Patricia Low Contemporary is delighted to present an exhibition in Gstaad of paintings by British artist Lily Lewis and ceramic sculptures by French artist Alice Gavalet. Though working in different media, the artists’ works are placed together in a lively conversation united by thematic and graphic elements. In both artists’ practices, vessels—whether vases, chalices, pitchers, or urns—feature prominently in works that reference and play with the notion of the female body as a receptacle.
In her paintings, self-taught multidisciplinary artist Lily Lewis combines landscapes with classical forms, whether vessels or female bodies. Vases covered in faint grid lines are overlaid with adumbrated female bodies that follow and are amplified by the curvature and volume of these vessels. Unapologetically feminine and fecund, Lewis’ joyful bodies both constitute the different shapes of the vessels in which they appear to be contained but also, in their magnification according to the curves of those vessels, seem to be bursting from them at the same time.
Alice Gavalet works with glazed ceramic, creating painted sculptures that also function as everyday objects. Vaguely anthropomorphic and reminiscent, in places, of feminine forms, Gavalet’s vessels are covered in colorful patterns that call to mind tartan fabric but also a drawing grid. Through a playful process characterised by controlled spontaneity, Gavalet’s patterned and joyfully distorted pieces, which are hewn from large slabs of clay, evoke simplicity and abandon, form as well as function. In this way, the traditional vase is deformed, twisted, and transformed into a utilitarian sculpture.
LILY LEWIS (b.1986)
Lives and works in London. Self-taught, Lewis’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses painting, poetry, embroidery, and performance. Her work has been included in group shows in London, Paris, and Puebla, Mexico, as part of a residency at the Arquetopia Foundation in 2019. She has held solo exhibitions at Kura Gallery, Fukuoka, Japan (2018); at Schleiffer Art, London (2020) and at Carriage Hall, London (2021), among other spaces.
ALICE GAVALET (b.1978)
Lives and works outside Paris in Nogent sur Marne. In 2003 she graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, where she studied industrial design, after learning ceramic design at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d’Art Olivier De Serres in Paris. Her work straddling de- sign, sculpture, and painting has been exhibited in solo and group shows internationally, with solo exhibitions at Galerie Italienne, Paris in 2022 and Galerie Michele Hayem, Paris in 2020, among others; and in group shows at La Galerie XXI, New York (2023), Fondation Villa Da- tris, Isle sur la Sorgue (2022), and Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Korea (2021).