Oh, Ceramics! | Exhibition
22 March - 27 March 2022
21 rue Guenegaud
Past and Present ceramic work exhibited in a novel pop-up show in Paris.
Following last year’s successful Parisian exhibition; “Monaco VS Vallauris/ Ceramics VS Paintings” The Meloy Art is holding another novel exhibition, entitled “Oh Ceramics!”. Works by old masters from the XVIII century; such as Pierre-Innocent Guimonneau de la Forterie, and modern masters from the XX century, such as Jean Marais and Mado Jolain, will be shown alongside works by contemporary artists: Dale Dorosh from Vallauris, Bernard Vitour from Sable-sur-Sarthe and Zoia Skoropadenko from Monaco. Clem Chambers, the special guest, is presenting his series “Fractals”.
Ceramics is one of the wonders discovered by man; a bit of soil, water and fire; and a piece of art is born. In the hands of a master, magic is in the mix.
“Oh ceramics” will present piece from the XVIII, XIX and XX centuries; alongside works of our time.
ARTISTS AND THEIR WORKS
The star of the masters section is a piece by the legendary self-taught potter from the Sarthe; Pierre-Innocent Guimonneau de la Forterie (1726-1794). Guimonneau was a surgeon from the local medical dynasty living and practicing in Courcelle-la-Foret, a few kilometers from what was at the time the hub of ceramic production: Ligron.
Most of his patients were Ligron ceramicists, who at some point introduced Guimonneau to the art. He created unusual forms with small human figures, and exotic and domestic animals; mostly highly ornate and colourful.
Today Guimonneau is probably the most renown ceramicist from Ligron. Commercial potters working on an industrial scale rarely signed their works, but Pierre-Innocent not only signed, but dated each piece, his signature becoming a unique design.
Only 35 pieces remain of Guimonneau’s body of work; most located in the Musée de la Reine Bérengère, Le Mans; two pieces in the Musée de Sevre, Paris; and one in MuCEM, Marseille; all others are in private collections.
Oh Ceramics! will exhibit “Pot with a Hen” from a private collection.
Three hundred years after Guimonneau, a farmer from the neighboring town of Sable-sur-Sarthe, Bernard Vitour, came across ceramic works by the Ligron masters and Pierre-Innocent Guimonneau. He was thus motivated to acquire a bag of clay and a kiln, and began to create his own work. Inspired by the pots born from Guimonneau’s hands, Vitour emulates the rugged decorative designs of the past. Before becoming a farmer 60 years ago, Bernard was trained as a butcher and his tactile knowledge of animal forms unfolds in the clay. Vitour doesn’t use a wheel, all his pieces are moulded by hand.
In 2020 Vitour met Monaco contemporary artist Zoia Skoropadenko who immediately recognised the power of his work. Like Picasso with Madoura; Skoropadenko and Vitour worked on ideas, drawings, and designs for a series of pieces.
The first Skoropadenko-Vitour “Inspired by Guimonneau” ceramic pieces will be exhibited, featuring farmers, villagers, animals, and flora from the Sarthe region.
Also premiering is a collaboration between Zoia Skoropadenko and Dale Dorosh, entitled “Vallauris”. Dale Dorosh created pieces which were then decorated with drawings by Skoropadenko, images from the streets of this ceramic mecca.
Dale Dorosh is a Canadian-French ceramicist born in Wetaskiwin Canada. He began working with clay at the University of Alberta under the tutelage of ceramicist and professor Noboru Kubo. Dale later moved to Europe to pursue a career as a professional fencer and became a member of the Monegasque sabre fencing team. His love of ceramics led him to Vallauris, where he continued his studies at the Municipal School of Fine Arts. In 2001, he created the international artist-in-residence program, A.I.R Vallauris, with the goal of establishing a platform for international artistic and cultural exchange. Dale's work focuses primarily on the creation of functional pieces pure in form; unique patterns in his work come through numerous variations in glazes and firing techniques. He finds that this experimental approach allows him to focus on the perfection of form, texture and colour.
Dale and Zoia met almost 20 years ago at a A.I.R. vernissage in Vallauris and have since organized and participated jointly in numerous exhibitions. The Covid pandemic led them to a collaboration inspired by the works of Madura-Picasso. The series “Vallauris”, presented here for “Oh ceramics!”, is an hommage to a town, that despite the changing world around it, has keep its tradition of ceramic art alive..
Oh Ceramics! also includes two masters from theXX century: Jean Marais, and the female ceramic artist Mado Jolain. Jean Marais lived and worked in Vallauris at the end of his life, eventually becoming a hermit His dark and melancholic works contratsting with his life as a movie star. His work is often minimalist, but sometimes fantastical like the movie that made him a star “The Beauty and the Beast”.
In contrast, Mado Jolain’s work is joyful in a particularly 1960s style. Jolain was a female ceramicist with a studio in Paris. For centuries women artists have found it extremely difficult to be recognised, and such was the case with Mado, but today her works are now very sought after by collectors.
Oh Ceramics! guest artist is Monaco based UK contemporary artist Clem Chambers, presenting his series of oil abstract mathematical paintings “Fractals”; a perfect match with ceramics. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. The “Fractal theory” was discovered and explored by late French Professor Benoit Mandelbrot; who developed a new class of mathematical objects: fractal objects or fractals. Chambers and Mandelbrot met in 2003, and in 2004, Clem started series of oil abstract paintings using Mandelbrot’s theories. “Fractals” were first exhibtied in London in 2006. The series has also been shown in Japan, US, UK, Monaco and France.
Here Clem Chambers will present a few pieces from his first exhibition, as well as recent fractal paintings for the first time.
“Oh Ceramics!” is one of the series exhibitions organised by the gallery ‘The Meloy Art’ as well as by the art society “Circle of Zoia”. These entities were created to showcase established and emerging contemporary artists in conversations with old masters from private collections. These exhibitions give the audience a chance to not only meet contemporary masters, but also to discover hidden treasures from private collections.
Each exhibition is a portal to ancient, and contemporary art, seen side by side, with a chance to buy the rare and best of contemporary masters.
In 2021, The Meloy Art and Circle of Zoia organised a highly successful shows in Paris.
In May “Monaco VS Vallauris/ Ceramics VS Paintings” brought some of the best works of contemporary artists from Monaco and Vallauris, as well as unveiling museum quality pieces from private collections.
In October, the Ukrainian Embassy in Paris and the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, held an exhibition entitled “Best from Ukraine”, presenting works from top Ukrainian contemporary artists, as well as Ukrainian masters from private collections.
In November, during Paris Photo Art Fair, The Meloy Art and Circle of Zoia opened a satellite photo exhibition of original prints from the XIX century by Lewis Rutherfurd, Ichida Sota (1843-1896), Nadar (1820 – 1910), as well as photos by XX Century masters, like Brassai, Man Ray, and contemporaries like the iconic photographer for the Crazy Horse Cabaret and the Equestrian Cabaret, Zingaro Antoine Poupel.
In 2022 The Meloy Art will create exhibitions in Paris around ceramics, the art of drawing and an “Incredible Art” exhibition.