Frédérique PETIT

It is the infinitely small that fascinates Frédérique Petit, this microscopic world which conceals in itself incredible richeness.

In her creations most often oriented towards textiles, often conceived in series, the artist looks to constrain her expression by a restricted framework: small size of the format, constraint of the technique, reference to her immediate environment, references to works of great painters, to words, to light, to shadows… From a wonder for the simplicity of the domestic universe, for the poetry of landscapes, for the lights shows, she tries to be the source of inspiration for her work.

With her long “Ruban de pierres“ or her “Chinese Shadows“, made of silk thread brought back from China after a research stay in Suzhou, she scrolls before our eyes this stretched time of creation, the timeless time of contemplation. It is this relationship to time that is the common thread in the understanding of her work.

Visual artist and musician, born in Paris in 1949, Frédérique Petit discovered the weaving in 1971 and learned by herself by observing primitive looms at the Musée de l’Homme. She develops a personal technique, the miniature tapestry.

From 1979, she showed her miniature tapestries in large group exhibitions at the Grand Palais, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 1981 (Les Métiers de l’Art) and in 1983 (On Invitation) on the invitation of François Mathey…

In 1990 she received a creation grant for the production of “Histoires de Tapis“, a collection of 100 miniature carpets, a project carried out over more than 20 years.

In 2000 she felt the need to get out of the restrictive shackles of tapestry and began to explore new practices that led her to reconnect with a whole range of techniques that she had approached over the years. She weaves, pricks, knots, manipulates this thread and thanks to it she builds a new language, associating without complex such and such of these techniques, detached from any “school”, standard or framework specific to each of them.

In 2008, she received a research grant from the CNAP which allowed her to go to Suzhou, a major center for embroidery in China.

She then created her first “Time Ribbons“ embroidered with silk thread, one of the first devices was more than 11 meters long, others would follow, such as the “Stone Ribbon“, or the “Chinese Shadows“.

A few years ago, Frédérique Petit began working as a wire sculptor. Today she creates monumental works where needle and metal wire are replaced by hard concrete and welding machines that she intertwines to build herBig nestswhich, in their brutality, question fragility.


Language of landscape (group show)

Art Paris (Grand Palais Ephémère)

04.07.2022 – 04.10.2022