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The story

18

Pierre Culot grew up in Namur. From adolescence onwards, he displayed an affinity for the world of antiquity and the arts. He started his apprenticeship at the Atelier de céramique de l’abbaye de Maredsous. He continued his studies with Charles Leplae at the École nationale supérieure d’architecture et des arts décoratifs de la Cambre in Brussels. A trainee of Antoine de Vinck, a renowned post-war Belgian ceramicist, he perfected his skills with the potter Bernard Leach in Cornwall, in the United Kingdom. In 1962, he set up his first studio in Brussels and soon began a collaboration there with Sylvie and René Baucher-Feron.

Pierre Culot exhibited at the Galerie Vendôme in Brussels with the illustrator Miche Wynants, his future wife. The following year, the couple travelled to Greece, after first passing through Italy. Visit Morandi in his studio. Thereafter, Pierre Culot will stay in various countries of Europe as well as Africa, notably Yemen as well as in Japan, where they meet the ceramicist Shoji Hamada, who was linked to the Mingei movement.

Pierre Culot will receive many international prizes as a ceramicist. However, he avoided confining himself to a single discipline, instead opening himself up to sculpture, an art that assumed increasing importance in his career. The artist was awarded the Belgian Jeune Sculpture prize in 1973. A much sought-after landscape architect, he also had many private gardens and public spaces sculpture to his credit.

The collection

In Belgium and throughout their travels, Miche and Pierre Culot collected ceramics objects: plates, pitchers, bowls, goblets, dishes, flasks, jars and bottles. For Pierre, the idea of building a collection took shape as the ever more numerous pieces accumulated on the shelves. Orlandini sits next to one by Lampecco and de Vinck. On the furniture there are works by the ceramicists Jean and Jacqueline Lerat, Yves Mohy, Robert Deblander and Elisabeth Joulia. Pierre also acquired several bottles by Bernard Leach, creations by Michael Cardew and porcelain pieces by the Australian Hanssen Pigott. Here and there, these works are placed next to ridge tiles from Picardy, Flemish bricks, a few Strebelles, a pair of Art Deco columns signed Craco, Piet Stockmans wings and ceramics by Claude Champy.

The collection also includes works by Richard Batterham, Bruno Gambone and Michel Lévêque. It boasts two fine Hans Copers, the artist whom the couple met in London at the beginning of the 1970s. There is a painting by Pascal Slootmakers, Tournai porcelain, Rhenan jugs, several bowls by Thiébault Chagué, a former pupil of Pierre, and a Tamba cassette as well as Shigaraki style jars, brought back from Japan. This rather heterogeneous collection also contains several pieces by Shoji Hamada.