The dish is one of the first objects ever imagined and crafted by man. Since Antiquity, its shape – in its prefection – has barely changed. A living object, at the heart of rituals and encounters, the dish stands alongside cave walls as one of the first surfaces upon which artists etched their concerns, their stories and their talent.
Present in every culture, the dish has inspired every age. In 1993, Joan Gardy Artigas kept this millenary tradition alive, inviting painters, sculptors and poets the world over to impress their creativity on this dishes at the Josep Llorens Artigas Foundation... an institution established in honor of the famous Catalonian ceramist who would transform the popular craft and tradition of Western ceramics into an art..
Nearly twenty years later, thanks to the creative spirit of these thirty artists, the savoir-faire of the Artigas Foundation and the support of Valmont, this exhibition once again comes to life in Venice.
Camera dei Sogni
All rooms are containers for dreams. In our everyday lives we daydream, sleep, imagine and realize our dreams. Camera di Sogni, Room of Dreams, contains this feeling in an installation using Murano glass, sound, scent and light.
The Installation The bedroom will be empty of all furniture and rugs including the bed. The hand-painted Venetian cabinet will remain to house the video projection.
The pillows The center of the room will be filled with 18 hand blown Murano glass full-size pillows. The intense glass colors refer to the actual colors of Venice and the Tiepolo-style fresco on the room’s ceiling. Some pillows will be mirrored Venetian glass to reflect the fresco, some will be gold leaf and Murano glass. A few of the glass pillows will have an impression of a human head, some will have two head impressions, and others no impression at all, as if waiting for someone to lay their head down.
The pillow has been a part of daily life throughout history. Pillows are in our lives from the first day we are born until our last. We laugh, love, cry, talk, whisper, rest, sleep, travel, plan, study and dream with them. Here they are remade in fire and minerals from the earth.
Collection of vases
Artigas was born in Barcelona on 16 June 1892. He went to Escola superior d’arts i indústries i belles arts. He worked as an art critic on the Barcelona-based newspaper La Veu. Artigas went to France and he wrote a thesis on Egyptian pottery and their blue glazes at the Sorbonne. In 1924 he had a studio on the rue Blomet in Paris. There he joined the avant-garde joining a group originally started by Gustave Courbet. He met Albert Marquet, Raoul Dufy, Pablo Picasso, Luis Buñuel and Georges Braque.
In 1930 Buñuel created the surrealist film L’Age d’Or which included actors who were to be famous artists like Max Ernst. Llorens Artigas plays a governor who lays a foundation stone. In 1936 he returned to Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. He earned his living by teaching ceramics. In 1941 he began to extend his influence over ceramics when he became a teacher at the Escuela Massana in Barcelona. In 1944 he started his, and his families, long partnership with Joan Miró initially creating vases.
In 1953 Miró and Artigas worked at Artigas’s studio in Gallifa near Barcelona. There they created «firestones» which they exhibited under their joint names including in 1956 a joint exhibition in New York. The following year the two worked on a mural for the UNESCO headquarters and for the University of Harvard. It was Artigas’s role to render Miro’s designs into the 585 ceramics plates. The tiles that made up the two murals for the UNESCO building were created in Gallifa and Miro supervised their installation in Paris. The murals are called «The Wall of the Sun» and «The Wall of the Moon». They were originally displayed outside but they are now contained within a building built to preserve them. Miro was to win a Guggenheim Prize for one of the murals in 1958.
The two worked together until Artigas’s failing health meant that his son, Joan Gardy Artigas, took over his role. Llorens i Artigas died in 1980 in his home city. In 1989 his son set up a foundation in the name of his father which exists to improve both artists and their art