Versailles, France — It’s all about stone. Carving stone, cutting stone, fashioning stone, crafting stone, listening to stone, artworks of stone. Stone remains timeless, the first raw material to be transformed by the hand of man, an enduring medium that is celebrated by the Fonds de Dotation Verrecchia or the Verrecchia Financial Endowment which aims to showcase stone and stone artists by funding stone-based art projects. Verrecchia is a construction company that has been building with dimension stone — the stone of predilection for Parisian buildings — for over 30 years.
The Verrecchia Financial Endowment is currently hosting an exhibition of artists who were awarded its Material(s) Grant in 2022 at the Château de la Maye in Versailles. Entitled States of Matter the exhibition offers a journey into the world of stone and its creative possibilities. Among the contemporary artists on show is Caroline Besse who was just awarded the Grand Prix of Creation of the City of Paris. Caroline Besse explores the artistic possibility of minerals and collects stones from throughout France, grinds them into powders and creates intriguing and serenity-inducing works of art with the stones in powder.
In addition to awarding grants to artists working in stone, the Verrecchia Financial Endowment works towards the integration of workers into the stone-related professions, adds value to the craft know-how of working with stone and promotes the various professions to the younger generations. The fund also has an artists in-residence program in the greater Paris region and works with leading French establishments in the stone sector like the Les Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France, which brings together master craftsmen who transmit their savoir-faire throughout France and the Camille Claudel Professional Lycée which teaches the stone carving and working professions, among others, to its students. You can also visit the Verrecchia Financial Endowment workshops just outside of Paris to see in person stone carvers, crafters and cutters in action.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
Additional reporting: Sylvain Loire
4 route de Bondy Aulany-sous-Bois
Exhibition until October 1st at Château de la Maye
49 rue du Parc de Clagny 78000 Versailles