Mauro Corda is a contemporary French sculptor. Born into a family tradition of Italian stonecutting, the scene was set for his own artistic preoccupation with three-dimensional form. Corda trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and continues to live and work in Paris. His work has been exhibited internationally, and he has received honours including the scholarship of the Casa Velasquez, Madrid between 1985-7 and becoming a Knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters in 2010.
As an artist, Corda is engaged in the capturing of living forms, both human and animal, in a wide range of materials. His depiction of human figures has a classical basis but always with a contemporary angle, usually in their unusual and striking contortionist poses – bodies operating at the very extremes of flexibility and strength. There is also a contemporary angle to his varied and dramatic use of patinas. Corda is particularly interested in how different surface colours, textures and finishes can change the emotion of a piece, sometimes even rendering the same figure in opposing textures to demonstrate the difference finish can make to our viewing experience.
In Petit Merou, Corda has turned his attention to a marine form. The merou (grouper) is sensitively rendered, but on a surprisingly large scale, and this sense of drama is extended in its presentation. A high-shine silver patina achieved by applying nickel plate to the bronze catches the eye, while the specific installation case allows the sculpture to be suspended within the space and surrounded by strings of silver beads, breaking up the surface of the sculpture and adding a sense of movement as though our merou is drifting through shoals of small fish and creatures deep underwater, elusive and always just out of reach. The result is a striking juxtaposition of seriousness and humour, very much in keeping with Corda’s oeuvre.