which is the gallery's contribution to Heidelberg's Long Night of
the Museums (March 31), will present works by two internationally
recognized French ceramicists who both live in Alsatia near the border
between France and Germany.
After her studies at the Academy of Applied Arts at Strassburg,
from which she graduated in 1985, Anne Bulliot
(born 1961) worked with Jean Nicola Gérard and Claude Varlan.
As early as 1986 she established her own studio at Strassburg and
has since then successfully presented her work in solo shows as
well as in group exhibitions in the most distinguished galleries
of France and other European countries.
Already as a boy of ten Thiébaut Chagué
(born 1958) felt the attraction of clay so that after his Grammar
School finals he was in no doubts as to his choice of profession:
he wanted to become a potter.
In 1976 he therefore left home to spend five years in the workshops
of several of the most important ceramic artists of Europe, of which
Michael Cardew and Richard Batterham are the best known.
"From Michael Cardew I learned the patience to wait for the
right moment in the process of taming matter; his example made me
sensitive of the gestical elements of art and the relationship between
the work of our hands and inspiration through which art is conceived
and taking shape."
In 1982 he settled down in his own workshop and has since then
acquired and international reputation. His work is in many private
and public collections. Since 1993 he has several times visited
Nigeria where he was commissioned to conduct various workshops and
Both artists have extended the range of clay as a means of artistic
expression. The ways they fire their works are as unusual as they
are hazardous and very often yield the most surprising results.
Anne Bulliot's sculptures are reminiscent
of what they undergo in the process of their making. The rough and
natural clay of her objects make them look as if they were made
of pieces of solidified lava and then exposed to the creative and
shaping will of the artist.
Bulliot's work s combine strong and exciting contraries whose effects
are enhanced by subtle, irregular shadows which the smoking fire
left on the surfaces of the clay, as well as by softly shining spots
produced by burnishing.
Thiébaut Chagué's objects,
which he often arranges in rhythmically organized groups, immediately
impress by their sheer height and totemlike monumentality. Most
of them are variations of a V-shape which, for example can be seen
as an oversize vase or as the horn of the legendary unicorn, depending
on just how they are put up. Not a little of the elemental power
of Chagué's sculptures is due to their being fired with wood
in a kiln of his own design.
Firing with wood is risky and means inviting
both failure and lucky chance. The latter, however, affords results
which are quite unique and tempting to regard them as gifts from