MONTREAL, Canada––On display in French artist Laurent Craste‘s latest exhibition La Chute (February 23 – April 28, 2018) are not only the artist’s most recent works, but also works from the artist’s Détournement, Casket and Sévices series. The solo exhibition is the artist’s first in Montréal in three years, the gallery writes.
Recipient of the Jean-Marie Gauvreau Prize in 2016, Craste is well known for his ceramic vases on which brutal interventions distort the objects from their primary functions, utilitarian and ornamental. His esthetic draws on art history, the history of religion and that of France, early and modern, to attain a more universal subject: the human condition.
Featured image: Laurent Craste, Vase Saint-Denis, 2014-2015, Porcelain, glaze, lead pigments, gold, marble, 16.5 x 7 x 6 inches
Craste’s artistic research centers on investigations of the multiple dimensions (sociological, historical, idealogical and aesthetic) of decorative objects, the artist explains in his artist statement.
Considered as instruments of political power, ideological vehicles, demonstrations of ostentatious luxury and economic power, but also as incarnations of emotions and experiences, the historical archetypes of decorative arts consummately provide me with useful material.
Employing original templates from 18th and 19th century European porcelain manufacturers in his research, he deconstructs the formal structure of each, re-articulating and subverting their traditional decoration, which begs viewers to question the status of such collectibles.
“I am inspired by the original porcelain models of the 18th and 19th centuries found in the indexes of the great European manufacturers and I use these models, submitting them to a form of deconstruction, violently altering their formal structures through acts of vandalism perpetrated with workers’ tools, through stagings evoking corpses, martyrs or even suicides.”
Craste also pairs his decorative objects with video, in which is ceramic forms are projected upon.
About the artist: Laurent Craste is a multidisciplinary artist, internationally renowned for his powerful and spectacular ceramic works that challenge and deconstruct the medium with which he works. Above and beyond the scope of his technique, the artist tackles universal issues such as the struggle of the classes, the environment, social precarity and mental health. Following a training program at the Centre de céramique Bonsecours, he obtained a Master’s in Visual and Media Arts from UQAM in 2007. He has presented his work in Canada, the United States, and England, whether in solo or collective exhibitions. His work has been integrated into important collections, such as that of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Claridge Collection, the Ville de Montréal, Loto-Québec, the Cirque du Soleil and that of the Art Gallery of Burlington. Many articles pertaining to his highly subversive work have been published, including in the prestigious magazine Ceramic Arts and Perception.
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