Water & Words (Surrounded by Water), 2016, 195 x 145 cm
Thomas Tronel-Gauthier was shown at the 55th Salon de Montrouge in 2010. Since then he has taken part in several group and individual shows in France and abroad. 
No doubt as a child he must have received as a gift the Perfect Little Alchemist Set. Indeed, ever since Thomas Tronel-Gauthier has been practicing experiments on matter, any kind of matter. His Paris studio is probably more like a melting pot where polyester foam volcanic sand, colourful candy, tiger balm and a jumble of resins are mixed and smelted. But the young artist, born in 1982, is not interested in changing lead into gold, his pursuits are elsewhere and though more modest they are still essential. His work turns nature into artifice, the instant into eternity. His taste for tinkering with matter stems from roaming the studios at the Strasbourg Decorative Art School where he was trained and learned to handle, right from the start, wood, ceramics and metal. However, it was another aspect that drew the attention of the Salon de Montrouge, where he was shown in 2010: the sculptures he produced using elements normally found in kitchens that he re-appropriates with his poetic touch. Thus he scored a tree trunk with the type of red paste used for making sweets and hung fake fruit, actually candies, onto a real raspberry bush. He sometimes also uses gelatin. By gluing transparent squares onto the window panes, he tampers with our perception of the landscape thus composing a nicely myopic stained glass effect, “a skin which becomes alive with sounds as it retracts”.
Still the young man is not at all limited to culinary elements. He rapidly broadens his scope, starts fossilizing sponges and even manages to capture in paint the fog lacing the bay of Ha Long. “In fact, what I am interested in are the cycles of life, shaping deforming and reforming what has been destroyed”, he explains. Whether at the Villa Cameline in Nice or the Centre d’art de Clamart, he challenges the fleeting instant: the lines left by the tide on a sandy beach, even the wave itself. Thanks to a sophisticated moulding technique, he is able to reproduce elusive landscapes. They become, under his touch, fragments of dark waves, or again a wave captured as it is swelling within an old fashioned bathtub.
Unsurprisingly, his art bloomed during his three-month residency in the Marquesas Islands last year. Of Gauguin’s paradise he discovered the sad truth: a society seduced by the all-American, stripped of any original identity, a priori. However he probes deeper, hangs around, observes the children he organises a workshop for, and learns the ancestral technique of tapa bark cloth, studies the phallic shapes of the kitchen pestles carved from local lava rock, listens to hopes of renewing ties with the original culture. Then his work takes a turn. With the video, medium yet unknown to him, he captures the graceful beauty of the waters where the amphibious “sirens” – as an endemic fish is called locally – live, clinging to their rocks between sea and air. His photographs freeze the sudden impact of a wave on the black sand. But most of all, he reflects upon the ultimate taboo for these prudish – thanks to evangelization – islands: the consequences of the nuclear tests at Mururoa. He witnesses the unspoken words of some of the many cancer patients. And then, after his initial sculptures representing algae lacework carved in Japanese packing polystyrene, he begins engraving the carefully kept unmentioned nuclear mushrooms on the mother-of-pearl oyster shells. As Gauguin did, he questions the legitimacy of our presence on these islands while actually changing profoundly.
Clearly it is not by chance that his works speak of transition, the passage from density to dissolution: our contemporary paradises are they not made of such unstable matter.

Emmanuelle Lequeux.

Exhibition view, "Surrounded by Water", 2017, L'Abbaye, Annecy-le-Vieux

Water & Words [The World is an Island #2] (2016), Chinese ink on watercolor paper, enhanced frame in painted oak, anti-reflecion and anti-uv museum glass, 63 x 81,5 cm

Exhibition view, "Surrounded By Water", 2017, L'Abbaye, Annecy-le-Vieux

Cavity (2017), resin, acrylic, Polynesian black pearl, 15 x 10,5 x 11 cm

Le dernier terrain vague – corps échoués #5 (2016), pigmentary inkjet impression on Dibond, 70 x 105 cm

Peinture Blanche F3#3 (2016), Vinyl and acrylic on linen canevas and american box, 26 x 31 cm

Peinture Blanche F8 #1, 2016, vinyl and acrylic on linen frame and painted
american box, 50,5 x 43 cm

Booth view, FIAC-OFFICIELLE 2015, solo show
The Last Piece of Wasteland #7, 2015, Colored resin,
shells, aluminum chassis, 153 x 145 cm

