Modern Shapes Gallery collaborated to a large exhibition curated by Aurélien Gendras and Jean-François Declercq (Atelier Jespers) presenting great names in contemporary ceramic art at Area 42 during Brussels Design September 2019.
The aim of this exhibition is to value ceramics and showcase unique pieces of Belgian and international artists through a multifaceted collection of functional and sculptural artworks.
After the decline of industrial ceramics in the early 1920s, ceramic art emerged and became highly valued in the art world since the 1940s. But nowadays, clay is so prevalent in contemporary art that it has aroused huge enthusiasm among experts, gallerists, editors, collectors, and amateurs.
This phenomenon has given a new aura to ceramic art and the shifting in the perception led this medium to "artification" – a neologism invented by the famous sociologist Nathalie Heinich in 2010 to describe the passage from non-art to art.
Artists began to explore new uses, far from decorative and functional applications, by merging traditional processes with innovative materials and techniques. They have blurred boundaries between art and craft to bring ceramics closer to contemporary art.
The first section of the exhibition will focus on contemporary sculptural ceramics made of sandstone into a unique piece by renowned artists from the international scene such as Enric Mestre (ESP), Grégoire Scalabre (FR), Lucien Petit (FR), Juan Orti (ESP), Brigitte Marionneau (FR), Antonio Lampecco (BE), Bela Silva (PT), Frédérick Gautier (FR), Maarten Stuer (BE), Piet Stockmans (BE), Laurent Dufour (FR), Mia Jensen (DK), Pierre Martinon (FR), Wayne Fisher (USA), Clémentine Dupré (FR), Denis Castaing (FR), Abel Jallais (FR), Nicolas Delaroche (CH), Claude Aiello (FR) & Alain Berteau (BE), …
The second section will display functional objects by Pascale Risbourg (FR), Patrick Jadot (BE), Bernard Champon (BE),, Eloïse Maës and Audrey Werthle (BE),. Nowadays, “handmade” objects are very much in demand because consumers crave authenticity, timelessness, and preservation of traditions more than ever.