Claudi Casanovas is born in Barcelona in 1956. Claudi Casanovas initially began his artistic studies in his native Barcelona aiming at a career in theater. However, by 1978 he had been captured by the near infinite possibilities of clay. He trained as a ceramist in Olot (Catalonia). He was a member of the Coure Potters’ Cooperative from 1978 to 1987. In 1992 he won the first prize at the III International Ceramics Competition in Mino, Japan. In 2004 he won a competition to create a monument against Fascism in Olot. The piece, entitled Memorial als Vençuts, was installed in June 2006. After the monument Casanovas explored the medium of print. His aquatint series “Aürt” and his large scale etchings “Arbol - Inmovilidad en el paisaje” have been exhibited in the UK and America. Works by Casanovas can be seen in major ceramic galleries like Puls in Brussels.
Pictures: Claudi Casanovas, portrait (source Le Don du Fel); Portrait 2 and 3, photographer Michael Harvey (source artofceramics.squarespace.com); Installation with six the Lunar Cycle sculptures 'Quart Minvant' in the Fitzrovia Chapel London in 2017 by Gallery Erskin Hall & Coe; Object 'Open Form', mixed clays, 1990 (Galerie Besson); Object 'Block no. 40, 2001 (Galerie Besson); Object 'Rabassa', 2003 (Galerie Besson); Surface (source Ürsula Llibres).
Casanovas has been doing what he loves best—creating intensely thought-provoking art. He creates sculptures—often large-scale work—from a variety of clays. His pieces are reminiscent of the earth from which they come. While not a direct evocation of the forms and textures of the geology and landforms of his native region, it is nevertheless powerful and uncompromising modern day alchemy with clay and water, fire and ice. His clay speaks from both the depths of geological time and the fleeting human time scale, exploring the power of clay to teach us what we need to know about ourselves and the rest of creation. He explores complex ideas using a mixture of local and imported clays, subjecting both to physical, chemical and esthetic experiments. Organic materials, metals and metal oxides create porous openings and unusual colors in the unglazed surface. After firing, the piece is subjected to further cutting, sandblasting and polishing. The final sculpture is a very personal expression of fundamental emotional ties with the earth (text: Puls Gallery).
In 1991 Claudi Casanovas writes poetically about his work method:
For seventeen years
I have worked
on one project.
I have fused clay
salt and sand
I have burned earth
put plaster in the kiln
modelled with plastic bags
takes me to the next
I remember a few
there is no
maybe it is not seventeen years
it is a trail
circling along the edge
of ancient ploughed fields
(from: Ceramic Review 132 - 1991)
- Article Claudi Casanovas - Individual Potter - Ingenious Engeneer, in: Ceramic Review 1991.
- Birks, Tony, Claudi Casanovas, 1996.