Edmond Lachenal & His Legacy


May 18 – July 17, 2007

Press Release

Edmond Lachenal & His Legacy was a blockbuster exhibition of the revolutionary ceramic art created by Edmond Lachenal and his followers at the turn of the 20th century. Lachenal began his professional life as a studio assistant to Théodore Deck, who could hardly have predicted that the boy would become an internationally respected master, always preparing to try something new. Lachenal's early work resembled his master's but he gradually achieved artistic independence and personal fame. Working in stoneware, he used a hydrofluoric acid bath to cut away the glaze's outer layer revealing the velvety matte surface beneath. As tastes changed, he briefly abandoned applied decorations in favor of organic forms. He collaborated with sculptor Agnès de Frumerie to incorporate Symbolist maidens into his work and created organic, richly sculpted forms that rivaled Hector Guimard's architectural metalwork. He also worked collaboratively with others, most notably Emile Decoeur. Lachenal exhibited only once in 1905 and once again in 1908 but was actively engaged with pottery until circa 1917. Lachenal's followers and collaborators whose work was also featured in the exhibition included his sons Jean-Jacques Lachenal and Raoul Lachenal, and Agnes de Frumerie, Serge Solomko, Max Blondat, and above all Emile Decoeur. The exhibition was accompanied by a lavish hard-cover, 204 page catalogue with superb color photographs, historical photographs, an introductory essay by Dr. Martin Eidelberg, and discursive captions by Claire Cass.

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