The collections sometimes have such a strong creative impact that they go beyond the normal standards of decorative aesthetics. Their evocative themes become part of the general discussion during the meal. celebrated artists are asked to reenergize the patterns in this category without making concessions to the harmony with spaces where they will be placed. The collections often contain a small number of pieces; the artist's message is not obscured by the question of functionality. They are generally an ideal gift because of their intrinsic value.
In the spirit of Alexander Calder’s kinship with France, the Calder Foundation has asked Bernardaud to craft reproductions on porcelain of Calder mobiles from the 1940s and 1950s.
The selection of these masterpieces of spatial complexity charge the surrounding space with infinite possibilities. With their black and red silhouettes vertically arranged and intensified by shapes with cut outs, these mobiles exude a radiant splendor that, in the manner of Bernardaud’s storied craftsmanship, continues to cultivate inspiration among sophisticates worldwide.
In 1959, the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center commissioned a set of twelve stained-glass windows from Marc Chagall, more than a decade after the artist’s return from emigration to France. By then, he had become well known, having exhibited at many art shows. The windows, intended for a synagogue under construction, would symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel.
Working closely with master glass-makers Charles and Brigitte Marq from the renowned Atelier Simon, located in Rheims and dating to the 16th century, the artist threw himself into this large-scale project. The windows were inaugurated in 1962. Five preliminary stages were required to create the maquettes. The designs were worked out on small and medium-sized sheets of paper using pencil, India ink, watercolors, gouache as well as fabric-and-paper collages. Each technique and each stage allowed the artist to place the iconographic elements in accordance with his own reading of the Old Testament text. He could thus master the density and movement of the materials and colors, not to mention their interaction with transparency and light when transposed to glass in monumental form.
This pictorial cycle, created to harmonize with the selected material and with light, is reviving Chagall’s designs and colors, this time on porcelain.
"I am fascinated by this Japanese art called "Kintsugi" from the 16th century, which is to make visible repairs on ceramic made with a mix of lacquer and gold giving an even greater aesthetic value". Sarkis
"In this project, Prune and I wanted to focus on a man’s most essential ‘‘tool,’’ his hands, which can function as a drinking cup or as eating utensils. As Darwin put it: ‘‘Man could not have attained his present dominant position in the world without the use of his hands’’. Here, our hands have been photographed. Families will pass on an heirloom dinner service that once belonged to ancestors of which nothing remains but a photograph and a few plates. At least our descendants will have the photograph right on the plate! Prune and I live in New York where we initiated a community of artists that holds big dinners every month. Everybody cooks, everybody brings something. The dinner table is a nerve center where we share a taste for good things, the art of living well! It’s nearly ten years since Prune and I put on our first art show, called ‘‘Toit et Moi’’, at the very beginning of our story together. Those plates are a logical and symbolic collaboration for us.’’ JR
‘‘Bacteria interact with each other at the microscopic level, communicating where and when they should search for food. In this series, strains of Paenibacillus and Salmonella, known to cause a variety of diseases such as food poisoning, typhoid fever, and bacteremia are allowed to grow and spread on dishes. The patterns emerge from an initial population of bacteria that swim outward through an Agar gel using their motorized tails, creating the equivalent of a microscopic traffic jam of bacteria..’’ Vik Muniz
"I was always intrigued by porcelain, by both the economic and the sexual aspect of the material. Porcelain shrinks in the oven; therefore, there is a tightness to the material. Porcelain was the emperor's material but today it has been democratized and everybody can enjoy porcelain. That's why for these qualities of its material being it is the reason I used it in Banality Series. I am really thrilled to be part of the Bernardaud collection". Jeff Koons
"For my project with Bernardaud, I created two sets of tableware, which I call Misfits because they do not match each other. Each set has different sized plates that vary in shape and pattern. Together, these two sets can be combined for a misfit dinner for two or one set can be used to serve a lonely dinner for one." Marina Abramovic
"I don't draw women because I'm a feminist. I draw women for the same reasons as artists like Modigliani or Gauguin. For their beauty and harmony... and the absence of facial hair ! I prefer using pretty dishes because I like good food and think that it deserves every attention when it is served. I designed this dinner service for Bernardaud because porcelain is the queen of crockery and women symbolize esthetic beauty. Now I can finally dine off plates that I love and, when I drink my coffee, I can enjoy the surprise of seeing a pretty face at the bottom. I called this series Satrapi Sisters. I am a single child, but I seem to have acquired a hundred sisters. Maybe more!" Marjane Satrapi
"What I really like about these plates is creating a sort of ritual to make people's life complicated. People have to sit in order, they have to be six at table and breaking a plate becomes a no-no. And there is a more private aspect, too. I love to eat off other people's plates, because I always have the impression that it's better. So now on, I'll be able to go check out other people's plates, maybe not to eat off them but to approach them with a pretext, even if I already know the story..." Sophie Calle
Jacques Bernardaud had been in charge of the artistic direction of the company since the 1920’s. He understood how to adapt porcelain design to the changing tastes of society. In 1955, when creating “Poissons d’Or”, the geometric nature of the pattern seemed incredibly avant-garde, thus breaking away from classic motifs prevalent in the industry and answering the public’s enthusiasm for modernity. Today, the collection retains its original appeal and has become a classic in part thanks to its contrasting graphic elements and by its rounded coupe shape.
Throughout his life, the painter Marc Chagall demonstrated his choice of painting as a means of expression. "Painting is more essential to me than food. It appears to me like a window through which I am able to ascend towards another world", declared Marc Chagall. The same wonder is inscribed in the numerous drawings and sketches, watercolor, pstels or Chinese ink, maybe less well known.
Limited edition of the original wedding service created in 1952 by Marc Chagall in Vallauris for the wedding of his daughter. Each piece bears a different drawing reproduced with brush strokes executed by hand. The images evoke the poetry, tenderness, fantasy and humor derived from the richness of the painter's creative universe through his most favorite themes: the woman, the couple, the flowers, the circus and animals. "For Ida" is a dinner service for 12 that consists of 69 numbered pieces, stamped with the signature of Marc Chagall and is a limited edition of 225 services accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Kara Walker explores controversial themes of race, gender, sexuality and violence. She is best known for her appropriation of the silhouette, which she has used in room-sized installations, sculptures and smaller works on paper or here on this pitcher. Walker's work illustrates and overlays racial stereotypes of the past and present; her work not only addresses slavery and racial discrimination in the antebellum South, but also raises awareness to the intrinsic bigotry that still exists throughout the United States.