Provence-based Jean-Nicolas Gérard has a real affinity with nature and food and his pots reflect this, William Crozier oil paintings from the 1960s and a final look at Svend Bayer‘s final exhibitions featuring his axe heads and large jars.
Jean-Nicolas Gérard was born in Brazzaville (Congo) in 1954 and returned to France in 1961. He started studying ceramics in 1978 and was Jean Biagini’s student at École des Beaux-Arts in Aix-en-Provence. He also trained with Claire Bogino. Often labelled the potters’ potter Gerard’s work has a spontaneity that so many strive for.
Gérard’s work has now gained international acclaim and he has exhibited all over the world, including America, Australia, China and Japan. He is one of those rare potters who brings genuine life and gusto to contemporary slipware, investing the tradition of terre vernissée with a fresh and expressive energy unlike any other.
William Crozier was born in Glasgow in 1930 and educated at the Glasgow School of Art. He spent time in Paris and Dublin before settling in London, where he quickly gained a reputation as the 1950s equivalent of a Young British Artist through the early success and notoriety of his exhibitions of assemblages and paintings. Crozier’s paintings are in demand at auction and examples of his work can be found in most public and private collections in Britain, Europe and Australia. He died in 2011.
There was an impressionistic simplicity to his work, characterised by vibrant colours, energetic brushwork, distilled images and formal composition, often featuring foreshortening and dramatic contrasts between dark tones and luminous areas of colour. One critic described Crozier as offering “a heightened account of nature… landscape reinterpreted through the colours of the heart”.
Born in Uganda in 1946 to Danish parents, Svend Bayer spent his childhood in Tanganyika. It was during his time at university that Bayer discovered pottery, and a gift from his girlfriend of Bernard Leach’s A Potters Book introduced him to the pots of Michael Cardew. On leaving university Bayer wrote to Cardew, and after being invited for an interview, was taken on.
Bayer took inspiration from the village potteries in Southeast Asia, streamlining their practices and using his focus and determination to produce pots at high speed to fill his huge kiln. His work is held in major collections worldwide. He has received the John Ruskin award, held workshops all over the world and had residencies in America & Australia.