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Pierre Avezard, Le Manège (The Merry-go-round)

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Visiting Information

La Manège was removed from the original site and can now been seen at La Fabuloserie, an outsider art museum in Dicy, France. 

About the Artist/Site

Pierre Avezard, known as “Petit Pierre” because of his small stature, was born prematurely. He was deaf and partially blind. Even as a child he lived a rather isolated life. He had only two years of schooling and made his living as a cowherd in Fay aux Loges in the Loiret region of France.

Avezard became a keen observer of the animals, people, and machines that surrounded him on the farm, and used tin blades and other scrap materials to replicate their forms. In 1937 he began constructing an intricate large-scale merry-go-round, replete with sculpted animals, as well as bicyclists, trains, and planes, all made from scrap material. First he fabricated the pieces in the stable of the farmer for whom he worked, but in 1955, as Avezard’s work grew, his boss ceded him a bit of land with a small house. Avezard added a 75-foot-high wooden replica of the Eiffel Tower to the donated land, while continuing to work on the merry-go-round. By 1970, over 100 figures circled Le Manège. Powered by a small motor, the installation would produce sounds and project water as it moved, delighting visitors who arrived on Sunday afternoons to view the Manège in full swing. 

In 1974, “Petit Pierre” moved into a nursing home and his art environment lost its primary caretaker. In 1982, when plans were announced for a new highway that would go through the site, friends of Avezard’s work dismantled his creation so it would not be destroyed or vandalized, and reinstalled it at La Fabuloserie, an outsider art museum in Dicy, France, where the public can continue to enjoy La Manège.

~Henk van Es

 

 

 

Map and site information

Ruelle de l'Église
Dicy, Bourgogne, France
Latitude/Longitude: 47.933576 / 3.106054

Visiting Information

La Manège was removed from the original site and can now been seen at La Fabuloserie, an outsider art museum in Dicy, France. 

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