Jason Jacques’ eponymous gallery was one of the first to make its name selling ceramics as works of art, rather than as just functional objects or rarified tchotchkes. Jacques began his career in Europe thirty years ago, combing through flea markets and antique shops for star pieces to send back to American dealers and his first client, the New York collector William Ehrlich. He returned with a specialty in what he calls the Art Pottery Renaissance—a period in late-19th century France when decorative stoneware emerged within the Art Nouveau and Japonist design movements. He sought out the rare iridescent lusterware that Clément Massier designed with artist Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer between 1887 and 1895, and the Japanese inspired masterworks by Jean Carriès.
He has exhibited exceptional works by the ceramic artists Ernest Chaplet, Edmond Lachenal, Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat, Taxile Doat, and Vilmos Zsolnay. Many of these works have been acquired by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Saint Louis Art Museum, Wadsworth Atheneum, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, RISD Museum, and the Museum of Arts and Design, among other institutions.
In 2010 while exhibiting at Paris’ Biennale des Antiquaires, an explosive work by contemporary ceramicist Gareth Mason caught Jacques’ eye. Fascinated by Mason’s patchwork approach to ceramics that consists of multiple rings, glazings, and regular near-destruction experiences, Jacques immediately bought a piece for himself and soon began representing the artist in New York. Jacques thus launched a program in contemporary ceramics, the prime focus of the gallery today. By placing Morten Løbner Espersen’s vividly glazed confections, Katsuyo Aoki’s porcelain masterworks, and Beth Cavener’s animistic sculptures alongside the Japonist creations of Paul Jeanneney or the biomorphic whimsies of Beate Kuhn, Jacques lends historical context to contemporary talent.
Jason and his team now maintain a robust contemporary program, showing and representing world renowned ceramic artists form past and present. They host gallery exhibitions, tours, and talks at their Madison Avenue space (located in a historic 1871 Upper East Side Manhattan townhouse), in addition to participating in art fairs in Miami, San Francisco, Dallas, Maastricht, New York, and Basel.
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