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Marc Alberghina: CHRONOS

18 February – 21 May 2023

Living and working in Vallauris on the French Riviera, Marc Alberghina (born in 1959) explores various links between the town’s Mediterranean roots and the proud history of its pottery industry. Focusing primarily on the narrative quality of ceramics, he explores existential and environmental themes.

On the practical side, the artist revisits and updates the decorative and modelling techniques typical of Vallauris pottery. For this first solo show at La Piscine in Roubaix, Alberghina proposes a number of previously unseen works which are designed to dialogue with the museum spaces. The project combines several symbolic forms. The first is a reclining female figure, partly submerged in the central pool. At once the Mother-Goddess and Ophelia, the artist uses her to portray the ecological threat under which we are living.

He also calls upon the cicada, synonymous with the Mediterranean and a portent of summer. Hundreds of them swarm over sections of the sleeping goddess’s body and on the self-portrait of the artist, which observes, ageing and impotent, a scene evoking both death and the rebirth of nature. For this project, Alberghina offers a modern take on a hand-painting technique used in the 1960s and 70s by the Grandjean-Jourdan firm in Vallauris to perfectly imitate wood grain.

In different display cases, Marc Alberghina rounds off his contribution with several extraordinary allegories of time. Recycling pieces of ceramic (known as pyrometric cones), used by ceramicists to control kiln temperature and firing times, he transforms them into frightening floral compositions.

Ludovic Recchia

Curator: Sylvette Botella-Gaudichon

Catalogue published for the exhibition

The design was made possible thanks to generous support from the paints distributed by Tollens.

See also