DEJONGHE Bernard, sculpture, permanent artist of Galerie Capazza since 2003

"Bernard Dejonghe is not a ‘coffee table’ artist, in the sense that his work is neither anecdotal nor pretty.Bernard Dejonghe thinks in the grand manner. The visual aspect of his thoughts can be seen here in big slabs of voluptuous glazed ceramics and bold geometrical volumes of crystal clear glass both embodying, through a very personal vision of earth and sky, the essence of the universe.
The root of the art of Bernard Dejonghe is to be found in the sands of an immaculate African desert and in the stars of an unspoilt and inaccessible sky, both linked by the internal vision of ancient civilisations which, like unconscious and obsessive memories, seem to haunt his mind...
...The inspiration of Bernard Dejonghe is not only the result of mere dreams or personal obsessions, but of real physical research with scientists of the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. With them he explored the remotest parts of the Sudan looking for prehistoric human settlements and the materialisation of celestial phenomena like the incredible fulgurites, natural desert glass produced by the shock of lightning on the sand. Those fulgurites in which sky and earth fuse so violently are, to my sense, one of the keys to the art of Bernard Dejonghe, and probably an indication of where his future work will lead him: to a total blend of ceramic and glass, two paths which, up to now, he has explored separately."

Pierre Ennès, Head Curator, National Museum of Ceramic, Sèvres, for the catalogue of Dejonghe's 2004 exhibition at Galerie Besson


Bernard Dejonghe was born in 1942 in Chantilly. After classic studies, he attends the class of the School of Art professions in Paris from 1960 till 1965.

From 1968 and during eight years, he settles down to Fontenay-aux-Roses, in Emile Decoeur's former studio. Emile Decoeur was a ceramist master of the beginning of the century. There he approaches the work on high temperatures, considering materials as supports with reflection rather than ways of manufacturing of objects.

It is at that time that he meets Ginette Monod, stemming from glassworkers' family, who becomes his partner. They will settle down to Briançonnet, above Nice, in 1976. In this new studio, Bernard will create ceramic works of big size for architecture. In 1979, he exhibits “Thirty states of a Red” about the death of an oven, the last cooking realized before the demolition of the oven of Decoeur. An alignment of quadrangular plates covered with red enamel is presented in Daniel Sarver's gallery, in Paris.

The approach of Bernard Dejonghe, since 1970, is a search on materials, clay, glass, which metamorphose under the influence of the fire, over time and the silence. He breaks the usual rules of their manipulations, the codes of their visions. He looks for densities, for relations in spaces. In 1980, the exhibition “Frozen Clay and others” in Gérard Rignaud's gallery, in Nice, shows the experiments of the fast coolings operated by the snow on the blocks of porcelain.

He presents in 1984 an installation of hundred blue squares hanging on the light and contrasting with raw lands in the space of the exhibition “Material - Signs - Silence” at Modern Museum Art of Villeneuve d' Ascq. In 1986 his exhibition in the Romanic rooms of the convent Saint-Trophime in Arles, shows forty nine blue steles contrived in square, and, on this occasion he creates his first massive glass works influenced by his meeting with the American glassworker Howard Ben Tré. “Vertical blue” is also installed on Arpille, mountain which dominates the studio, the time to shoot a movie.

His research work turns to the control of the complex technologies bound to the massive glass and to its possibilities of expressions. He is then close to a scientific approach by his experimental look towards the mineral world and its chaotic variations. During the decade of the 1980s, he participates in all the big exhibitions concerning the ceramic and the glass. In 1991, Bernard Dejonghe creates his first still grindstones, series of white ceramic in the silent sobriety. The forms of sculptures are close to the sign, simple, timeless: lines, circles, columns, triangles … We can see the influence of the various movements there of this period as Support/Surfaces, the minimalism, the Land art … In 1992 Bernard Dejonghe installs a triangular glass column to Clues of Guy and in 1994 a glass antenna and a seven meter concrete on the valley of Caussoles. The same year, he finds itself beside Howard Ben Tré during an exhibition at the Museum of Modern and contemporary Art of Nice.

Since 1989, Bernard Dejonghe paces up and down deserts: Mauritania, Algeria, Egypt, Chad, Sudan, Niger. He looks for archaeological tracks of primitive life, rupestral inscriptions or still cosmic glass there. He gets fresh ideas there. Earth and glass complement each other to speak about the same thing, the mineral universe which surrounds us.

We find the tracks of these journeys in the big personal exhibitions of the artist which stood out the decade 1990, to the Museum of the Decorative arts of Paris, to the Museum of the Former Bishop's palace of Evreux, to the Museum Bellerive of Zurich, to the Museum Ariana of Geneva, to the Museum of contemporary art of Dunkirk, to the Château d’eau of Bourges …

In the late 1990s, the glass pieces are purer, without crystallization, further evoking the cosmos, the origin of the world. Bernard Dejonghe is working on new copper reds, deep blacks. The color is treated as a material. The “formes brèves” appeared in 2004. They repeat, all the same, all different, as the series initiated thirty years before. In 2007, they are hung in front of the altar of the Chapel of Mercy, in Vallauris.

