12.08.2022 – 01.10.2023
Les Ateliers Courbet is pleased to announce a winter exhibition offering new work by French ceramicist Karen Swami. The exhibition will have 25 new ceramic vessels by Swami on view, with the work presenting the continuation of Swami’s experimentation with traditional smoke firing craftsmanship and the Japanese Kintsugi technique.
Swami was drawn to the tactile and visual experience of clay in her early childhood, but it wasn’t until 2009 she chose to dedicate her life to mastering ceramic techniques. A year later, she received her certificate of professional competence in pottery and since then she continues to pursue her study of the material through ongoing experimentations in her studio. Swami has developed an extensive body of work involving various time-honored techniques picked up from ceramic traditions from around the world.
The deep layers of nuanced colors and simple archetypal shapes in Swami’s work are reminiscent of Asian and Hellenistic ceramics dating back to ancient dynasties. To create her unique finish, Swami burnishes each piece with an agate stone, and then bisque-fires, smokes, waxes, and then re-works the piece with Urushi lacquer and pure gold in the traditional Japanese Kintsugi technique.
Swami works between Paris and Brittany, and has a showroom in the Montparnasse district in Paris by Fondation Cartier. Her work has garnered appreciation from international critics and collectors for its elegant simplicity and textured skins. She has created pieces for the Dior home collection, Design Miami/ and is represented by Les Ateliers Courbet in the United States with the gallery presenting the Karen Swami collection, a previous exhibition, and the forthcoming December 2022 viewing.
French ceramicist Karen Swami’s work has garnered the steady appreciation of international critics and collectors for its elegant simplicity and textured skins. Her nom d’artiste “Swami” is a phonetic adaptation of her maiden name, Souhami, and refers to a spiritual or religious teacher in Sanskrit. As for the inspirations behind her body of work, they range from ancient Egyptian Nagada vases to Japanese ceramic traditions to the work of her contemporary peers including Alev Ebüzziya Siesbye and Magdalene Odundo among others.
The Karen Swami exhibition is on view at Les Ateliers Courbet, 134 10th Avenue, New York through January 10, 2023