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Armand Jonckers

Belgian, b.1939

Born in 1939 to a Belgian father and a French mother, Jonckers studied sculpture at the Lausanne’s school of fine arts between 1957 and 1962. He set up a workshop upon graduation near a Beaujolais castle where he used to spend every summer with his parents. He then became a middle man between Belgium and Lyonnais antiquarians, specializing in black mourning furniture created for high society, made as symbols of their frustration in respect of the revolution. This allowed him to open a shop in the Louise’s gallery that he kept until the eighties, La Calade, a place that made him known to the general and art public.

Tireless and self-educated, he became interested in mineralogy, and passionate about a little unknown town in Germany called Idar-Oberstein. The town is famous internationally for its jewelers that have specialized since the IX century in gemstone work. Workers from the town have been making crowns for all major European dynasties of the X and XI century. In 1965, an antiquarian, (well known in the art world for having some of the best pieces), befriended Jonckers and introduced him to these sensitive works. After some purchases made at random, Jonckers gained a passion for gems and travelled worldwide for several years looking for mines, searching for the most uncommon gems.

Around the same time, Jonckers invested himself in his first decorating projects for individuals and shops. One of his best projects, the club Le fashion, became very well known to the elite at this time. The seventies and eighties were a special period in terms of the stunning creations he produced during this time and projects in Belgium were abundant. He had the opportunity to work with the designer DeCapitani who always loved challenges and between 1978 and 1983 he collaborated with him on the decoration of two Saudi Arabian palaces.

He then began designing furniture with a predilection for recycling objects and old materials or old art deco ironwork. Jonckers liked the idea of transmitting craftsmanship which had been little by little disappearing over time. His style is referred to as baroque with a touch of humor. The artist has never duplicated the same work twice and works mostly by commission although he has not had a formal gallery show.

The October/November 2012 issue of the french magazine 'Juliette and Victor' recorded the following: "Armand Jonckers is an unclassifiable artist. Sculptor, antiquarian buff about mineralogy and mostly decorator, he willingly defines himself as handyman. When you enter Armand Jonckers’ workshop, it is quite difficult to define what he has created, or even, identify what is in front of you. Between workshop and depository, the place is mainly a shelter for thousands of finds gleaned over time, rows in aisles of shelves rise to the ceiling, to serve one day as freaky new creations. Among antique items dating mainly from 1930′s-1960′s, classified by kind, or by material type, you can find old giant pieces of wood taken from industrial sites which stand next to a collection of glassware, huge ostrich eggs and quartz pieces: the raw material of an infinity of possible projects".