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Newly Opened Clement Restaurant greets diners with sophistication in New York by Pascale Girardin
December 5th, 2013 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Pascale Girardin
Anthology I & II is the title of ceramicist Pascale Girardin’s latest artwork, which has recently been unveiled in the Peninsula Hotel, New York, NY. The culmination of eight months work and throwing of over 1200 stoneware pieces, the twin sculptures are an important milestone for the Canadian artist, marking her first public work to be installed in the Big Apple.
“The compositions that emerged from the accumulation of these eclectic stoneware elements, intrigued me and when I sent the pictures to Yabu Pushelberg they were amazed because we were thinking along the exact same lines,” says Girardin. Both ceramicist and interior designer had referenced late American sculptor and New York resident, Louise Nevelson, and her fondness for collecting and stacking objects to create incredibly detailed and yet often monumental works of art as part of their conceptual vision.
The title of this piece could be seen as a ‘loose homage’ to Nevelson, believes Girardin but in reality it is more about the act of collecting and finding new meaning through grouping and displaying an assortment of vessels. “Each piece, with its distinct volume and profile, echoes similitude within diversity and offers an artist almost limitless permutations. However, the essence of the work comes in finding rhythms and balancing proportion; in orchestrating both the assemblage and the negative space surrounding it in order to create the whole sculpture,” she says.
In contrast, Anthology II, a pair of cabinets that forms the perimeter walls of the space, features 410 unglazed pieces thrown in white stoneware, and arranged horizontally on shelves. Their designs are more intricate, evoking images of traditional English pottery, while their finish is white bisque. Girardin likens their look and texture to archeological finds, stating: “They are utterly different in style and texture to those in the front cabinet because I wanted them to create a visual dialogue between the two sets of sculptures; two distinct pieces of work.”
Girardin and her team of seven studio assistants worked for three months to produce all of the stoneware required to fill the cabinets. This included five wheel throwers working full time on the project and other team members firing and glazing each element to produce 1200 pieces in total.
The two completed sculptures now enclose the space, in which a dining table is set, creating an intimate experience for the diners and an intriguing introduction to the restaurant for visitors. Glimpses of dishes and wine glasses from between Girardin’s cabinets only add to the multitude of sculpted forms on display.
“Yabu Pushelberg and I both tend towards the subdued hues, even monochromatic: we are all about shape, proportion, light and shadow, and as such our instincts are often the same when we conceive our aesthetic, which makes for inspirational collaborations,” says Girardin. “Here at the Peninsula both Yabu Pushelberg’s designs and the hotel itself exude a timeless appeal that transcends trend to create a permanence and a sophistication that I have aspired to in Anthology I & II.”
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Tags: New York