Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Gallery Tour ... jd

30 December 2009 – The Quimper pottery manufactures have always made an effort to produce works by artists, in addition to their more standard offerings. And many of these artists were or are known for their works of art in media other than ceramics. Our interest in their faïence production can lead us to discover their creations in other fields, and that is exactly what happens when visiting a new art gallery in Quimper. QCI member Philippe Théallet - already known in the Quimper pottery world as an author, a blogger, and a connoisseur – has opened a gallery on the rue Saint Catherine, next to the préfecture in the center of Quimper. I'm happy to be able to share with you the pleasure I had visiting the gallery with Philippe yesterday.

The splendid show window gives a hint of what is to be found inside!

Of course I'm delighted to find several works by the Taburets! And Philippe has written a book about Patrice Cudennec, so it's not a surprise to see Cudennec's paintings in the gallery. I was particularly taken with "Empreint de Jardin", the patchwork-style painting with herbal motifs; this is a departure from his trademark figures.

This artist to my knowledge has not produced works for the faïenceries, but he is known to long-time buyers of Quimper pottery, as he used to be a dealer. Bruno Lécuyer is clearly comfortable with several different styles of painting ... (that's Philippe in the photo!)

François-Marie Griot produced some very contemporary sculptures for HB-Henriot, and so it was a surprise to see that his paintings tended to impressionism.

In addition to this sculpture, the gallery has some framed works of Enrique Marin, and I realized that he had designed a famous poster for the Semaines Musicales in Quimper (a summer music festival).

This print was my pick of the gallery. I should say that I am particularly interested in the technical aspect of art, and I have more appreciation for a piece of art that requires a particular technical knowledge on the part of the artist. With this print, I learned about a new technique, called "gravure à bois perdu" – the literal translation is "engraving with lost wood", but it may have another name in English. A classic woodcut would have a different wood plate for each color of the print. This print is a woodcut engraved from a single piece of wood. After each color, the artist reworks his wooden plate for the next color. This means that at each step he has to print the entire edition for that color, and he has to print his colors from lightest to darkest (anyone who has ever done batik will recognize this way of designing). So the artist has to master his design, his colors, and his engraving technique very carefully to produce his works. This particular print was one of several with the theme of Exodus by Georges Le Fur – I will be very interested to see what else he creates!

And finally, Philippe maintains a showcase with some choice pieces of Quimper pottery for sale, old and new!

The Quimper art world ("art" in its broadest sense) is privileged to have someone with Philippe's talent promoting its creations. Years ago, before I ever met Philippe, I read his thesis about the artistic aspects of Keraluc; he has an innate feeling for the creative drive of an artist and, as important, he is adept at communicating his insights. I think his gallery will become more and more important, as Philippe continues to skillfully weave the threads among the various expressions of Quimper art.

On another note, this is my last blog of this year, so in the best blended tradition, I'd like to wish you all a "Happy New Year", with my "Meilleurs Voeux", and of course "Bloavez Mad"!!


  1. What a fascinating blog, you get to see the coolest things down there in Quimper!
    Cudennec's "Empreint de Jardin" would have been the piece most likely to come home with me, if only.
    Happy New Year from Normandy.

  2. Thank you Judy, for your interesting blogs. You definitely are where the action is when it comes to Quimper. The "Empreint de Jardin" fascinates me, just as Maggie. I suppose it follows, as I like anything regarding herbal lore, etc. The colors are nice too.

    Have a very Happy New Year!

  3. Oh, Judy, thank you for taking us along on this gallery trip. Wonderful!
    And a huge thank you for the month of interesting and informative posts. You've done a stellar job!
    Happy New Year! ~ Sarah

  4. Your trip to the gallery makes me want to hop on a plane so I can see for myself - we wish Philippe every success in this enterprise