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Workshop pierre culot

Culot 38

1. Earthenware pottery

The utilitarian ceramics of Pierre Culot hark back to traditional rural pottery. This is sober and robust crockery in classic and simple shapes. This simplicity is translated by the rejection of any superfluous element. The enamel is discreet, applied freely. This line runs throughout Pierre Culot’s entire œuvre.

The artist also developed a set of more personal square shapes.

The traces of turning are visible. In this way he turns his back on a consumer society that offers uniform and industrial products. The artist’s work also translates a desire to return to his roots and to the beauty of simple, basic things. The artist demonstrated his common mindset with traditional potters, which would never leave him.

2. Lamps

The first lamps date back to 1965. In 1980, the artist made three models of different sized lampstands, today back in the workshop. The brass support was inspired by the lamps of Jules Wabbes. Shortly afterwards the artist created wall lamps of different sizes combining bronze and terracotta.

3. Tables

The first table in blue stone was made in 1975. In the 1980s, Pierre Culot designed and commissioned a set of low tables in Burgundy stone and Hainaut blue stone. He also designed an oval table which he produced in several editions. There was also a high table of which we only found the plans. It was only assembled after his death.

4. Claustras – bas-reliefs

From 1964 to 1970, Pierre Culot collaborated with various architects in creating ceramic claustras destined for both private and public places. To do so the artist developed a vocabulary using the square and the rectangle as the basic elements. Inside these he integrated one or several geometric shapes. Pierre Culot borrowed this repertoire from abstraction, drawing inspiration partly from a plastic alphabet formulated by the painter Vasarely in 1959. The artist liked to play on the depth or orientation of these shapes to modulate the light.

The residents

Eric Croes

Éric Croes

With Éric Croes, the gesture starts with a story, a book, a song or a text that speaks to him and motivates him. For this first residence at the Atelier Pierre Culot, Éric re-read l’Écume des jours [Froth on the Daydream] the novel, or rather the fairy tale written by Boris Vian, published in 1947. In an imaginary universe where he can give his eyelids a bevel cut, Colin, the hero, falls madly in love with Chloe, a graceful and gentle young woman whom he meets at the birthday party of the poodle Dupont. The couple marry, but Chloe falls ill: a waterlily is growing in her lung. To cure her, Colin must offer her cut flowers. These offerings are a source of inspiration for Éric Croes. In his own way, the sculptor has invented a universe of his own, telling a story by picking out various elements from the book for own his creations: the elephant of Jean-Saul Partre, the nail of Jesus, the boot of the red knights, the waterlilies and butterflies, etc. His creations produced within the framework of the residence, the Colin vase and the Chloe vase, are works as original as they are generous, very personal and yet respectful of the poetic bric-à-brac of the fiction. To each his poetry…

Daniel Dewar, Grégory Gicquel and Richard Dewar

The second artists-in-residence are the sculptors Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel, a French-British duo who won the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2012. Working together since 1997, these artists have reconnected with traditional sculpture practices, at the same time creating complex, contemporary images in their works.

Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel's idea of sculpture involves a strong physical dimension. The artists cut stone and wood, model clay, and fire stoneware in a kiln they have built in their studio.

They insist on expertise, believing that an understanding of techniques is fundamental to the development of their work.

They also talk about transmission. At the Pierre Culot studio, they have collaborated with Richard Dewar, Daniel's father, a renowned ceramist. This has been an enriching experience as, like Pierre Culot, Richard Dewar was influenced in his younger days in the 1970s by the traditions of English and Japanese pottery, in particular the work of ceramists such as Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada.

The works at the residence are made from green and brown enamelled stoneware, frequently seen in the artists' productions. We see a series of tiled murals from which hand-turned pottery shapes jut out horizontally, in a fun way. A cup, a bottle, a jug and other utilitarian objects related to the history of pottery lose their functional role here, suddenly confronting the viewer.

Then, more unexpected objects appear - pipes and flutes, also arranged horizontally.

By inviting the viewer to inhale the smoke or blow to create a sound, these primarily utilitarian objects remind us of the essential function of pottery, to transfer elements from the outside to the inside of the body, and vice versa.