During the Parcours de la céramique and the Biennale Paris, Lefebvre & Fils
is presenting Second Voyage, the second exhibition of work by the American artist Ray Barsante.
After a collaborative residence with the gallery, Second Voyage presents a series of works exploring ceramic sculpture. Ray Barsante stages the classical notions of sculpture in order to better transcend them.
The structure of the amphora serves as a starting point in this body of work. Barsante uses hints to the vases functionality and decoration, to offer a different way of considering the object, treating the formal schema as means of questioning its presence sculpturally.
The thin ceramic walls freeze the tracks and the gestures of Ray Barsante. Creating, scratching, smoothing. The primal gestures of the sculptor are imprinted on the clays surface and give the piece rhythm. If the forms and lines recall the antiquities, the color, both diaphanous and deep, shows an expressionist pattern.
Ray Barsante plays with the asymmetry and irregulary form of his sculptures to reveal their beauty, both as individual objects and as part of a series to be real totems.
Ray Barsante was born in Ventura in 1990 and raised in Santa Barbara, California. A graduate of Santa Barbara College, he took Ceramics (BFA) at UCLA. Currently, he lives and works in Los Angeles.
Interview with Louis Lefebvre
In 2015, you opened the The Residency in Versailles for artists specialized in ceramics. What is involved in this initiative?
En 2006, I had the chance to acquire a house in Versailles classified for its historical heritage, once the music room of the princess Elisabeth, sister of Louis XVI.
The Residency grew from a desire precious to my family; that is to know and promote a know-how passed down many generations, enabling the creation of complex and unique art works.
The expenses of the artists invited to participate in The Residency are completely provided by Galerie Lefebvre & Fils, from the journey to and from Versailles, to full-board accommodation, through to the materials needed for creation.
The residency is also kitted out with two kilns to make production as easy as possible.
The duration of the residencies vary between 6 weeks and 3 months. Part of the package is that your gallery is the stage for a solo show at the end of the residency. Are all the pieces are exhibited being shown exclusive?
On average, the residency lasts two months for each invited artist. Each exhibited work is unique and unseen. There are no multiple editions.
Each residency is an opportunity to share, experiment and live a human adventure.
The resulting solo show is the fruit of work that comes from a strong link between the artist and the gallery.
Not all the artists in The Residency are artists of the gallery. How do you chose which artists benefit from the residency?
It would be impossible to establish an admissions process to participate in The Residency.
I am particularly susceptible to the production of a number of artists from the West Coast of America. I find their outlook, when it comes to techniques and the work produced, of a very high level. There is a really unique style that comes from Los Angeles.
I trust my eye and my aesthetic sensitivity. I owe many artistic encounters to Roger Herman, a professor friend at UCLA and ceramist artist, and to Danny First, an Israeli philanthropist friend.
The Residency has existed for two years, could you tell us your first impressions of how its gone so far, and your goals for the future?
I had given myself two years to make the project viable. Ive achieved this, as well as doubling the turnover for the gallery.
The solo shows have been a great success, enabling me to confirm my role as a gallery owner by placing the artists pieces. I also advise and accompany them in introductions to great collectors and museums. Such as Anabel Juarez, a Mexican artist, or Eric Croes, a Belgian artist, who have works in the collections of the Museum of Sèvres.
In addition, the gallery offers the residency artists a high quality of visibility through the participation in innovative international fairs, for example in AAAH Paris Internationale.
This project, dedicated to the fired arts, which started with the artist Ulrika Strömbäck continues today with many more artists. The Residency has a booked-up program until 2020, which demonstrates that the gallery has opened a new chapter and that the story continues.