Puls Gallery takes great pride in welcoming back one of the world’s acknowledged masters of ceramic art
Born in Catalonia in 1956, Claudi Casanovas initially began his artistic studies in his native Barcelona aiming at a career in theater. However, by 1978 he had been captured by the near infinite possibilities of clay. For more than three decades now, he has been doing what he loves best—creating intensely thought-provoking art.
Casanovas creates sculptures—often large-scale work—from a variety of clays. 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 modern day alchemy with clay and water, fire and ice. His clay speaks from both the depths of geological time and the fleeting human time scale, exploring the power of clay to teach us what we need to know about ourselves and the rest of creation.
He explores complex ideas using a mixture of local and imported clays, subjecting both to physical, chemical and esthetic experiments. Organic materials, metals and metal oxides create porous openings and unusual colors in the unglazed surface. After firing, the piece is subjected to further cutting, sandblasting and polishing. The final sculpture is a very personal expression of fundamental emotional ties with the earth.
In 2004, Puls exhibited his small Blocks. These proved to be the forerunner of his extraordinary 2006 anti-Fascism monument Memorial als Vençuts that took fifteen tons of clay, both freezing and firing, and two years in the making. His 2010 installation Camp d'urnes (Field of Urns) comprised of 24 burial urns was followed in 2012 by Bowls for Imagined Fruits of nature and of the imagination. Now in 2014, Casanovas gives us Un Jardí Imaginari (An Imaginary Garden).
What will you discover in this garden? Will it be simply clay boulders, seeds or fruits? Or perhaps an entire miniature solar system to revolve around your own star. The artist leaves it up to you to analyze and define the meaning at each object’s core.