Cathy Coëz

Cathy Coëz: blending precision and aesthetic.

Clay and Porcelain drawings

Cathy Coëz's three-dimensional Clay drawings and Porcelain drawings explore the compositional element of aesthetic and the nature of the ceramic medium. These drawings are organized geometrically (a circle, a disk or a square), and are made out of hundreds of pieces carefully arranged. The clay and porcelain material is tirelessly thrown on a ceramic wheel to form hundreds of unique pieces that are created to form a species of its kind. The substance of the clay, together with the inexhaustible possibility of forms and shapes it offers, has fascinated the artist ever since she started to explore the medium in 2007.

The creative process of these museums-sized pieces are initially conceived through a computer Vector Drawing Program, then each piece is methodically arranged and placed next to each other with painstaking precision. The end result is a response to an ongoing research into the nature of minimalist aesthetic and the sophisticated character of macrocosm and microcosm blend.

Although the pieces are made out of clay, the artist is concerned with drawing rather than sculpture, pushing therefore the limits of the ceramic medium. 'In my previous silkscreen drawings, I used to work with a vast selection of colours. With my ceramic work, I am interested in the monochromatic and minimalist approach to colour, tones and shades. I focus instead on the individuality and uniqueness of each piece. For me, throwing clay is like drawing a shape. I start the process by establishing a form, then gradually organise its volume, rearrange its proportions and finalise its character. The shapes and forms I create seem to organically emerge from between my fingers'.

The maturity of Coëz's approach and techniques used in her ceramic work is reflected on the impressive and often complex monumental composition that invades the gallery space to provoke a strong impact on the viewer. The title of the drawings is purely technical and is only intended to remind the viewer the characteristic of the work that conveys the elemental: the substance, the sequential, the colour, and the number of pieces that form the drawing.


With the Bicephalous and the Figures series, Cathy Coëz approach to her subject matter becomes a significant shifting point towards the medium of sculpture. The artist focuses this time on found China objects that she revisits, manipulates and transforms into sculptural artefacts. The twofold element used in the Bicephalous series blurs and melt to become the Figures series. Although the China figures have undergone a substantial transformation, the kitsch element can still be discernable behind the sophisticated fine artefact.

In the Figures series, an array, and then a gathering of studio created objects are at work to transmute the entity of the figures. The metamorphosis of the kitsch component wittingly swings between alienation, displacement and rebirth. Before war unveils four assembled figures depicting groups of overloaded horse-drawn carriage. In spite of its breathlessness, the whole scene moves with ease as the blinds in 1568 Bruegel's painting La parabole des aveugles.
The Wartime sculpture appears to be another important shifting direction in her artistic exploration. Coëz merges the compositional and the historical element reminiscent of conflict and war.

These Coëzian concealments expose the artist's fantasies in combining two languages: the unfamiliar and the extraordinary.

Brussels, 2010.

Cathy Coëz is a French Multi-disciplinary artist. She lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. Her artwork has been internationally exhibited in galleries and museums and is part of public and private collections.