Above: A glazed stoneware sculpture by French Ceramist Georges Jouve. Photo: Jousse Entreprise
Born in Fontenay-sous-Bois, France in 1910 Georges Jouve is considered today one of the most important ceramists of the post-war Modern era. At the age of 17 Jouve enrolled in the prestigious École Boulle in Paris where he pursued sculpture, the influence of which can be seen in the ceramic and stoneware pieces he created. Even the most pragmatic of Jouve’s creations are often quite sculptural.
After graduation in 1930 Georges Jouve began his career as a theatrical set designer, a profession he held until he was captured by the Nazis During World War II and interned in a German camp. After several attempts Jouve escaped from the camp and found refuge at his step parents jome in Dieulefit, a village with a long history of pottery. It was in Dieulefit that Georges Jouve learned stoneware and ceramic technique.
After the war had ended Jouve moved back to Paris and was invited by renowned French designed Jacques Adnet to participate in – and was well received – at the exhibition ‘La Ceramique Contemporaine’ (Contemporary Ceramics) by the Compagnie des Arts Francais. Shortly after Jouve befan exhibiting internationally in exhibitions such as the ‘Salon des Artistes Decorateurs’ in Paris, the Association Francaise d’Action Artistique in Rio de Janeiro, as well as numerous shows throughout the world.
Georges Jouve’s works run a wide gamut in their style, from monochromic and minimalist vessels to whimsical and colourful figurines. While the color palette of the post war era was often bold Jouve exercised restraint, creating pieces that were often simple, one color – often black – forms. However, there was one area Georges Jouve shone brilliantly and that was in the creation of the form itself. He produced wonderfully biomorphic, organic, and asymmetrical shapes. Whether as a expression of simple creation in his sculptures to the more everyday objects like coat racks and ashtrays the line of a Jouve piece is unmistakable.
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