Association Jacqueline & Jean Lerat [Bourges, Cher]
Project for: Association Jacqueline & Jean Lerat, 2021 | Title: JJ Lerat et les amazones de Bourges | Authors: Stéphane Darricau, Anne Dressen, Madeleine Goldman, Jean-François Lerat, Claude Quillivic, Florence Rochefort, Michel Villaneau | Printing and publishing: Art et caractère | Correction: Pierre Derat | Photogravure : Ombre & Lumière | Binding: Color 36 | Typeface: Next (designed by Ludovic Balland, 2017) | Cover: Toile Assuan, Fedrigoni | Interior paper: Arena Rough Ivory, Fedrigoni | Description : 180 x 280 mm, 160 pages, 1200 copies | Thanks to Camille Lemoine
It was in La Borne, one of the hotspots of ceramics in Europe that Jean-François Lerat —son of the ceramic couple Jacqueline and Jean Lerat (JJ Lerat)— discovered our work. He offered us a list of topics for an upcoming publication, letting us choose the one that seemed most conducive to a true collaborative approach. He did not rule out the idea of working with an editor, but he also wanted to keep a form of autonomy in the development of the book — a choice that therefore presented singular challenges from the point of view of a graphic designer’s role as part of an editorial order. Our common choice fell on the 41 medallions adorning the facade of the Marguerite-de-Navarre high school in Bourges, a pantheon of 41 portraits of remarkable women produced by JJ Lerat between 1952 and 1954. Today, the book JJ Lerat and les amazones de Bourges, laid out from our office in Toulouse, corrected by Pierre Dérat in Paris and printed by Art et Caractère in Lavaur, completes his career with the manufacturer in Villedieu-sur-Indre. Is it more of a book on the artistic 1%, on monumental works, on post-war ceramics, on feminism and the history of women? Undoubtedly a little of all this at the same time, like the report of an imaginary conference where the speakers would be representatives of the region Centre-Val de Loire, relatives or enthusiasts who have spent time in the archives of Yvonne Cordillot, Jacques Barge and JJ Lerat, an associate professor of applied arts, a historian specializing in the history of feminisms, an exhibition curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. This heritage, inaugurated almost 70 years ago, is finally coming out of oblivion and finds an extension in 2021 in the exhibition Les Flammes, where curator Anne Dressen draws up a vast panorama of ceramics. She takes the opportunity to highlight the increased role of women (Marie Talbot, Anne Danger, Jacqueline Lerat, etc.) and the action of contemporary artists such as Elsa Sahal, Judy Chicago, Vanessa Bell and Sylvie Auvray. We wanted to make it a timeless object, witness to a period marked by considerable developments in the field of art and anchored in our society.