Émile Souply was passionate about metalwork in all its forms, and it was in Maredret – in a small forge shared with the sculptor Félix Roulin – that he produced his first works in wrought iron between 1955 and 1959. They were small objects – jewels and sculptures – which were figurative at first, and later abstract.
During the sixties, the artist divided his time between different disciplines: sculpture, religious metalwork, jewellery and designer furniture.
He soon became interested as a sculptor in industrial techniques and the associated materials. He generally made his pieces by combining materials of various origins such as steel tubes or reinforcing bars. He used the principle of serial reproduction – especially with glass – and used techniques typically associated with industrial activity, such as arc welding.
Having actively pursued a non-figurative path, Émile Souply became a co-founder in 1966 of a new group, AXE 66. This championed the principle of abstraction, innovation and constant experimentation, in particular through the use of unconventional materials as new creative sources.
Emile Souply’s work was the fruit of a long reflective process, moving from initial design to technical development and, finally, physical realisation in space.
Though monumental in architectural settings, Émile Souply’s sculptures were more modest in scale inside homes.