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Paul Bogati

  • born in Cluj, Hungary in 1944
  • immigrated to Canada from Austria in 1988
  • M.A. from the Ion Andreescu University of Fine Arts in Transylvania, Romania

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Ceramist Paul Bogati’s work "stresses the sculptural aspect of ceramics, rather than the functional, and in his way is creating a world that is liveable for him in the face of late twentieth-century political upheaval" (Susan Surette, 1998). In fact, Bogati has evolved over the years from primarily classical figurative forms, to more abstracted work, to the more functional container forms that he has been forced to undertake in the commercial context of North America. Blending sculptural beauty and meaning with functional practicality has thus become a focus for Bogati’s work in Canada. His themes have included the female body and reproduction, the nomadic experience of the immigrant, and the conflict between people and political powers. As a Hungarian living in Romania, Bogati had to struggle, for most of his career, against both a communist regime and a majority Romanian population that constantly sought to disempower the minority Hungarian culture. Bogati’s work of the early 1980s was concerned with expressing the relationships between people and society, often on difficult terms. As ceramist Susan Surette (1998) explains, "his clay bodies, fired by the flames of the kiln and pulled red-hot from the fire in the raku process, are marked by the power of this technique. Despite the appearance of these tortured, broken, wounded bodies, they have survived this trial by fire and gained their power in doing so, a metaphor for the suffering human." In works such as Protest and Dialogue (1982), Cible, Cible Fondu (1986) and Cibles en Marche (early 1990s) the human body becomes the target of aggression, dehumanized somewhat because of this emphasis. The wounding and scarring of the body that is a constant theme seems undeniably related to his experiences as a Hungarian in Romania and his immigration. In 1994, Bogati began to work with an interest in African political events, particularly the Tutsi genocide, in La Magie: Hommage à l’Afrique. Over the years his bodies have become more abstracted, sometimes disappearing completely and giving way to architectural or landscape concerns. He has also more frequently created the container forms that are the traditional domain of the ceramist, yet often using tall vessel-shapes that can still take on connotations of the human figure. While living in Romania, Bogati was a professor of drawing, painting and sculpture at l’Université populaire Tirgu-Mures in Transylvania from 1973 to 1979. Now established in Québec, Québec, Bogati teaches at l’Atelier de ceramique Saint-Elme in Beauport, Québec.



1996 Galerie Trait-Carré, Charlesbourg, Québec


1986 Galerie d'art Miercurea, Ciuc, Roumanie



1997-96 Septième Biennale nationale de céramique
Trois Rivières; Montréal; Waterloo; Richmond (travelling)


1992 Galerie L'Heureux, Trois Rivières, Québec

Maison Bellanger Girardin Galerie, Beauport, Québec


1991 Silicates
Maison de Potier de Québec

Exposition multiculturelle (benefit exhibition)
COFI, Québec


1990 XII Biennale internationale de céramique d'art
Vallauris, France


1986 Xième Biennale internationale de céramique d'art
Vallauris, France


1984 Quadriennale républicaine des arts décoratifs
Salle Dalles, Bucharest, Romania


1983 Exposition municipale
Miercurea, Ciuc, Romania


1982 Les artistes et la paix
Salle Dalles, Bucharest, Romania

Exposition républicaine de la petite sculpture
Bucharest, Romania


1981 Exposition interdépartementale
Brasov, Transylvania

Exposition républicaine
Salle Dalles, Bucharest, Romania

Exposition internationale
Sophia, Bulgaria


1980 Quadriennale républicaine des arts décoratifs
Salle Dalles, Bucharest, Romania


1977 Exposition républicaine de la sculpture
Bucharest, Romania


1976 Exposition départementale
Musée Départemental, Miercurea, Ciuc, Romania


1975 Exposition départementale
Musée départemental, Miercurea, Ciuc, Romania


1974 Exposition des jeunes artistes
Musée départemental Miercurea Ciuc, Romania


1973 Triennale républicaine des arts décoratifs
Salles Dalles, Bucharest, Romania



Amnesty International, Québec
Caisse populaire Desjardins, Lévis, Québec
Comité de la culture, Romania
Musée départementale, Harghita, Romania
Musée de la civilisation de Québec, Québec, Québec
Musée départemental, Miercurea, Ciuc, Romania
Société d'art et d'histoire de Beauport, Beauport, Québec



Surette, Susan. "Paul Bogati: Ceramic artist." Unpublished essay. Concordia University, 1998.


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