February 23 to April 29, 2018

La Chute, presented from February 23 to April 29, 2018, showcased works created by the artist Laurent Craste. The exhibition aimed to highlight this artist’s latest creations. Besides the Casket series that was exhibited for the first time in Montréal, the visitors were also able to admire artwork from the Détournement and Sévices series. This exhibition marked the artist’s first collaboration with La Guilde, as well as his first solo in Montréal in the last three years. Recipient of the Jean-Marie Gauvreau Prize in 2016, Laurent Craste is well known for his ceramic vases on which brutal interventions distort the objects from their primary functions, utilitarian and ornamental. His esthetic draws on art history, the history of religion and that of France, early and modern, to attain a more universal subject: the human condition.

As Laurent Craste explains: “[...] I am inspired by the original porcelain models of the 18th and 19th centuries found in the indexes of the great European manufacturers and I use these models, submitting them to a form of deconstruction, violently altering their formal structures through acts of vandalism perpetrated with workers’ tools, through stagings evoking corpses, martyrs or even suicides.” 


Laurent Craste is a multidisciplinary artist internationally renowned for his powerful and spectacular ceramic works that challenge and deconstruct the medium with which he works. Above and beyond the scope of his technique, the artist tackles universal issues such as the struggle of the classes, the environment, social precarity and mental health. Following a training program at the Centre de céramique Bonsecours, he obtained a Master’s in Visual and Media Arts from UQAM in 2007. He has presented his work in Canada, the United States, and England, whether in solo or collective exhibitions. His work has been integrated into important collections, such as that of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Claridge Collection, the Ville de Montréal, Loto-Québec, the Cirque du Soleil and that of the Art Gallery of Burlington. Many articles pertaining to his highly subversive work have been published, including in the prestigious magazine Ceramic Arts and Perception.

Laurent Craste obtained several grants and prizes rewarding his research, such as the Winifred Shantz Award (2002) and the Jean-Marie Gauvreau Prize (2016), the highest distinction in fine crafts in Québec. He has also chaired multiple panels for the attribution of prestigious grants and awards in Visual Arts in Québec and Canada. Living and working in Montreal, he has been teaching ceramics since 1997 at the Centre de céramique Bonsecours.

Photos : LAURENT CRASTE, Le Lac, 2014-2015. ; Exhibition views, 2018. © La Guilde