The Golden Age of Vallauris

When you visit the new exquisite exhibition “Vallauris: An Expression of Ceramic” at Magen H Gallery, you immediately understand the allure of French mid-century art pottery. There is something humble, chic, and elegant that you won’t find in studio ceramics created anywhere else. I spent the evening at the opening of the show with a guided tour by the curator and the talent behind the show Hugues Magen. While the small and scenic town of Vallauris in South of France had been known for its rich source of clay since Roman times, it was rediscovered in the 30s, when Suzanne and Georges Ramie famously founded their legendary Madoura Pottery Workshop. Pablo Picasso became the most famous artist to collaborate with the Ramies, putting Vallauris on the map. He visited the town after WWII for the occasion of its annual ceramic fair in 1946, and was inspired to start experimenting with clay and with firing processes, subsequently moving to Vallauris, where he lived from 1948 to 1955, creating thousands of pieces of ceramic. The exhibition at Magen H presents the surprising wealth of techniques  practiced by the various artists active in Vallauris during the 50s and 60s, also considered as the Renaissance of French Art Pottery. The distinctive look of the pottery, the unique glazes, and the expressive masks, all have a great representation at the exhibition, and all present fresh material never seen before in NY under one roof. All images courtesy of Magen H Gallery. 

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