Gilbert Portanier went to secondary school on the French Riviera . Around the age of 17, he felt a taste for the arts born in him. In 1945 , he left for Paris to study architecture at ENSBA . He quickly turned to painting and drawing which he would soon study as an autodidact.
In 1948 , after a stay in Brussels, he returned to the Côte d'Azur where, during a visit to Vallauris, he discovered the world of ceramics and met Picasso . In 1949 , he created, with his friends Albert Diato and Francine Del Pierre , a small workshop, which they called “Le Triptyque”, where they began together to learn ceramics on their own.
In 1954 , he moved into a traditional pottery where he had large workshops, found a mythical place of ceramics where all the possibilities of a still virgin art were available to him. He learns the multiple techniques associated with it and creates his own figurative, abstract, suggestive language, materialized by a versatile graphic design of great freedom. Its color palette betrays the painter's sensitivity through its richness and intensity. For Portanier, ceramics are a way of translating feelings, emotions, and the pleasures of life. He is a colourist and a connoisseur of enamel, just like a drawing virtuoso.
In 2018, creation of the Gilbert Portanier Foundation located at 8 Chemin des Potiers in Vallauris.