Ingrid Donat
25th May 2016 - 22nd Jul 2016
Monday - Friday
10am - 6pm
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
4 Albemarle Street - W1S 4GA

With ‘Origins’, Ingrid Donat will unveil six new sculptural pieces at Carpenters Workshop Gallery’s London space. The new works will include two commodes, a console table, bench, low table and a floor lamp; all created in Ingrid Donat’s signature intricate style. The exhibition will take place from 26 May until 22 July 2016 and will foreshadow the launch of the first monograph dedicated to the artist’s work, to be published this fall.


These new works are inspired by tribal and Art Deco trends. They seek to further develop Ingrid Donat’s artistic exploration of her origins and roots, on the island of La Réunion, known for its volcanic rock and wild natural landscape. The artist’s use of bronze and dark woods adds an imposing and almost masculine energy to her works. However, this idea is juxtaposed by the complexity of the patterns incorporated into her pieces, which suggest a more feminine nature.


Ingrid Donat’s work invokes the majestic spirit of 1920s Art Deco designers such as Pierre Legrain and Armand-Albert Rateau, who transformed African tribal design into luxurious works of art. The motifs she engraves recall the animal and fish skins Art Deco artists used to incorporate texture into their works. To achieve the delicacy required in her engraving, Ingrid Donat has developed her own precise tools to get the exact affect needed. These have evolved over decades along with her style and technical approach.

In Ingrid Donat’s work we can see echoes of Legrain’s ceremonial chairs in wood with their intricate incorporation of symbols and patterns often found in West African tribal art, along with curves inspired by nature and those of the human body.

Whilst in her bronze pieces we are reminded of Armand-Albert Rateau’s decorative engraving of vegetation motifs and animals. Both take basic and natural aesthetics and transform them into elegant, finely crafted and highly decorative works. She also admires the detailed patterning of Gustav Klimt’s painting and brings this into her work.


Ingrid Donat’s artistic practice is consistent. Developed and created at Roissy with a team of skilled artisans, her creative process starts with a sheet of wax, which she engraves, carves and shapes to form the design of her work, which is then applied to her pieces. The artist engraves the bronzes, paints the upholstery and treats the wood herself.Her studio and office are now based there.

Selection of Works
Ingrid Donat

“My approach is about imbuing bronze with warmth and vitality by borrowing scarification techniques and visual motifs from tribal societies,” says Donat.

Ingrid Donat is a French- Swedish artist born in 1957. Donat trained at École des Beaux Arts and later she met with Sylva Bernt, who instructed her in the art of sculpture. During the 80’s sculptor Diego Giacometti pushed her to start creating her own furniture.

Now, Donat currently stands as one of the most influential living artists in Decorative Arts. Her sculptured bronze furniture pieces exist as a symbiosis between the sophistication of Art Deco against the force of Tribal Art. Her creations take a painterly approach to the weighty medium of bronze. 

Donat draws upon a diverse range of decorating influences including tribal tattooing. The works of Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and Armand-Albert Rateau have inspired the characters and intricate patterns in her art. Donat crosses time without ever anchoring herself in the trends of the moment.

She expresses a universal language as in the era of the first civilizations. Her timeless work needs to be seen and touched to be truly understood.

/ Ingrid Donat's monography.Carpenters Workshop Gallery -Norma Editions.
/ David Linley and C.Cator, H.Chislett, “Star Pieces – The Enduring Beauty of Spectacular
Furniture”. London: Thames and Hudson.

Art of the Twentieth Century, New York, USA.
Fondation Louise T Blouin, London, UK.
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