Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tout feu Tout flamme

Pottery, at least as far as its purely physical composition is concerned, is of the stuff of many of the West’s religious and cultural founding myths. For thousands of years, intelligence and beauty have found form and taken shape in this melding together of earth and fire. After all, in the book of Genesis, isn’t it earth that constitutes the source code for the entire human race? Wasn’t it on the sixth day of Creation that God gathered up the dust in His hand and made man after His own image?
When we turn to the world of poetry and literature, it is of course Prometheus who is seen as the originator of the art of pottery. In order to give form to clay, you may not have to be a Titan, but you certainly need something of the Seer.
Those who stick with it turn into, in Rimbaud’s words, a thief of fire. What’s more, Prometheus, (whose name means Foresight), created mankind from bits of mud that he turned into rock, before nabbing knowledge and learning from the great ones of Olympia. So, we’re all just fire and dust. Artists who master these elements are equally dedicated to 
contributing to the work in progress that is humanity. They task themselves with the job of bringing into the world forms and concepts that were hitherto lacking. The first fire-based art form, indeed, perhaps the first art form full stop, is the process by which creation gives ever-growing life to creation.
This is how we can best understand Tout feu Tout flamme - art that is about the very spirit of exhilaration that has its being in art itself, with artistic convention being smoked out and destroyed, no matter where it tries to hide. First into the flames are desires, wings and eyes. Here, raw art is a dish best eaten cooked. Hereby, the young artists, who as makers of ceramics share a common bond, take their place in a pseudo-mythological story, each having their own reasons for doing so. Their ceramic artworks, regardless of their exact composition, have seemingly just emerged from the primeval earth. The very fact of bringing them into the open, into the light, might seem enough to seal their fate – to be turned into museum pieces - at least as a protection against their supposed fragility. This, however, is where we would be wrong: to choose pottery is to accept the scorched earth school of art, to agree to a degree of violence or force in the midst of finesse.” Alexis Jakubowicz
Lefebvre & Fils Gallery is pleased to present Tout feu Tout flamme, an unseen group show of eleven international artists around ceramic works.
Florian Bézu, Ryan Blackwell, Robin Cameron, Patricia Camet,
Dewar & Gicquel, Mimosa Echard, David Gallagher, Chloé Jarry, Morgane Tschiember and Kostis Velonis, gathered by the curator Alexis Jakubowicz, prove ceramic’s relevance and persistence in contemporary art
March 19-May 31, 2014