Calls for creation

Toute personne 2 - Tissage métissage (Every people 2 – Weaving, Intermixing)


Vincent Bécheau and Marie-Laure Bourgeois, Third Prize – 2012 call for contemporary creation

Vincent Bécheau’s and Marie-Laure Bourgeois’ monumental project Toute personne 2 mixes three dimensions of the Aubusson tapestry: the hanging tapestry, upholstery and the rug.

The project is composed of a tapestry cut in a U shape to raise up one part on the pattern of a door. It is a project with considerable dimensions: the total length is of 8 meters for 2 meters large and the door reached 2,80 meters. On the verticalized part, the back of the tapestry is also thought as in graphic terms, which is an integral part of the work. The weft threads are left long enough to be knotted in regular pompons. About 70 colors are necessary to realize this tapestry with complex calligraphic patterns.

Both artists get their inspiration in Robert Bonfils’ War Exhibition, illustrating the Allies’ victory after WWI, exposed during the “Expo 1925” at the tapestry museum in Aubusson, in 2012. From there on, they led a reflection on war, peace, the notion of border and the representation of the dialogue. Toute personne 2 showcases the double nature of the border, separating line declared by the States and trade areas flooded by individuals.

Leaning on the common etymology in French of “texte” and “tissue”, in coherence with war and border symbolism, both artists having chosen the multitude of writings as a pattern. It is the materiality of the writing which guided the work’s conception: the letters are only signifiers of the language universality; the characters are not the carrier of a message, which would have been written. Thus, the alphabets worldwide crosses, stands alongside and merges until the erasing of the writing, visible in close up but which moves on to a dense graphism from a distance, until the formation of a landscape.

The weaving was realized by the Atelier Catherine Bernet in Felletin. Begun in January 2014, the tapestry has fallen down the loom in March 2016.

Vincent Bécheau and Marie-Laure Bourgeois are artists, formed as DPLG architects. In 2013, they are laureates of the contest for the realization of a Resistance memorial in Saint-Etienne de Puycorbier and published the essay Glossaire du designer (A designer’s Glassary) (Publisher La Muette/Le Bord de l’eau). In 2009, they are laureates of the contest for the commemoration for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature à Bordeaux. Their project “Toute personne” consists in the writing on the ground of the foreword and the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights between the Ecole and the Law Court. Between 2009 and 2010, they create and organize MONC in Bergerac, reflection led by about thirty artists on the relations between private and public spaces in the city.

Calls for creation

Stock Exchange


Alexandre Moronnoz & Julie Costaz, 2nd Prize – 2012 Call for contemporary creation
Dimensions of the project: 505,5 cm large x 200 cm high x 27,5 deep

Alexandre Moronnoz and Julie Costaz presented, for the 2012 edition of the Cité’s call for creation, on the theme “Design furniture in Aubusson”, a massive bookcase project called Stock Exchange, of which the motive represents New York’s stock exchange screens.

The project aims to be coherent with Alexandre Moronnoz’ researches: his work articulates around a reflection on the practical issues of the objects and on the appropriation of public spaces and shared by the users. Thus, the tapestry which covers the bookcase is thought as being a continued space, without any interruption of motives. In the metallic and wooden structure are inserted compartments to create storage spaces.

The project lays on 30 shades of colors, six of them being pure. The typographies are white. An important reflection work over the weaving technique was led by Julie Costaz, a designer specialized in the textile field: the weaving should be done following the length sense and certain parts will be willfully non-woven to obtain openwork corresponding to the placing of the bookcase’s compartments.

Born in 1977, Alexandre Moronnoz was a student at the Ecole Normale. He then studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI – Les Ateliers) in Paris. In 2009, he received the Great Prize of the Ville de Paris, design section, for his “CCC” project.

Julie Costaz was born in 1981. After graduating the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art in Nancy in 2006, she then specialized in textile design at the ENSCI – Les Ateliers in Paris.

Calls for creation



Bina Baitel, First Prize – 2012 Call for contemporary creation

Wool tapestry, oak veneer furniture, about 7 m².

Bina Baitel’s project Confluentia won the 2012 edition of the Cité’s call for contemporary creation of 2012, organized in partnership with the Cité du Design in Saint-Etienne.

Merging upholstered furniture and an Aubusson low pile carpet, Confluentia is a hybrid project, “a micro-landscape between design furniture and tapestry” according Bina Baitel’s words. The object appears as an interior landscape, in the manner of the 17th – 18th Century Aubusson tapestry, like an artificial lake between two wooden embossed designs. It is a household landscape, which reminds both of nature and house-familiar typologies that are occasional furniture and the carpet.

