André Borderie 1923-1998
Needless to say, his oeuvre is something total, but the ceramics are the part which seems to me the most outstanding, even though (and perhaps for this very reason) he never sought to be a “true” ceramicist. At a very early stage, he shrugged off the usual rules of the craft, not without a dash of mischief. His pieces avoid geometric perfection in favour of poetry (his wife Maria said that “a square is a worried circle”). For André Borderie, ceramics turned out to be the medium best suited to his ideas about the incorporation of objects in space, through form and colour alike. It is through ceramics that he managed to magnify his qualities as an artist. Ceramics enabled him to give full rein to his inventiveness and to his unique sense of logic. In them, he also expressed his generosity that we can sense coming to the fore in the diversity of textures, the richness of glaze, and in a masterful way he managed to juggle variations ranging from matt to shiny, as well as rough textures and crackling effects. Colour, which ranges from the warmth of red to the depth of bluish greys, imbued his objects with life.
Drawing, ideas, space, architecture, object, human dimension: André Borderie’s work is a complex process. For the 30 years during which I have undertaken to help it to be rediscovered, I have been convinced that its poetics rank it among that of great works art. Arising out of the historical context of the 1950s abstraction, his work immediately goes beyond that context, and becomes part of the timeless present of creation. Over and above their undeniable artistic qualities, the significance of his ceramics lies in the fact that they move us as a testimony of the conquest of mind over matter.