The Last Piece of Wasteland #6, 2015, Colored resin,
shells, aluminum chassis
133 x 113 cm

Les sables retrouvés, 2015, Photo-engraving on
black granite of Africa, 80 x 52 cm

Le commencement, 2015, Clones of
volcanic rocks, colored resin, Dimensions variable
Attraction (sur extincteur), 2015, Fire extinguisher, clones of magnetic volcanic rocks,
colored resin, 39,5 x 12,5 cm

Attraction (sur Butagaz), 2015
Gas bottle, clones of magnetic volcanic rocks,
colored resin,  58 x 35 x 35 cm

L’île engloutie, 2015, Wooden box, colored silicone, colored resin, 83 x 38,5 x 41,5 cm (Détail)
L’île engloutie, 2015, Wooden box, colored silicone, colored resin, 83 x 38,5 x 41,5 cm (Détail)
View of the exhibition "CE QUE J'AI VU N'EXISTE PLUS", Galerie 22,48 m², Paris

View of the exhibition "CE QUE J'AI VU N'EXISTE PLUS", Galerie 22,48 m², Paris
Peinture Noire, 2015, Acrylic, linen canevas and american box, 100 x 80 cm
Peinture Noire, 2014 (détail)
Hanamate - Dessins de sable #1, 2012/2013, Photographic print on Hahnemühle paper, 60 x 80 cm
Récif d'éponges (capita vitum), 2010, White porcelain
Le Cratère, 2011, Digital print on tarpaulin, ringholes, steel nails, 120 x 80 cm
Tahiti-Moorea, 2012, Video projection HD, 2 min in a continuous loop, without sound
Les Oracles, 2012/2013, Engravings on nacre (Tuamotu archipelago), variable dimensions
The Last Piece of Wasteland #2, 2014, Painted resin, 116 x 72 cm
Tondo Outre-mer, 2015, Acrylic, linen canevas and american box, Ø 80 cm
Bons Baisers d'Halong Bay, 2009, Acrylic on offset paper, laminated on aluminum, 12 pieces, 10,5 x 14,5 x 11 cm 
Carte postale des Tropiques, 2012, Video projection HD on painted tv, 1 min in a continuous loop
Corail de Terre, 2014, Gypsum, polyester, variable dimensions
Hanamate - Dessins de sable #2,  2012/2013, Digital photography, oak frame, 60 x 80 cm
Hanamate - Dessins de sable #3,  2012/2013, Digital photography, oak frame, 60 x 80 cm
Hanamate - Dessins de sable #4,  2012/2013, Digital photography, oak frame, 60 x 80 cm
Ke'a Tuki, 2012, Pylons made from lava of the Marquises,
plasterboard, pvc, black mineral pigment, 120 x 15 x 36,5 cm
L'Absente, 2013, Resine, sand, 160 x 70 x 65 cm
Le Havre, 2011, Digital photography, 114 x 74 cm
Le Maschere, 2010, Indian tiger balm, metal shackles, old pegs, variable dimensions
Les Nappages, 2007, Crystal, red soft resin, variable dimensions 
Les os à moelle Roudoudoux, 2007, Polished bone, jelly candy strawberry taste, white glass, 28 x 28 cm
Peintures au vert de chrome (Les Végétales), 2014, Acrylic, linen canevas, variable dimensions
Moule en madeleines (Made in France), 2006,  Industrial compressed madeleines, 38 x 25 cm
Nativité, 2011, Wooden or plastic float, gold leaf, acrylic, 15 x 27 x 13 cm 
Peintures Outre-mer, 2013, Acrylic, linen canevas, variable dimensions
Sans Titre (Made in Italy), 2005, White marble, 32 x 32 cm
Sirène, 2012, Video projection HD, 1,55 min
Stèle Blanche, 2012, Gypsum, polyester, 80 x 120 cm
Territoire #2, 2014, Resin, 101 x 63 cm
The Last Piece of Wasteland #3, 2014, Painted resin, 116 x 72 cm
The Last Piece of Wasteland #4, 2014, Painted resin, 121 x 98 cm
Trilogie des Moullusques, 2011, Porcelain, painted wood, 19 x 19 x 16 cm
Valise aux morphogénèses, 2011, Wooden case, grey silicone, gypsum, white polyester, 65 x 40 x 52 cm