Claudi Casanovas is one of the world’s most acclaimed ceramic artists. This Catalan artist has exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. This is his third exhibition at Puls Gallery. Born in Catalonia in 1956, he initially studied theatre in Barcelona, but was later captured by clay. He studied and began working in clay in the town of Olot in his native Catalonia, becoming a member of a potter’s cooperative and working with them from 1978 to 1987. He creates his sculptures—often large-scale work—from a variety of clays and media. His pieces are reminiscent of the earth from which they come. While not a direct evocation of the forms and textures of the geology and landforms of his native region, it is nevertheless powerful and uncompromising work that is modern day alchemy with clay and water, fire and ice. Casanovas clay speaks from both the depths of geological time and the human time scale, exploring the power of earth to teach us what we need to know about ourselves.
Casanovas won the first of many international prizes at the Third International Ceramics Competition in Mino, Japan in 1992. He is shown at numerous major international museums and exhibitions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Oostende, Belgium, the Roman Museum in Nyon, Switzerland, and Kunstforum, Kirchberg, Switzerland. In 2004, he won a competition to create a monument against Fascism sponsored by the town of Olot. The piece, entitled Memorial als Vençuts, was installed in June 2006 and brings to mind the words of George Santayana, Spanish/American writer, poet and philosopher. "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it." This extraordinary monument required fifteen tons of clay, both freezing and firing, and was two years in the making. Following its completion, he took a much-needed break from clay, producing several series of prints. He is now back doing what he loves best—creating intensely thought-provoking pieces that are instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever contemplated his work.
Estas piezas son como cortezas de frutos desconocidos,
minerales o vegetales, que acogen de nuevo la vida .
La rueda del cambio, gira de nuevo .
Las urnas cinerarias, se han abierto al aire del cielo.
Tienen la virtud de integrar bien las grietas.
Són compactas, de un solo cuerpo, sin capas superficiales, sin
pinturas ni esmaltes, sin maquillage .
Ofrecen una solución de continuidad, entre el interior y el
exterior, de forma natural se establece un hiato.
Con la pulimentación de la superficie interior, se expresa la dureza del material-piedra, y se refleja el espacio abierto.
Como las frutas, són hechas para ser acariciadas, tocadas.
Claudi Casanovas 2012
These pieces are for fruit. For the fruits of nature,
the fruits of imagination.
Not entirely useless, for practical reasons.
These pieces are like the bark of unknown fruits,
minerals or plants, that welcome life anew.
The wheel of change turns again.
The urns have been opened to the air of the sky.
They have the virtue of integrating cracks well.
They are compact, body only without layers, without
paints and glazes, no make-up.
They offer a solution of continuity between the interior and the
outside, naturally creating a hiatus.
With the polishing of the internal surface, the hardness of the
stone material is expressed and reflects the open space.
Just like fruit, made to be caressed, touched.
Claudi Casanovas 2012