After having studied visual arts and worked as a graphic designer, in the 2000s, Karine Benvenuti took another path to devote herself to ceramics. Bernard Soleil, the ceramicist who lives in her village, introduced her to working with clay, and she rapidly developed her own self-taught techniques. As an admirer of paintings by Tapiès, Soulages and Rothko, sculptures by Chillida, and ceramics by Claudi Casanovas, Claude Champy and Claire Debril, she chose the language of abstraction.
Karine Benvenuti shapes her clay with a sculptor’s gestures. By ongoing research into the material, she strives to convey “spontaneity of gesture and spatial harmony induced by contrasting shadow and light, soft and rough textures, empty and full spaces, heaviness and lightness… but also contemplation, like when you’re looking at a beautiful landscape“. In her works, the materials that she has developed hold the marks of their movements. In her unique pieces, inspired by the bark of trees and volcanic rocks, the clay’s raw beauty reveals its mineral textures.
The recent works, gradually tending towards architectural volumes that have been simplified to the extreme to better bring out the infinite subtleties in her glazes. Karine Benvenuti has developed from a physical approach to a more sensitive one where surfaces are now the focus of her attention. The glaze becomes a layer of flesh covering the clay “like a skin”. Alternating between mineral or telluric, smooth or rugged, pearly or porous textures, Karine Benvenuti plays with contrasts to better reveal the fine balances between strength, fragility, softness and power. The ceramics bear the marks of past experiences, recall the snowy landscapes of her youth, and invite us to journey into the depths of the glaze.