Jason Jacques, the uptown ceramics dealer with the downtown attitude, cordially invites you to Falling in Love, his spring exhibition. In a setting where cannabis-printed draperies and bejeweled electrical wires vie for attention, you'll be drawn like a moth to the flamboyant array of seductive Art Nouveau damsels, lusciously over-ripe gourds, and severe blood-red Japonist vases. The European masters who created these ceramics more than 100 years ago are currently being embraced by leading museums. Find a new object of your own to love before it's too late to have and to hold.There is no lack of passion, fun, and ingenuity in this gallery, designed in 2005 by Jacques's friend, Joe Holtzman, founder of the magazine, Nest. The two men decided to celebrate genius and creativity by placing Jacques's unparalleled pottery in a revolutionary environment, rather than by creating a shrine to the Art Nouveau era.
The spirit of revolution is at the core of Jacques's collection. In the mid-19th century, mass-produced European ceramics were made to resemble the luxury wares produced for royalty and the aristocracy. As the turn of the 20th century approached, a few brave potters struck out on their own to create a new art for a new age. In France, Edmond Lachenal, Emile Decoeur, and Adrien Dalpayrat led the charge in a rebellion against fussy rococo porcelains by filling exposition stalls with robust stoneware coated in rich flambé glazes. Taking cues from the Japanese creations they had seen at a succession of international expositions, these potters had mastered Asian forms and decorations, then reinterpreted them to express their personal aesthetics. Their English, Dutch, Hungarian, Italian, Austrian, German, and Scandinavian counterparts were not far behind and, by 1900, boutiques offered vessels sporting subtle orange peel glazes, mysterious iridescent frogs, gently swaying tulips and stylized peacock feathers. Careers were built on the ability to turn stoneware clay and high-fire glazes into the most surprising shapes and color effects imaginable.
World's Fairs held between 1889 to 1915 served as international showcases for the revolutionary ceramics. Art journals including The Studio, Art et Decoration, and The Craftsman published reviews and images. Leading entrepreneurs, including Siegfried Bing, Ernst Wahliss, and Arthur Liberty encouraged the ceramists and sold their creations in Paris, Vienna, and London. Museums and individuals amassed collections that inspired later generations. The onset of war in Europe may have put an end to the movement's active phase but its artifacts remain for today's collectors to admire, love and possess.