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LURÇAT BERNEDE

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Poetry in Motion Ceramics by

JEAN LURÇAT Paintings by

GEORGES BERNEDE

21 November - 21 December 2018

All Works are for Sale

6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN +44 (0) 20 7930 9332 info@whitfordfineart.com 1


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Poetry in Motion Whitford Fine Art is proud to present a third exhibition of French artists Jean Lurçat  (18921966) and Georges Bernède (b. 1926). Bringing together two artists from a different generation, tradition, and background, the exhibition shows their common ground of the universal themes of freedom, movement and poetry. An important and successful painter of the School of Paris, Jean Lurçat singlehandedly revived tapestry-making as an art form during the 1930s. Lurçat’s artistic eye simultaneously wandered towards a multitude of other media, including engraving, book illustrations and - most notably ceramics. During the 1950’s Lurçat worked away abundantly at Firmin Bauby’s Mas Sant-Vicens ceramic works in the Southern French city of Perpignan. As of 1950 Lurçat travelled from his home in Saint-Céré (Lot) to Perpignan once or twice per year until his death in 1966. During his residences, Lurçat made master copies which were kept as models to make numbered editions. Lurçat’s association with the Sant-Vicens workshop gave it an international dimension, and other artists such as Picard le Doux and Marc Saint-Saëns followed to work there. Imaginary and mythological sea- and wood creatures as well as foliage are winding their ways in thickly applied saturated colours overlaid with brilliant glaze. Creatures plucked from the Apocalypse and the Zodiac demonstrate Lurçat’s fondness of the symbolic and poetry which formed the core of his artistic expression. Thus, a plate, a bowl, a jug or a tile, becomes an object of beauty and exquisiteness. Lurçat’s poetry is ultimately derived from the excellence of the Art Nouveau style. In his unsurpassed love for all things rural, Lurçat was particularly attached to the rooster and the owl. Respectively synonymous for the sunrise and wisdom, both symbolise the awakening of the spirit. Lurçat’s ceramics proved popular and were shown in 1952 at the Maison de la Pensée française, Paris, in 1963 at the Hannover Museum in Hannover, in 1964 at the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris, in 1965 at the landmark exhibition Ceramiche Lurçat-Picasso at La Bussola Gallery in Turin, and in 2004 at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Georges Bernède’s quest for poetry and beauty on the other hand was achieved through his own human struggle. Bernède’s teenage years were marked by the hardships of the Second World War in his natal village of Monségur, a proper bastide town near Bordeaux. Whilst his father had been taken prisoner of war, his mother earned a meagre living as a seamstress. As such, Bernède was forced to start works as a carpenter’s apprentice as of 1940. Unable to afford painting materials, the young Bernède would compose scenes in his head, whilst wandering the woods, marvelling

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at nature, the play of light and shade and its reflections on water. His desire to become a painter was mocked by the inhabitants of Monségur, who considered art as a frivolous pastime for the wealthy. Bordeaux was notoriously known for its conservatism and its painters did not warm to Abstraction until the mid-1950s, twenty years after Abstraction became a recognized movement in Paris. Bernède’s exhibitions of work at the 1946 Salon de Mai of the Artistes Indépendants Bordelais and his 1949 showing of ‘La Bicyclette’ at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants Bordelais caused scandal and were considered nonsense. Faced with rejection, Bernède continued to paint in solitude and rarely showed his work. Thus, Bernède did not suffer any pressure to conform to any commercial demand or intellectual expectations and had the chance to explore art freely. In his continuous search to express the poetry of Life, Bernède tried to establish an analogy to musical rhythm in his painting, thus naturally growing towards gestural painting, partnered with a monochrome palette. Whilst being deceptively subtle, Bernède’s paintings show dramatic movement and impact through the energetic application of the paint. Whilst both artists witnessed the same artistic spirit France during the first half of the twentieth century, the difference in their artistic outputs offers a dynamic juxtaposition of vibrant colours and monochromatic intensity, dream-like figuration and virile abstraction. AJF, November 2018

4. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition 90 - 17, 1990 Oil on canvas 90 x 65 cm Signed and dated lower right Signed and dated verso Cover of the landmark exhibition Ceramiche Lurçat-Picasso at La Bussola gallery in Turin, 1965 4


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35. JEAN LURÇAT

Firebird, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 45 x 49 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, D. K. 3/50’’ 7


2. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition 86 - 20, 1986 Oil on canvas 81 x 100.5 cm Signed and dated lower right Signed and dated verso 8


9. JEAN LURÇAT

Dawn, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 15 x 12 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, E.C.’’

