He is an “elemental force” in his craft and one of the most important potters on France’s – if not Europe’s – ceramics scene. His name is legendary: Claude Champy. Like hardly any other, the oeuvre of this potter extraordinaire, who was born in 1944, represents a powerfully dynamic process of creating wheel-thrown, glazed and wood-fired vessels, as well as sculpted vessel-like objects and picture-like murals inspired by geological formations and the results of erosion.
Nevertheless, despite their often gigantic dimensions and what looks like the outcome of violence involved in the crafting process, such as burst surfaces, burred rims and edges, light-colored glazes poured on midnight-black surfaces, his creations reveal all the subtlety of ceramic sophistication and even delectable delicacy. In these masterfully crafted compositions, experience and skill have been inimitably wedded to nonchalance and spontaneity. After a long interval, works by this French grandmaster can be seen again in Germany: Marianne Heller will be showcasing Claude Champy’s creations in her gallery in Heidelberg from April 19 through June 14, 2015.
Text Walter Lokau
English translation Sabine Goodman
Galerie Marianne Heller