ODETTA ( - )

After having remained relatively aloof from Art Nouveau, it would have been a pity for the Quimper faience manufacturers to ignore the primitivist spirit that permeated all artistic fields in the twenty-fifties. Primitivism found its rightful resonance in the Breton soul and tradition. The Celtic origins of the Bretons have always been indicated in their art by decorative signs whose esoteric geometry is reminiscent of that found in African and Oceanian art. Already custodians of their "local" primitivism, the people of Quimper have only to let themselves float on the current that fashion creates, and draw from their own sources rather than join a current from elsewhere.

It is HB that has the genius to undertake this deployment. It has chosen stoneware, a material of ancient art, ennobled by the great fire, as its support. With research and work, the material is skilfully glazed in dark colours of grey and blue, opposed to the softness of celadon greens, ivory whites, or the luminous brilliance of golds.

To differentiate these works from the usual classical production, they were produced from 1925 under the brand name ODETTA (Ateliers de l'ODET). Many faience manufacturers resorted to the use of other brands so as not to shock conservative customers, who might be shocked by the novelty of abstract designs. The ODETTA brand has its own artistic direction which, in order to guarantee quality in diversity, calls upon artists, some of whom are already well known. Most of them are Breton, and they are faithful to tradition while knowing how to inflect it with their talent and make their works the necessary bridges between individualism and the universal. Among them, let us quote Georges Brisson, Alphonse Chanteau, Louis Garin, René Olichon, Georges Renaud, Paul Fouillen, Abadie Landel... René Beauclair from Toulouse seems to be ODETTA's most prolific decorator. This artist is already known for his art nouveau wallpapers, jewellery, furniture, wrought iron and paintings. Is his understanding of Celtic primitivism linked to his Occitan origins? In any case, he takes Breton stoneware to a very high level of abstraction and beauty.

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