Nicholas Bernard: Ceramic and porcelain
Grace Renee Gallery proudly represents sculpture artist Nicholas Bernard. Browse a large collection of contemporary fine art. Find glass art, paintings, sculpture, mixed media, bronze art and fine jewelry.
Dramatic color, subtle texture and graphic pattern accentuate Nicholas Bernard’s mastery of the traditional vessel form. Stretching clay to make canvases for decoration, Bernard believes that form is everything. Texture, pattern and color are successful additions when the shapes are impeccable. His inspirations are many — from the classic forms of antiquity to the simple, graceful pots made by indigenous peoples and the work of modern studio potters.
Born in 1958 in Los Angeles, California, Bernard’s early experiences with clay left their mark. Making pots was, is and will continue to be a way of life for this artist, who has been a studio potter for nearly 40 years now — living and working in Arizona for much of that time. His work as a professional has always been low-fire earthenware. For many years, his Raku pots were shown nationally; their influences scattered from the Southwest, Africa and Japan to the cultures of the Mediterranean.
An encounter with 2,000-year-old pots featuring simple forms with no contrivance or pretension inspired Bernard to embark on the current evolution of his work. It began with soft, muted colors and totally classic shapes — amphora, ewers and jugs with an ancient feel. It progressed to textured pots with extravagant handles, spouts and flourishes using brushed color. Now, hot colors, simple closed forms with very controlled textures dominate his work.
High-fire porcelain and white stoneware have also recently been added to the mix of Bernard’s creations. Different clays, firing and extravagant decorating techniques give homage to the artist’s influences and work from the past with a whole new level of skill and maturity. These pieces cannot be made without those experiences, successes, and failures. Bernard believes that every day in his studio is an adventure.