F.X. Messerschmidt sculpteur (1736-1783)
At the peak of his official career, Messerschmidt was refused a sculptor’s chair at the Vienna Academy of Arts. He left the capital and created, during the last years of his life, a disconcerting work, at complete odds with his academic pieces: a series of sixty grimacing faces (called expression faces). The studio is under the storm of a surprising ritual, in the to-ings and the frowings of the mirror where the grimace sets itself up to return to the mould with a virtuoso violence, accompanied by sighs, grunts and strange gestures to keep off the demons of proportion (according to the testimony of a contemporary). This moment, when the grimace is searching itself, could only be seized by the body and face of the actor (fictional) to fix the approach of the work cinema, mirror of the whole grimacing spectrum.
He was born in Paris suburbs. He graduated in sociology and cinema in Paris. He worked as an assistant editor, an assistant director and a screenwriter.