Georges Jeanclos’s Dormeur
Georges Jeanclos is one of the most universally admired ceramic artists, particularly by other artists. A few years ago, when Akio Takamori was asked by a publication to name his influences, he cited Jeanclos, and so have many others. The way that Jeanclos delicately manipulated the thin grey terra cotta, and imbued his figures with such strong emotion, has an essential and powerful presence.
I first encountered George Jeanclos’s work through his association with Adrian Saxe. Saxe was selected by Jeanclos in 1983 to be the first international resident at the Manufacture de Sèvres, when the centuries-old French home of court porcelains opened its doors to foreign artists, allowing them to use the formulas and facilities just outside Paris.
Through the gracious cooperation of the Jeanclos family, the Frank Lloyd Gallery produced two solo shows of the stunning work of Jeanclos. The first was for the Los Angeles International, in 2001. We followed up one year later with another exhibit, and both were critically acclaimed.
I am very happy to be presenting a work by Georges Jeanclos in my next show at the gallery. Dormeur, from 1992, depicts a single figure, his head and hands emerging from a pile of blankets. His serene expression and smooth skin contrast with the rough-hewn, dusty textures of his protective coverings. Jeanclos himself said that he conceived of the face as “a point of persistence…exempt of all wounds and offenses…” Shrouded in the refuge of sleep, this Dormeur is safe and at peace.