The drawing is abstract, it represents a peaceful lake, generator of serenity, being animated by the gush of two sources as well. It is a contemplative-friendly space. The drawing motive evokes a topographic map: the carpet is the drawing of a place, a life space. It refers to the oriental use of the carpet as an ideal place to share a moment of conviviality. Bina Baitel has the user come in the landscape, who becomes actor of the tapestry. The action is not within the frame of the relationship with the tapestry any longer, but rather within the tapestry itself. Confluentia is the confluence point between the in-visu perception and the in-situ experience.

Many exchanges occurred between the designer and the craftsman to prepare the weaving, the sampling, the choice of color and the tapestry insertion into the bedside tables that came with it. The weaving realization was entrusted to Françoise Vernaudon’s workshop. The bedside tables were realized by La Fabrique (Lyon) and the upholstery by the Ateliers Charles Jouffre (Lyon).

Bina Baitel is born in 1977 in Paris. After graduating the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture of Paris-La Villette, she founds her own studio in 2006. In 2008, Bina Baitel was awarded laureate with help of the VIA creation for her PullOver lamp. With a style characterizing itself by playing on materials and volumes, her creations, in the manner of her “Under My Skin” collection, for which she collaborates with the Next Level gallery, answers a will to create functional objects. After collaborating with the large retailers, luxury brands, publishing house and art galleries, Bina Baitel wins the same year, in 2012, the Cité’s First Prize and the creation Prize of the city of Paris.


Upload the Press kit (PDF)

Calls for creation

Sans Titre – “Corde pixels” (Untitled – “Pixel rope”)


Mathieu Mercier, 3rd Prize – 2011 Call for creation

Low warp tapestry, wool, metallized polyester, 3,20 m x 3,20 m.

Leading to a reflection over the definition of the object’s place within the industry and the field of art, Mathieu Mercier’s work, Marcel Duchamp Prize 2003, characterize by a permanent questioning over the symbolic and utilitarian functions of the objects. His productions demonstrate an unabashed behavior towards casual objects in a radical approach liberating the object, unique or serial, of every acquired knowledge.

Mathieu Mercier’s work, primed during the second edition of the Cité’s call for contemporary creation, builds itself around a game of a “two-way trip” between the material and the motive. From far away, the viewer only recognizes a textile motive, from which he does not succeed in determining in which way it is done. As much as one gets closer to the tapestry, the motive gets blurry, there is only a number of pixels to be seen but one succeeds in perceiving the textile material of the work. The tapestry then composes and decomposes itself, following in the realized movement to give “the illusion of a realistic representation remotely to become geometrical from a closer angle”, according to the artist’s words.

For the realization of its work in tapestry, Mathieu Mercier indicated his wish to obtain the flattest tapestry possible, in window dressing, breaking the imitation effect of the represented object, which could have been expected in such a project. Furthermore, the chromatic scale is tightened to seven colors. With this work, Mathieu Mercier is interested in the settlement of mini-tapestries realized from a fragment of the rope. This work of Mathieu Mercier’s is within the scope of a series of works realized by other people (craftsman etc.).

The weaving of this massive rope of 3,20 m x 3,20 m, realized by the weavers Daniel Bayle and Agnès-Marie Durieux for the workshop Pascal Legoueix, has been set free from the loom on the 6th, June 2014.

Mathieu Mercier has graduated from the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Bourges and the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques in Paris. In 2003, he won the Marcel Duchamp Prize. In 2007, his whole work is exposed at the Modern Art Museum of the Ville de Paris. He is represented by the galleries Mehdi Chouakri (Berlin), Massimo Minini (Brescia, Italy), Lange & Pult (Switzerland) and Ignacio Liprandi (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

Calls for creation

Melancholia I


Marc Bauer, 2nd Prize – 2011 Call for contemporary creation

Both in their themes as in their aesthetics, Marc Bauer’s drawing are very inspired by the iconography of the Italian and German Renaissance, but also by the Baroque. For Melancholia I, the artist redraws the famous Mélancolie realized by the painter and engraver Albrecht Dürer in 1514, nicknamed in Germany “Bild der Bilder”, “the image of all images”. Dimensions: 3,60 m high x 3 m large.

Melancholia is within the scope of a research led by Marc Bauer since several years, articulated around the idea of deconstructing the drawing as a unique piece. Playing on the scales and the materials, the artist is in research of transposing his drawings in different materials (digital printing, photopolymer, tapestry etc.), the original drawing then finding itself modified to submit to the imperatives of the used technique. In that sense, the transposition into tapestry of Dürer’s Mélancolie redrawn by Marc Bauer aims to enrich the starting drawing and give back a certain sculpture-like aspect as well. For the artist, the tapestry should not only be considered as a media for the image, it should also exist in its own reality.

