Joan Miró’s potter, Josep Llorens Artigas, on show at Barcelona’s La Pedrera

The work of ceramist Josep Llorens Artigas is displayed in many museums around the world, such as New York’s Metropolitan. Now, a retrospective exhibition of Artigas is on show until September 2nd in La Pedrera, one of Gaudí's most emblematic buildings in Barcelona. The exhibition has over 150 works by the Catalan artist. This display is titled 'L'home del Foc' (The Fire Man).

CNA / Pol Masdeu

May 16, 2012 11:38 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- La Pedrera, one of Gaudí’s most renowned buildings in Barcelona, is housing an exhibition devoted to ceramics until September 2nd. The CatalunyaCaixa savings bank organised this display of over 150 pieces by the most important Catalan potter of the twentieth century, Josep Llorens Artigas (Barcelona, 1892 – Gallifa, Barcelona, 1980).

The exhibition, which takes a chronological look back at the artist’s career has been curated by Frederic Amat, and is called 'L'home de foc' (The Fire man). During his career, Artigas left behind the figurative decoration of vases and focussed on the research of enamel. The Catalan artist used a wood fire, a technique that had fallen into disuse. With this show, people are able to contemplate Artiga's masterpiece, 'Clar de Luna' (Moonlight), along with the last pieces from the Seventies.

Artigas is responsible for the fact that some art museums, such as the Metropolitan of New York and the Barcelona Museum of Modern Art, acquired contemporary ceramics. This was the turning point that led to the raising of ceramics to the level of top-drawer art.

Paris, responsible for the change

The potter's son, Joan Artigas, told ACN that the major change in the artistic conception of his father was during this first stay in Paris. There, he began to cooperate with other artists and connect with a “more open” world. In France's capital, the ceramist realised that he could do art without “drawings and decorations”.

Also in Paris, Artigas established a close relationship with Joan Miró, an important Catalan painter, which had already begun in Barcelona. Both artists studied together when they were seventeen. In the twenties, Miró and Artigas visited Paris and worked there during the summer, in Pau Gargallo's workshop, another great Catalan sculptor.

Unlike other potters

Joan Artigas, the artist's son, said that his father was different to other potters. He wanted to pass on his knowledge, not only to the family, but also to students as well. Josep Llorens Artigas was professor at the Massana school, a Barcelona art academy, and this allowed him to have “good students who worked hard at ceramics”.