10. JEAN LURÇAT

Dusk, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 15 x 14 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, E.D.’’

27. JEAN LURÇAT

Aquarium, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 40.5 x 60 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, D - O 8/50’’ 9


7. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition, 1991 Ink on paper 65 x 50 cm Signed and dated lower right

6. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition, 1991 Ink on paper 65 x 50 cm Signed and dated lower right Signed and dated verso 10

5. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition, 1991 Ink on paper 65 x 50 cm Signed and dated lower right

8. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition, 1993 Ink on paper 65 x 50 cm Signed and dated lower right Signed, dated and inscribed verso


14. JEAN LURÇAT

Blue Moon, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 39.5 cm high Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, B.V. 49/50’’ 11


34. JEAN LURÇAT

Daybreak, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 50.5 x 46 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, C. X., no 6’’

52. JEAN LURÇAT

Tagine, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 38 cm high Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, H - L 24/50’’ 12


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39. JEAN LURÇAT

Night Guard, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 36 x 54 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, C - W 40/50’’ 14


26. JEAN LURÇAT

Ondine, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 32 cm diameter Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, H.H., 8/50’’ 15


18. JEAN LURÇAT

Troubadour, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 38 cm diameter Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens’’

36. JEAN LURÇAT

Night and Day, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 36 x 54 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, C. B., no. 14/50’’

3. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition 84 - 25, 1984 Oil on canvas 130 x 97 cm Signed and dated lower right Signed and dated verso 16


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15. JEAN LURÇAT

53. JEAN LURÇAT

Sun Dancer, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 29.5 cm high Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, A.F. 73/100’’

21. JEAN LURÇAT

Shaman, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 21.5 cm diameter Inscribed ‘’Dessin IV, J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, V.B.1.’’ 18

Eyes of Nature, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 49 cm high Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, 8’’

24. JEAN LURÇAT

Forest Spirits, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 26.7 cm diameter Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, O-W, 57/100’’

43. JEAN LURÇAT

Dove, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 21.5 cm diameter Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens’’


16. JEAN LURÇAT

Cosmic Owl, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 26.2 cm diameter Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, 97/100 M. D.’’

17. JEAN LURÇAT

First Dawn, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 40.3 cm diameter Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, 20’’ verso

12. JEAN LURÇAT

Soleil et Lune, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 26 cm high Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens’’ 19


37. JEAN LURÇAT

Living Universe, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 36 x 54 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, 31/50’’

38. JEAN LURÇAT

Trident, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 29 x 53 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens’’ 20


1. GEORGES BERNEDE

Composition 86, 1986 Oil on canvas 49.5 x 61 cm Signed and dated lower centre Signed and dated verso 21


48. JEAN LURÇAT

Spirits of Nature, c.1955 Glazed ceramic 30.5 x 30.5 cm Signed lower right

50. JEAN LURÇAT

Dryad, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 20 x 20 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, R.’’ 22

49. JEAN LURÇAT

Kodama, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 15 x 15 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens’’

51. JEAN LURÇAT

Aquarium, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 20 x 20 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens’’


41. JEAN LURÇAT

Siren, c. 1955 Glazed ceramic 27 x 27 cm Inscribed ‘’Dessin J. Lurçat Sant Vicens, O. B. 16/100’’ 23


ŠWhitford Fine Art Text by An Jo Fermon Catalogue coordination Paola Gribaudo Exhibition coordination Gabriel Toso Photography by Mario Betella, London Printed in Italy 24

ISBN number: 978-1-9996593-2-5


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Profile for Whitford Fine Art

POETRY IN MOTION, Ceramics by Jean Lurçat & Paintings by Georges Bernède  

Whitford Fine Art is proud to present an exhibition of French artists Jean Lurçat and Georges Bernède. Bringing together two artists from di...

POETRY IN MOTION, Ceramics by Jean Lurçat & Paintings by Georges Bernède  

Whitford Fine Art is proud to present an exhibition of French artists Jean Lurçat and Georges Bernède. Bringing together two artists from di...

Profile for whitford