The tapestry consists in a very interesting medium for the transposition of Marc Bauer’s drawings, which are echoing one of his essential qualities: the narrative. As a starting point, the artist often takes personal memories, archive photographs or family photo albums, as many individual stories which he tries and replace in a larger historical context: “I see my drawings as a sort of archeology, which attempts, sometimes with humor, sometimes with despair, to bring back emotions and events”, he explains.

The tapestry is woven in black and white, with only a few hints of vivid colors. To realize it, a very important work of reflection with the weaver is needed to summarize the effect of destructuring, of dilating wanted by the artist. Thus, the weaver must play with the material in a very innovative way and keeping the classical weaving techniques in the same time, for the flesh, for instance. The translation of the “worn out” idea, altering in a new tapestry in order to bring him, following in Marc Bauer’s words, “a second emotional layer” is a technical challenge for the weaver.

Woven by Patrick Guillot’s workshop in Aubusson, the tapestry has fallen down the loom on the 22nd, November 2013.

Marc Bauer was born in Switzerland in 1975. He lives and works in Berlin. Exhibition auditor for the 30 years of the FRAC Auvergne (Exhibition la Révolte et l’Ennui, 2013), he has also been held back for the “off” of Art Basel 2013 (auditor: Florence Derieux), where he has presented, in the “Parcours” (Journey), the film “The Architect” in collaboration with the rock band Kafka (co-produced by the FRAC Auvergne). He has been exposed in 2013 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris within the scope of the exhibition presenting the works of Guerlain’s donation and participated in the collective exhibition 101 Sacré at the Migros Museum in Zürich.

Calls for creation

Panoramique polyphonique (Polyphonic pan shot)


Cécile Le Talec, First Prize – 2011 Call for contemporary creation

Cécile Le Talec builds her work, very influenced by the anthropology, by giving body to the sounds.

Looking for having happen in a material way, what is, by nature, immaterial, the sound can become in its various installations a mere object or silence. Sound is there, but it can or cannot be. In the same way, the bird producer of sound(s) and inspiration(s) can be present or absent. The breath, plastic art tool of preference for the artist, structures his consideration to give the sound its materiality. The breath is music and the music is architecture. The architecture becomes landscape and Mankind evolves in this landscape.

Woven and sonorous architectural project, Panoramique polyphonique invites the visitor to penetrate the woven space and its blue light to listen to a soundtrack mixing bird’s singing and the whistled language of Gomera’s Island (the silbo), itself being part of UNESCO’s immaterial cultural Heritage of Humanity. The soundtrack gives to the invisible birds a presence, as a reminder that they inhabit in silence the Aubusson tapestries since the 15th Century. The warp threads, hidden, evoke the vocal cords, never visible, but always present in one’s ear. By penetrating the pan shot, Mankind engages in a circular horizon.

In this circular music room built to human scale (2,20 m high and 2,20 m of diameter), the tapestry is both the space and the symbol. All the tapestry’s threads are tucked in to create a “double-face” impression. This architectural device sets a panoramic brain. It translates the music into the image on the scale change, through the replication of an immense detail – the spectrogram of bird’s singing – in a plastic art approach, which gives form to material support. The detail becomes the everything in a melody as universal as the birds’ word.

The weaving of Panoramique polyphonique was realized by the Atelier A2 in Aubusson. It has been inaugurated on the 29th, June 2013 at the Centre Jean Lurçat in Aubusson. The piece was notably exposed at the Zheijang Art Museum upon Hangzhou’s first international Three-year of textile art in China, in 2013.

Represented by the Parisian gallery School Gallery, Cécile Le Talec has been exposed in several regional Founds of contemporary art, but also abroad, in galleries and contemporary art museums (Mexico, Russia, and China).

Calls for creation

La Rivière au bord de l’eau (The River by the waterside)


Olivier Nottelet, 3rd Prize – 2010 call for contemporary creation

Olivier Nottellet received the 3rd prize of the 2010 call for projects for La Rivière au bord de l’eau. The model was realized by the artist with Indian ink and blue gouache on paper (60 cm high x 80 cm large). The low-warp weaving (300 cm high x 400 cm large) was realized by Bernard Battu’s workshop in Aubusson.

Olivier Nottellet uses essentially the black and the white to work the visual impact of the form, to set graphic masses which stand out from the void. An atmosphere of discord is created. “It is actually the convolution, sometimes inextricable, which bounds memory, representation, evocation, retinal persistence, that is precisely this, which creates my activity” explains the artist.

