Gilbert Portanier is a prominent name in the history of ceramics. Picasso commenting on Portanier’s painterly ceramics, "Every one of his pieces belongs in a museum". ARNOLDSCHE_Book_on_Gillbert_Portanier
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In 1948, Portanier, a painter, discovered clay as a material to work with at Vallauris, the ceramics centre in the south of France, where he met Picasso. There he developed his unique style in the medium of ceramics changing earlier plans to study architecture and drawing at ENSBA in Paris. Both Portanier and Picasso had workshops in Vallauris, where in 2018 Portanier created the "Gilbert Portanier Foundation".
The Picasso influence can be seen in the Cooprider Terracotta head sculpture. Featured in the 1970’s NAFFOUJ catalog (see image) Patti and Coop have proudly displayed Portanier’s work purchased at Dr. Jawdat Naffouj’s Gallery in Landstuhl, Germany. It is a family favorite.