Jean-Claude Correia 1945-2016

Jean-Claude Correia 1945-2016

JCC and Tobie Blancafort 2013

JCC and Tobie, Blancafort 2013

The death has occurred on 14 February 2016 of Jean-Claude Correia. He was highly innovative folder of unexpected subjects, he was an artist, and he was the co-founder of the Movement Francais des Pieurs de Papier.

Here are some extracts from an article I wrote for Tanteidan Magazine about 10 years ago, describing his work until that time. Full text.

Jean-Claude Correia was born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1945. He studied at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs Paris from 1968-72 and in the following years worked actively as a painter.
With Gilles Gautherin, his friend from student days, Correia founded the Mouvement Francais des Plieurs de Papier (MFPP) in 1978, taking the lead from other European origami groups…

JCC masterminded two significant origami Festivals for the MFPP in France: in 1982 in Mirepoix-sur-Tarn, near Toulouse, and in 1983 in Grenoble, as part of an international trade fair for paper industries. In 1984 he retired as MFPP president: the organisation he had created was now able to function without him, and he wanted to move forward with his own ideas for folded paper expression. For him, the word “origami” implies a traditional colourful Japanese craft, and this concept was far removed from his ideas and his intentions for his work. He prefers the term “pliage” – meaning folding. It’s significant that the title of the French organisation doesn’t include the word origami.

Le Manteau de Moctezuma

Now freed from the responsibilities at the helm of the MFPP, Correia embarked on his series of immense folded, pleated and twisted pieces. Working in large studio spaces in central Paris, he often used huge rolls of kraft or builder’s paper, and he made individual and unique textured surfaces from sometimes irregular shapes. These suggested natural forms such as the bark of a tree, the waves in the ocean, or hardened volcanic lava. Sometimes decorated with paint or coloured pencil, his work frequently contrasts precise geometric pleated areas with twisted, liberated and chaotic sections, all in the same sheet. His works are always signed and bear his sealing-wax imprint in the old-fashioned way of signing a letter. He also records on the work the size of starting sheet.

 Oasis V

Oasis V

Later, JCC contributed to leading origami exhibitions including Origami Masterworks (San Diego 2003), Masters of Origami (Salzburg 2005) and the Holland Paper Biennial, (Rijswijk 2006).

I spent many happy times in the company of Jean-Claude, who I first met at a BOS convention in Bristol in 1979. I was a frequent visitor at the family apartment in Rue Des Vinaigriers, Paris, where I was always made very welcome. I attended both of the MFPP Festivals in Mirepoix Sur Tarn and Grenoble, which he masterminded. Though a devoted resident of Paris, in 2008 Jean-Claude left the capital to live in rural Blancafort, in central France, where he continued his artistic activities as a woodcarver. He set aside his folded paper work or “pliages”, which had earned him much respect in the origami community. Here are a few pictures of a visit to his new country retreat we made in 2012.

I shall miss JCC. I enjoyed his company: I was always stimulated by his energy, his talents, and his often radical opinions.

The origami world has lost one of its brightest stars.