in public and private collections in Switzerland and France. The French-Swiss television station TSR has produced two films about his work, in 1995 and 2002.

Tribute to Daniel Grobet :-

Daniel Grobet, the artist, the sculptor of the "candelabras ”, died on 1st. of February 2017 in his farmhouse at Combe near Bagnols-sur-Céze in the Gard (France). This man who armed with a hammer and anvil turned his ideas into masterpieces and who as you will remember, lived among us in Bevaix. Who doesn’t remember his studio on the Chemin des Murdines. Of his political commitment clearly socialist, where he also hammered out his ideas but at leisure in the company of friends. And, more in the background it is true, we should also remember that he was a pastor in Paris and in Corsica.

When Daniel closed the door of his church in Corsica, land of sun and light, he took a risk. The risk that every artist takes who knows that art will not always support him. So it came about that he immersed himself in sculpture where artists can find themselves confronting traces of the spiritual or the divine. Traces they wish everyone would leave to the inheritance of the history of humanity. He entered this world where one praises God with tools: brushes for some, instruments for others, but pliers, hammers, hacksaws, torches and machines for those artists like Calder or Tinguely, today for Daniel Grobet. Artists who will give sculpture flight that we know so well under the names of mobile, movement and balance.

These designers, artists for whom tensions, stresses, thrusts and gravity allow us to see, to touch realities arising from within. Daniel Grobet is one of those who has benefited from this legacy. Certainly he has distinguished himself from the master, if I may venture to say so, to allow his genius to light up first with his "forests", his "candelabras” whose light rose to the sky, like the rising of hope. Whereas for Calder: it fell rather, if I may say so. It was he himself who stressed in an interview "I am fascinated by balances, the light and the shade, accompanied by sinple energies (water, wind, sand, fire), generators of movement. That is why these elements, these phenomena have become the focus of my research, because they correspond well to the way in which I perceive the earth turning on itself and man seeking to establish himself there since his origins between misery and happiness. These phenomena, I try to translate them visually because we all seek them physically and morally throughout our existence. This research begins with our first steps. For me, balance engenders movement, and movement a transformation of the vision of the object, and the object an animated form in space. In fact I do not sculpt iron, I bend it, I twist it, I strike it, I constrain myself by the conjugation and the harmonization of lines to sculpt space. "

The work of Daniel Grobet, which today is bequeathed to us and thanks to its perfect balance on a tiny foot, offers to our eyes circles, movements curved in balance on the ground, but also to take off in our imagination.

These sculptures bring us rhythms and "cadences" - title of his last exhibition at the Galerie des Amis des Arts in Neuchâtel in March 2006. A reminder of the beautiful country of Neuchâtel in which he had so many friends and where he liked to return with Birgit his wife.
There is, then, in the testimony of Daniel's life as an artist and man of faith, more than that of integrity.

I am one of those who have been able to see how much balance, coherence and harmony counted for him in a life.

A life led in the service of a cause, projected into visions of hope where love, brotherhood and sharing have never failed to belong to his way of living with us.He is therefore one of those who, like many researchers and artists, has been able to take his place among those who stand up for the truth and make the world a better place; confronting it in order to enable us to enter into a reality other than that which is so often imposed upon us.
And we like to stay in front of them, - his sculptures -
Contemplating their gentle and slow movement,
And absent ourselves for a moment
from the world which is going too fast.

Jean-Pierre Roth, ancien pasteur de Bevaix


«I love working with balance because I feel that it takes me closer to a certain understanding of the world – of this planet which itself is astonishingly in balance.»

© Copyright Daniel Grobet