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Mithé Espelt

the discreet luxury of the everyday

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Mithé Espelt (1923–2020) is an outstanding French ceramicist who left behind a remarkable collection of jewelry, small mirrors and little treasure chests. She soon met with success but from early on, she fled the limelight and chose not to sign her creations. As a result, less discerning observers tended to attribute her work to François Lembo, Georges Jouve and even Denise Gatard.
In the early 1950s, Mithé set up a studio in Lunel, nestled between the plains of Camargue and picturesque Provence. There, she spent the next forty years nurturing an artistic project that echoed the contemporary mood. It was only when she met Antoine Candau that she agreed to reveal more about herself. He was, she said, “capable of looking beyond objects, beyond beauty…”. Together, they retraced her life and work in an inspiring monograph that reads like a gripping novel.

Antoine Candau is somewhat self-deprecating when he says that he searches for elusive pieces of art for customers who have ceased to exist. He has been a familiar figure on the art scene since the mid-1980s. He first established himself as a “talent spotter”, and a good one too, but later became more of a discreet “treasure hunter”. His finds, ranging from Middle Age marvels to contemporary design pieces, regularly ended up in the display cases of the world’s museums and art fairs, and he also ran galleries in Paris and London. But what is Antoine trying to tell us as he extols the sublime work of a 97-year-old artist who shared essential messages on happiness and the beauty in things? Is it really surprising that this art expert, renowned for unearthing budding talents, should cast new light an overlooked artist as he invites us to ponder on the workings of fame?

Les conditions de délivrance des certificats d’authenticité sont adressées par courriel sur simple demande.