Charles Bronfman’s Claridge Collection Auction: Part V: Decorative Arts

April 21, 2015

LOT 63




clay and bronze
height 9.25" — 23.5 cm., diameter 9" — 22.9 cm.
incised initials to underside of lid

Estimate $400-$500

Realised: $2,040
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

About artist/note:


“My aim in creating is not the decoration, or didactic, or clay as entertainment. The work is not political. It is, I hope, in some measure, a distillation of the magic and mystery that surrounds me on this, my part of the Pre-Cambrian Shield and at its best is serene, rich in detail, detached from the mundane, and timeless”.

- Robert Archambeau -

Artist Robert Archambeau has been an indisputable force in Canadian ceramics for over fifty years, and has earned an international reputation for his functional pots, with their confident profiles, subtle wood-fired glazes, and meticulous finishes.

Robert Archambeau was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1933. After serving in the U.S. Marines for four years, he worked in a factory to earn enough money to put himself through university. He received his Bachelor in Fine Arts (Studio Arts) in 1959 from Bowling Green, Ohio and completed his MFA in Studio Ceramics in 1964 at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Archambeau went on to teach for four years at the Rhode Island School of Design before moving to Canada in 1968. He started teaching at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art, and became a full professor and head of the Ceramics Department, before retiring in 1991.

In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Archambeau studied and worked in the Far East, in particular with Akio Takamori in the studio of Jun Knack in Higashiura Aichi Prefecture. His experiences in Japan, China, and Korea, greatly influenced his style of work, which has been described as “serene, rich in detail, yet detached from the mundane and timeless.” Archambeau’s art has recently taken a new direction, exploring drawing as an independent art form rather than a preparatory exercise which he has always done for his vessels.

Archambeau’s works are included in major collections across Canada and Japan. He has also exhibited both nationally and internationally. In 2003, he became the first Manitoban to win the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and in 2014 was awarded the Manitoba Arts Council’s Award of Distinction. He lives in Bissett, Manitoba, where he continues to produce wood-fired bowls, vases, teapots and lidded containers.

Selected Corporate, Public and Private Collections

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, ON
Burlington Art Center, Burlington, ON
Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, ON
Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery
Claridge Collection, Montreal, QC
Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON
Glenbow-Alberta Institute, Calgary, AB
Liu Collection, Hong Kong
Penticton Art Gallery, BC
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB

Selected Solo and Group Exhibitions

2014 Drawn to Ceramics, David Kaye Gallery, Toronto, ON
2013 Drawn and Fired: Recent Vessels by Robert Archambeau, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MN
2010 Robert Archambeau: New Works, Davie Kaye Gallery, Toronto, ON
2002 FIRE+EARTH: Contemporary Canadian Ceramics; Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, ON
2001 FIRE+EARTH: Contemporary Canadian Ceramics; The Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan
FIRE+EARTH: Contemporary Canadian Ceramics; Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
2000 FIRE+EARTH: Contemporary Canadian Ceramics; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia
1997 FIRE+EARTH: Contemporary Canadian Ceramics; Burlington Art Centre, ON
1996 Useful Intentions, Burlington Art Centre and Sheridan College, ON
1995 Prime Gallery, Toronto, ON
East Asian and Canadian Ceramics, Royal ON Museum, Toronto, ON
1994 The Archie Bray Foundation: Selected Works, Joanne Rapp Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
1993 Into the Corners: A Look at In-depth Collecting, Burlington Art Centre, ON
1992 Acquisition/Inquisition, Burlington Art Centre, ON
1989 Feat of Clay: The Fifth Anniversary of the Permanent Collection, Burlington Art Centre, ON
1987 Clay Today: The Inaugural Exhibition of the Permanent Collection, Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, ON
1986 Takamori-Archambeau, Arvada Centre, Denver, Colorado
1982 Takamori-Archambeau (two man show), Ogikubo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1980 Robert Archambeau, Prime Gallery, Toronto, ON

Selected Awards and Grants

2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts
2003 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts

Selected Links

Raphael Yu on Robert Archambeau
The Canadian Encyclopedia: Robert Archambeau


Prime Gallery, Toronto, ON