His drawings are first and foremost created with Indian ink in classical format notebook, like a raw material thereafter enlarged, reworked. Playing with the lines and forms, Olivier Nottellet creates a fluid black material, some sort of a mass, which floats, rolls or sinks. This fluidity is particularly present in La Rivière au bord de l’eau by the aquatic atmosphere characterizing the model. The technical writing of the weaver allowed him to transcribe this universe into the tapestry: black masses were realized in triple warp thread to obtain a stronger weaving stitch, with an addition of fiberglass to the wool to emboss the design of this material, central in Nottellet’s work. A smart wink to the fantasy elements present in his works, which yet take reality as a starting point.

In his work, the artist breaks free from traditional distinctions: he is always located on the border between figuration and abstraction, between drawing and sculpture, between forms and materials. Playing with the codes of lyrical abstraction of the post-war period, he reuses the formal writings – reminding for example of George Matthieu or Pierre Soulages, abstraction master – and sorts out a figurative writing. The ambiguity between the full and the empty, the style and the content is strengthened by the contrast inducted by the color within this black and white flow.

Leaning on the immersive force of the tapestry medium and the fact that Olivier Nottellet’s work articulates drawings, objects and installations, the Cité internationale asked the artist to think of a specific space, which could welcome and highlight this work.

Calls for creation

Blink # 0


Benjamin Hochart, 2nd Prize – 2010 Call for contemporary creation

Benjamin Hochart received the second price 2010 of the Cité internationale for his work Blink#0. The wool weaving was realized by the Ateliers Pinton in Felletin. Size of each piece 155 cm x 220 cm.

Blink#0 is a work, entirely adjustable, movable and nomadic. Benjamin Hochart imagined his triptych, in a way it could be hanged to the wall or left on the floor, reminding then the dimensions of the Aubusson tapestry, both monumental and domestic. The pieces of the triptych can be presented four-ways as well, because they are still readable, whatever the reading sense is. They can be exposed simultaneously or separately to better adapt the space and the architecture. Blink#0 is a work skillfully merging weaving art and space art, in coherence with the essence of the Aubusson tapestry. Benjamin Hochart proposes a serial work extremely structured. For the three pieces of Blink#0, the background is the same. It is a question of a drawing realized for the cover of the third number of Roven magazine, a critical periodical on contemporary drawing. A black form can be found as well, which creates the coherence of the series, on the three pieces. The artist builds his drawings on the mind-map scheme, which is a mental drawing aiming to offer both a detailed vision and an overview of a subject. This constantly evolving tool allows ranking the transmitted information, to put it in order. Thus, each form leads to the following, from the center to the outskirt.

He follows also a very codified method, which he developed in 2007. This method, called “dodecaphonic” in reference to Schönberg’s atonal music, allows him to define a “structure, which acts as a music score.” Thus, the drawing is an interpretation, in the musical sense of the term. His creation work is limited because, before beginning to draw, Benjamin Hochart sets the pencils he is about to use in a specific order. He begins his work in the center of the sheet with the first pencil, which he would take back, only after using all the others, one after the other.

Benjamin Hochart is born in 1982. He has graduated the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Lyon and teaches at the Superior School of Art in Cherbourg. He is represented by the Martine and Thibault de la Châtre gallery in Paris.

Calls for creation

Peau de Licorne (Unicorn Skin)


Nicolas Buffe, Grand Prize - 2010 contemporary call for creation.

A first iconic Grand Prize

Grand prize of the 2010 call for project: Peau de licorne, of Nicolas Buffe (born in 1978). Collection Cité internationale de la tapisserie, Aubusson. The model was printed from a digital image (178 cm high x 127 cm large). The tapestry is realized with wool and silk by the Patrick Guillot workshop in Aubusson, the head, hoofs, and tail in Limoges porcelain enameled by the Centre de Recherche sur les Arts du Feu et de la Terre (CRAFT) in Limoges.

An iconoclastic style merging pop culture and scholar culture

His works are composed of decors borrowed from the mannerist ornament, baroque or rococo, blended with characters from comics or animation film.

“Assembling, pasting, mixing characters out of the pop culture and scholar culture, I proceed to the most eloquent possible associations, following my pleasure. This dialogue between past and present, which is deeply written within my work come under the entertainment.”

The artist draws with white chalk on a black background, his compositions invade the wall space. In 2008 at the Tokyo Contemporary Art Museum, he invested entirely an exhibition room with almost 200 m2 of finely drawn surface.

