The student of Fauvist artist Friesz and Cubist artist Lhote, now almost one hundred years old, Guidette Carbonell has finally had the retrospective her talent deserves. She has expressed herself in small objects as well as in large mural reliefs, thus creating a rich personal universe. It is inhabited by fantastic animals and mythological references, and is marked by intense colors and a joy of living.
The artist was born in 1910 and her work is among the most important in the field of contemporary French ceramics. She exhibited her first pieces at the age of 18, during the Salon d’automne, and immediately distinguished herself by her taste for enamels in bright colors and by her fantastic and joyful theme. Her works are inspired from the animal universe, the circus world, or else the Bible (Adam et Eve) or mythology (Enlévement d’Europe for example). Carbonell is guided by a wild imagination and she constantly works the matter, sometimes including pebbles or glass shards to evoke the works of Palissy. Her production is a synthesis between the iconography of traditional Chinese art, the ceramic vein of Italian Renaissance and the simplification of abstract shapes from the fifties.
Ceramics, as well as drawings and tapestries
This first retrospective, jointly organized with the musée des Arts décoratifs de Paris (Paris Decorative arts museum) and the musée d’Art et d’Industrie de Roubaix (Art and Industrial museum of Roubaix) aims both at having the public discover this ill-known artist and to pay a tribute to the richness and originality of her art. The exhibition will be spread out in the courtyard, the garden and among the permanent collection of the musée de la Céramique de Rouen. The artist’s ceramics, drawings and tapestries will be unfolded along a colorful and amusing path. The presentation of preparatory drawings and of a model of the external decoration of the Institut national de sciences appliqués at Saint-Aignan will also enhance the large mural compositions she has dedicated herself to for schools and administrations, since 1952, in collaboration with the architects in charge of the reconstruction.
Illustration: Guidette Carbonell Cocotte qui freine, ca 1950. Private collection
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