Georges Jouve - Design New York Tuesday, December 5, 2023 | Phillips

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  • “Black is the most aristocratic color of all…you can be quiet and it contains the whole thing”
    —Louise Nevelson 

    The present Shark sculpture belongs to Georges Jouve’s Formes series of the late 1950s, when he moved away from figural sculpture and decorative motifs in favor of simplified, abstracted forms. Conveying the sleek, aerodynamic body of a shark with a few simple volumes, he adeptly imbued an otherwise static object with a sense of quiet speed and momentum. 


    Exhibition of works by Georges Jouve at La Demeure gallery, Paris, 1959.

    Jouve’s signature black glaze, with its subtle sheen, perfectly suits this sculpture, lending a sense of mystery and subtle gunmetal glint which is evocative of the king of the ocean. As Louise Nevelson wrote, “Black is the most aristocratic color of all…you can be quiet and it contains the whole thing.”

    • Literature

      Catherine and Stéphane de Beyrie, Georges Jouve: À la lumière d'Apollon, Brussels, 2021, p. 181

    • Artist Biography

      Georges Jouve

      French • 1910 - 1964

      Working out of his studio in Paris (and later in Aix-en-Provence), Georges Jouve produced sculptural ceramics for modernist interiors. Upon the invitation of Jacques Adnet, the director of the Compagnie des Arts Français (CAF), Jouve participated in various salons internationally and within France, including the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs. He created rigorously simple yet soft and playful forms, including plump, contrapposto vessels, rotund pitchers and cylindrical vases. His tireless experimentation of glazes led to a palette of perfect matte blacks, bone whites and joyful pops of lime green, lemony yellow and, occasionally, selenium red. Jouve's ceramics echo the organic modernism of his CAF colleagues, such as Charlotte Perriand and Serge Mouille.

      View More Works

Property of a Distinguished Collector


Shark sculpture

circa 1957
Glazed stoneware, painted steel.
Overall: 10 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 3 1/8 in. (26.7 x 39.4 x 7.9 cm)
Underside incised with artist’s cipher and JOUVE.

Full Cataloguing

$70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for $120,650

Contact Specialist

Benjamin Green
Associate Specialist
Associate Head of Sale
+1 917 207 9090


New York Auction 5 December 2023