“As a child, in the 1980’s, the cultural atmosphere in which I bathed, was strongly influenced by the Japanese imagery of the mangas and video games on the one hand, and by the trace leaved by American animated cartoons. By using these elements, I am referring to a vocabulary, which has a very widely spread impact, even universal. I am not only into art history, but into animation history as well, so as comics and toys.”

Nicolas Buffe is constantly concerned with building and developing a new manner, which he puts to the test on very different mediums; architecture, objects, toys: “It is even more so exciting that the grotesques are twisting at leisure to adapt to whatever chosen form.”

Peau de licorne: kill a symbol to see it reborn.

“Working in Aubusson, it is putting the finger on the tapestry history in France and being part of this history as well, by kicking it (with all my due respect…) to have it penetrate my present and my pleasure.”

The celebrity of the two tapestry series of the Dame à la licorne (woven in the end of the 15th Century in the Flanders and conserved at the Cluny Museum in Paris) and the Chasse à la licorne (woven in 1500 in the Flanders and conserved at the Metropolitan Museum in New York), is such that the imaginary animal can be considered nowadays as tapestry emblematic.

“I conceived a project representing the unicorn’s corpse. In this somehow iconoclastic gesture of killing the symbol to regenerate it, I hope to print the mark of a new era full of stimulating creations for Aubusson, but for the French tapestry as well.”

In the late Middle Ages, the white unicorn, so as we know it today, appears in the bestiaries as a Christ symbol. Nicolas Buffe, by referring the five wounds of the Christ, integrates to his work the heart (as a target) pierced by the spear which killed the animal, so as Jesus on the cross. Like the series of the Chasse à la licorne tapestries, the dogs are numerous; they are represented here in the middle of a run, by referring the photographs of the bitch Maggie, taken in 1887 by Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) within the frame of its work on the photograph deconstruction of the movement.

Nicolas Buffe has graduated the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He lives and works in Tokyo.


Upload the Press kit of the project (PDF)

Past exhibition

Aubusson weaves Tolkien: a unique hanging

Du 01 February 2018 au 31 December 2018

The project “Aubusson weaves Tolkien” floods the Cité’s creative platform to showcase there cartoons, which will allow realizing 14 weavings after original illustrations of the famous author of Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. During the whole year, the visitors can picture there the “making-of” of this monumental weaved project and discover the Tolkien tapestries, as their weaving goes along, amongst them the first ever Tolkien tapestry: Bilbo comes to the Hut of the Raft-Elves.

The Cité internationale de la tapisserie signed a convention with the Tolkien Estate for the four-years realization in Aubusson of an exclusive series of thirteen tapestries and one rug, weaved after the original graphic work of J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 – 1973).

Such a highlighting project of this major area of the author’s work is unseen before. It is also very innovative in the tapestry world, because it is about realizing a narrative hanging which will place amongst the most famous of the entire world, excerpted from the 20th Century greatest literary saga, while this bound between tapestry and literature seems to have been lost from the late 18th Century onwards.

The first step of this project consists in realizing tapestry cartoons after chosen works in collaboration with the Tolkien family. The adaptation of these 14 watercolors into the realization of monumental tapestries represents a true challenge.

The Cité gave its creative platform a new look, with colors of the Middle Earth: the visitors can discover here the necessary process of creation of those monumental weaved works.

The preparation of the cartoon, which provides to the weaver a precise and detailed guide for the weaving, is indeed an essential work, all the more so complex it is about creating a hanging, that is a group of several tapestries: textile interpretation, choice of the color range, technical writings and notes etc.

The 14 chosen illustrations chosen and destined to be weaved are unveiled to the public there.

The visitors discover notably the work on the color choice with help of gouache samples, realized on the cartoons and the string of corresponding tainted wools, but also the technical advices destined to the weavers in charge of the weavings, thanks to a sample weaved by the referent weaver, representing a particularly technical excerpt of the first tapestry to be realized, Bilbo comes to the Hut of the Raft-Elves, and which joined the exhibit space after its “fall from the loom” on April, 6th 2018. Realized by the Atelier A2 in association with the Atelier Françoise Vernaudon on the massive low-warp loom the Cité provides the weavers, the weaving demanded 5 months of work.

This exhibition space is the occasion, as much for the visitors as for the actors of the tapestry in Aubusson, to wander in a reading room, to sink into the universe of the Middle Earth and discover which passages from The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings or the Silmarillion correspond to the graphic works, which will compose this hanging, thus linking the writer and the artist aspect of J.R.R. Tolkien.

4 tapestries are already on display by the end of the year 2018.


Low season: open every day 9.30-12 a.m ; 2-6 p.m except on Tuesdays (weekly closure).

July & August: open every day from 10 a.m to 6 p.m except on Tuesdays (from 2 to 6 p.m only).