When I first started taking pottery classes, and became interested in handbuilding, my teacher showed me a book about the art of Georges Jeanclos (1933-1997), a French ceramist. I still remember the moment I opened the book, his art was speaking to me. And we all know that although we admire some art more than other, art that moves us, shakes us, lifts us up is rare.
I am saddened by the fact there is no webpage dedicated to Jeanclos and there aren’t many images of his sculptures available on the net. He was one of France’s most respected artists in his lifetime afterall.
Jeanclos’ works consist mostly of unglazed grey terra cotta figures. He seems to be obsessed with death. His “Kamakura” series is inspired by a shrine he visited in Kamakura, Japan, dedicated to stillborn/unborn children, commemorated by rows of grey statuettes. http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/jizo1.shtml (you need to scroll down a bit).
His “Kamakuras” are figurative sculptures with Buddha-like slip cast head, and are always wrapped in thin layers of peeling, cracked, clothlike clay.
The death of his father affected him deeply. He produced a number of urns, with even more tightly wrapped clothing around the figure. The figures appear peaceful, contemplative, accepting their fate.
Jenclos’ art is quiet but powerful.
Here you can see more of his works: