In 1964 Viseux first experimented with stainless steel, drawn to its refined metallic characteristics he embarked on his most important period of work creating curiously elegant and often hominoid structures out of industrial machine parts such as the present work “Colonne”. The work adopts an autonomous form above its individual elements and plays off the subtle ambiguities of representation and identification, creating a paradox between the autonomous modernist sculpture and its cannibalised parts that were created for a specific purely functional purpose, precision machined to a fraction of a millimetre. Viseux would reclaim discarded parts that factories had rejected for some fault so minute it’s invisible to the eye, and by incorporating them into his sculptures their functional identity is replaced by an aesthetic reverence. Viseux’s work thereby engages not only with the continuously evolving concept of aesthetics but also the semiotics of identity.
Having completed his architectural studies at Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris in 1949, Claude Viseux dedicated himself to painting from 1949-1961, developing a highly gestural Abstraction Lyrique style, in which he displayed an exceptional sensitivity for the physical properties and textures of the materials. By 1958 he had begun to experiment with other materials in their own right and created a series of assemblage works using a variety of found objects, and discovering an affinity for stainless steel in the 1960’s Viseux’s work attracted international acclaim and was exhibited extensively.
During the 1950’s Claude Viseux participated in the major salons, such as the Salon de Mai, Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, and Salon Comparaisons. In 1952 he held his first exhibition at the Galerie Vibaud in Paris, followed in 1955 by an exhibition at Galerie René Drouin for which the catalogue was written by Hubert Damsch, also Daniel Cordier Gallery on the Rue de Duras. With Claude Georges he became involved in the avant-garde Phases group founded by Édouard Jaguer, and exhibited with them at Galerie Facchetti in 1954 and Galerie Kléber in 1956. In 1957 he exhibited with Réquichot and again with Claude Georges in Antwerp, he also held his first exhibition in America at Léo Castelli in New York. Further exhibitions include Galerie Kléber, 1959; Galerie Cordier, 1960; Paris Biennale, 1960; Musée de Wiesbaden, 1961; Cannes, 1963; École de Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 1963; Prix Carnegie, Pittsburgh, 1964; Geneva, 1966; Centre Nationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris, 1969; Venice Biennale, 1972; etc. Most recently in 2002 a retrospective was held at the Musée Despiau-Wlérick.
Viseux also became an honorary professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He published several books including La Cavée - Introspection d'un voyageur en Artalie, where he opened the doors to his universe, a surreal world in perpetual motion. He was also involved with avant-garde theatre and created many public sculptures most famously at Orly Airport in 1960.
The artist is represented in many museums of modern art including Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris; Centre Nationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris; Algiers; Anvers; Brussels; Dunkirk; Museum of Art, Lodz, Poland; Middleheim Open Air Museum of Sculpture; Belgium; National Gallery of Art in USA; Marseille; Mexico; Miami.