70,000 Tiny Amphorae Envelop the Voluminous Forms of Grégoire Scalabre’s Elaborate Sculptures

David J. Holcomb




April 16, 2022

Kate Mothes

“The Closing Metamorphosis of Thetis,” (2021-2022). Impression © Charles De Borggraef. All photographs shared with authorization

Gathering thousands of miniature porcelain vessels around big surfaces and curvatures, Grégoire Scalabre confronts preconceptions of sort, scale, and content in his intricate sculptures. The Paris-primarily based artist hand-turns a great number of small, vase-like containers reminiscent of amphorae, or historical storage jars that were commonly very long and narrow so that they could be snugly saved jointly. Drawing on a hundreds of years-outdated tradition of French porcelain generating and an fascination in Greek mythology, his dynamic functions merge amazing specialized ability with a desire to recast the medium in a new light-weight and experiment with its bodily boundaries.

Roughly 1 to 1.5 inches in top and 50 percent an inch broad, each individual a single of Scalabre’s minuscule parts differs a little from the subsequent. Some have for a longer period flutes than other individuals, squatter bases, flattened tops, or a curl to the lip of the opening. When gathered, the pieces show up to undulate across the floor in fluid styles. The inherent delicacy of great porcelain is challenged by the monumental scale at which these functions consider shape.


“The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” (2021-2022). Picture © Charles De Borggraef

Standing a lot more than 6 toes tall and months in the earning, the artist’s most latest function, “The Last Metamorphosis of Thetis,” remembers a tale from Greek mythology about a sea nymph by the similar title. He translated a sketch of the composition into a 3D model, then established 70,000 person ceramic items by hand. A single by a person, every single vessel was dipped in glaze, fired at a substantial temperature, and as soon as cooled, adhered to a construction made of resin foam.

Two of Scalabre’s sculptures, which include “The Closing Metamorphosis of Thetis,” are on see through Could 1 as aspect of Porcelain Virtuosity at Homo Faber 2022 in Venice. You can come across far more of his do the job on Instagram. (by using IGNANT)


“Cygnus”, (2021). Impression © Anthony Girardi

“Soane,” (2020). Graphic © Anthony Girardi

“Soane,” (2020). Impression © Anthony Girardi

“Achilles,” (2021). Image courtesy of Todd Merill Gallery

“Achilles,” (2021). Picture courtesy of Todd Merill Gallery

Image © Charles De Borggraef

Picture © Charles De Borggraef

Picture © Virginie Mercier



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