The French sculptor Guy Bareff has been practicing his craft and creating architectural works for over fifty years. Descended from a family of ceramists and encouraged but not entirely voluntarily by his father who was one of the co-founders of the Potiers d'Accolay, Bareff started experimenting with clay at a young age.
This lamp is made of a combination of terracotta and grog clay. The latter is baked and ground and comes in different particle sizes. Mixed with the terracotta, it reduces shrinkage in a lump of clay and adds significant strength to the material. The clay is spread into plates and then reinforced so that they are manageable and suitable for modelling. Bareff works like an architect, making plans and elevations and sometimes a plaster model if a complicated construction requires it in advance.This magnificent item bears the name “Etoile” and is a rare creation that dates back to the 1970s. Bareff made a series of exclusive pieces formed with the top closed for the Parisian gallery Desprez-Breheret and the Maison Gerard Gallery in New York, respectively. This one is just opened at the top, revealing the breathtaking essence of its micro-architecture.The philosophy behind this lamp is that it should create a sense of mystery and intimacy. Intimacy is particularly important, according to Bareff, as it is an important part of architecture. It doesn't really matter from which angle you view the lamp. It invites you to come closer and follow the shadows created by the ingenious openings. The whimsical texture and warm appearance of the terracotta add a sense of security and make the sight of this creation a poetic experience.A feeling of confusion arises when you try to deconstruct the forms and creation. Clean lines on the vertical outer edges alternate with rounded corners on the inner horizontal edges. The attraction intensifies when night falls and the light source at the bottom turns on. Then a true spectacle unfolds and the intimate character of “Etoile” is pushed to the maximum.
This lamp is in good condition with some stains due to its ageSource: Personal correspondence with Mr. Guy Baref.