Pierre Sabatier, an extraordinary sculptor

Pierre Sabatier, an extraordinary sculptor
An artist on the bangs of any commercial circuit and little known to the general public, Pierre Sabatier has devoted his life to building a monumental body of work in keeping with the major artistic trends of the 30 glorious years. As a member of the "Living Wall" movement, which advocates the integration of art into architecture, he established himself as one of the major protagonists of this movement. 
A titanic body of work 

He began by creating ceramics and mosaics, before turning to metal, his preferred material. From the 1970s onwards, he collaborated with the leading architects of the day to create gigantic decors for public spaces and the headquarters of major corporations such as Axa and BNP. The façade of the Rochas building on Rue François 1er in Paris is one of his most emblematic works.

Born on March 20, 1925, Pierre Sabatier was born in Moulins, Allier, where he spent his early school years. After the ravages of war, he headed for Paris, where he tapped into the wellspring of artistic creation between 1949 and 1952, attending the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs and the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, specializing in the fresco workshop.
Driven by an unwavering passion for Egyptian art, Assyrian civilizations and the majesty of cathedrals, Sabatier quickly developed an interest in techniques enabling painting and sculpture to merge harmoniously with architecture. His admiration for Le Corbusier, whose work and writings were a driving force in his artistic development, was a powerful catalyst in his quest to fuse art and architecture.
The advent in 1966 of the first issue of the magazine "LE MUR VIVANT", supported by eminent figures such as Raymond Lopez, Maurice Novarina and Le Corbusier, marked a decisive turning point for Sabatier and his peers, committed to the struggle for the integration of the arts into the architectural framework. His artistic approach resonated with this nascent movement, leading him to become fully involved.
The introduction in the early 50s of the "1% artistic" scheme opened the door to Sabatier's first public commissions, giving concrete expression to his aspirations to create monumental works of art. His first works were imposing mural compositions in ceramic or mosaic, adorning both exterior facades and interior spaces of public buildings. However, his penchant for metal began to assert itself in the 1970s, gradually becoming his preferred material.
Called upon by renowned architects such as the Arsène-Henry brothers, Michel Herbert and many others, Sabatier lent his talent to decorating the interiors of vast office buildings erected at La Défense. His collaboration with Luc and Xavier Arsène-Henry led to the design of an impressive composition in hammered, oxidized copper, marking the very foundations of the Tour Aquitaine in 1967. This work was an opportunity for him to perfect his acid fresco technique, a major feature of his work.
Sabatier's artistic imprint extended to a myriad of buildings, both private and public, in France and abroad. Supported by a team of assistants in a vast and prolific studio, he manipulated steel, pewter, brass, aluminum and copper with virtuosity to give life to organically inspired works, evoking landscapes shaped by the natural elements.
His work, fluid and constantly evolving, is part of a holistic vision of architecture, where each element, whether mural or sculptural, participates in a larger architectural symphony. His creative genius was also expressed in emblematic works such as the ephemeral façade of the Parfums Rochas headquarters in 1974, and the "Voilures" sculpture-signal for the Boulogne-Billancourt Bridge in 1994.
Pierre Sabatier died in Paris in 2003, leaving behind him a monumental and varied legacy, deeply rooted in the history of contemporary architecture. His talent was recognized by a number of prestigious awards, and his works are now reverently preserved in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.