He was awarded many international prizes, the last was to be nommed Master of Art by the Ministry of Culture in 2006, his works are parts of many international public collections.

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Paris, Prix Bettencourt pour l’intelligence de la main

Prix culturel de la Ville de Bourges

Paris, Grand prix national du ministère de la Culture
1994   World Glass Now, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Asahi Shimbun Prize

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Public Collections

Musée Réattu, Arles, France
Musée de l’Ancien Evêché, Evreux, France

Musée d’Art contemporain, Nice, France

Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, France

Musée du Verre, Sars Potteries, France

Musée national de la Céramique, Sèvres, France

Musée du verre, Conches, France

French great sights network

Kunstsammlungen Veste Coburg, Coburg, Germany

International Ceramics museum, Faenza, Italy
Design Museum, Turino, Italy

Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Lausanne, Swizerland

Victoria and Albert Museum, Londres, Great Britain

Benaki Museum, Athènes, Greece

Corning Museum, New York, USA

Kurokabe Museum, Nagahama City, Japan

Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Jaaon

Musée international de la Céramique, Inchéon, Korea

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Selected exhibitions

2016  Galerie Depardieu, Fusion, Nice, France

2015  Stones secrets*, Musée d’anthropologie préhistorique, Monaco

Twentieth anniversary of the Galerie Empreinte*, Galerie Empreinte, Aydat, France

2014  Galerie Erskine-Hall, Londres, Great Britain
Peppermester Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

2013  Musée Ariana 8 Artists and clay*, Geneva, Switzerland
Galerie Yolenn White, Geneva, Switzerland
Galerie Erskine -Hall and coe*, Londres, United Kingdom

2012  Contemporary Ceramic Center, “Red clays, black clays, light glass“*, La Borne, France
Prieuré de St Cosme "Stones breath", Tours, France

2011  Galerie B, Baden Baden, Germany
Galerie Besson - Collect*, London, Germany
Galerie Varnier, Paris, France
Galerie Capazza, Nançay, France
Listen to the world - Musée archéologique of Bibracte, France
Musée de Biot, France

2010  Galerie B, Baden Baden, Germany
Galerie Besson, collect, London, Great Britain
Galerie Varnier, Paris, France
Galerie Capazza *, Nancay, France
Cité de la céramique, ceramics circuits, Sèvres, France

2009  Musée de Hyères, chapelle des templiers*, Hyères, France
World Contemporary Ceramic*, Inchon Museum, Korea
Musée de Sarreguemines, Rouges*, Sarreguemines, France
La Chaufferie, Black fusions, red fusions, Strasbourg, France

2008  Musée du Verre de Conches*, France

2007  Chapelle de la Miséricorde, Hors-Pistes*, Vallauris, France
Galerie Varnier, Paris, France
Galerie D Nick, Aubais, France

2006  Kunstforum, Kirchberg, Switzerland
Galerie Sintitulo, Mougins, France
Galerie De Witte Voet, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Galerie B, Baden Baden, Germany

2005  World Céramic Center, IAC Members Exhibition*, Inchéon, Korea
Galerie Varnier, Paris, France
Galerie Capazza, Nançay *, France

2004  Instituto Veneto di Scienze ed Arti, Vetri del Mondo *, Venise, Italy
Musée de Sèvres, Et la Terre Voyage…*, Paris, France
Galerie Sarver, Paris, France
Galerie du conseil général, Aix-en-Provence, Le Verre*, France
Galerie Besson*, Londres, Great Britain

2003  Masterpieces, Turin, Italy

2002  Galerie B15, Munich, Germany

2001  Global Art Glass*, Borgholm Castle, Sweden
Ceramic AIC *, Athens, Greece

2000  Inchéon Museum, Korea*
World Contemporary Ceramic*

1999  Siliciums, light clouds*, Bourges, France

1998  Etela Karjalan Taide Museo, Lappeenrenta, Finland
Galerie Besson, Londres, Great Britain
Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Glass Skin*, Japan
Galerie B, Baden Baden, Germany

1997  Musée d’Art contemporain, Fusions*, Dunkerque, France

1996  Venezia Aperto Vetro*, Venise, Italy

1995  Paris, musée des Arts décoratifs, Carte blanche to Bernard Dejonghe*, France
Musée Bellerive, Ombre du Blanc, Zurich, Switzerland
Musée Ariana*, Geneva, Switzerland
Galerie Besson, Londres, Great Britain

1994  Nice, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Sculptures de verre*,
Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Japan,
World Glass Now*

1984  Arles, cloître Saint-Trophime, Vertical blue*, France

1979  Villeneuve-d’Ascq, musée d’Art moderne, Matters, signs, silence *

* Collective exhibitions

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