Georges Jouve 1910-1964
As a virtuoso potter, espousing no theories, and as a ceramicist inspired by day-to-day activities and by his intuition, he made no distinction between use, utility and décoration, and discovered the higher usefulness of beauty. Above all, he was always himself, displaying an originality that left his followers far behind. He created an extraordinarily varied language, precisely where you least expected. His range extended from wit to solemnity, from popular imagery to classical sobriety, and from powerfulness to lightness.
Juggling in an offbeat way with the whole gamut of blacks and whites, polished and crackled, he disconcerted as much as he instantly won support. He imbued his black pieces with metallic dazzle and depth. “black is a color”, said Matisse in that same period. The roundness and Beaty of his vases seem to be acts of daring. The fact is that, for Jouve, matter never took precedence over form. Like Cézanne, he was convinced that everything in nature is organized around the cone, the sphere, and the cylinder. It was by way of this rigor that he sidestepped anecdote, gradually did away with the figure, and achieved a universal expression. He transformed the very word ceramic, and turned it into an adventure of on-going creation, thus raising it into the realm of the arts.