New Ceramics 3/2020 - Content
James C. Watkins – USA
Giorgio di Palma – Italy
Li Ziyuan – China
Aino Nebel – Germany
Mia Llauder – Spain
Melanie van der Donk – Austria
Tereza Hrušková – Czech Republic
Nathalie Schnider-Lang- Germany
EXHIBITIONS / EVENTS
COLLECT – London – UK
Ceramics Fair – Oldenburg – Germany
Reaching beyond the Pot – Le Don du Fel – France
25 Years of the Töpfermarkt – Bonn – Germany
Andreas Fritsche – Berlin Germany
Jochen Rüth / Georg Kleber – Diessen – Germany
Vibrant Systems – Frechen – Germany
CERAMICS & TRAVEL
Sifnos – Greece
Kutani Tsutae + Meekyoung Shin – Ting-Ju Shao
Angela Burkhardt-Guallini – Evelyne Schoenmann – Interview / Developing Skills
DATES / Exhibitions / Galleries / Museums
COURSES / SEMINARS / MARKETS
New Ceramics 3/2020
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James C. Watkins – USA, Giorgio di Palma – IT, Li Ziyuan – CHN, Aino Nebel – D, Mia Llauder – E, Melanie van der Donk – A, Tereza Hrušková – CZ, Nathalie Schnider-Lang – D
James C. Watkins
COLLECT – London – UK, Ceramics Fair – Oldenburg – Germany, Reaching beyond the Pot – Le Don du Fel – France, 25 Years of the Töpfermarkt – Bonn – Germany, Andreas Fritsche – Berlin Germany, Jochen Rüth / Georg Kleber – Diessen – Germany, Vibrant Systems – Frechen – Germany
Collect 2020 – Stand of Alveston Fine Arts Ltd. Gallery
Dates and Exhibitions from Amsterdam to Winzer
Profile: James C. Watkins – USA, Giorgio di Palma – IT, Aino Nebel – D, Tereza Hrušková – CZ Exhibitions: COLLECT – London – UK, Ceramics Fair – Oldenburg – Germany, Vibrant Systems – Frechen – Germany Artist-Journal: Kutani Tsutae – Japan and Meekyoung Shin – South Korea / UK In Studio: Angela Burkhardt-Guallini – Evelyne Schoenmann
James C. Watkins
I retired in 2018 after teaching for 35 years at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. I happily continue to work in my studio, finding inspiration from ancestral memories, interpersonal relations, the American Southwest and happy accidents. These writings reflect on my making career, which continues to be a labor of love.
I grew up in rural Athens, Alabama, the oldest of six children. My mother and father, Jeanette and Nelson, were proud farmers and makers. My mother made quilts and my father fashioned many of his own farm tools. My interest in rituals and visual things comes from my parents. My mother believed in mood colors. She believed that red and orange could influence your emotional state, making you more alert and happier. My father believed that painting our house green would ensure a good harvest. So, imagine three girls and three boys running around a green house, wearing red and orange, making mud castles and mud pies – that was my upbringing.
My mother and father’s appreciation of the land was a result of hard work learned through cycles of cultivating, growing, and harvesting. They passed their appreciation of the land and process on to me.
James C. Watkins
Giorgio di Palma
Giorgio di Palma’s most familiar slogan – well known to everyone who has met him or seen his work – is “ceramics that we didn’t need.” Colourful, bold, often with sophisticated detailing, immediately comprehensible, invariably appealing, his ceramics flaunt the uselessness of the original objects, irrespective of the evident simplicity of his technique (slab modelling, low temperature firing and glazing). Giorgio di Palma (born in Grottaglie in 1981) makes balloons, toy boats, arbres magiques, ice-creams, lollies, footballs, light bulbs, teddy bears, boxes, water-pistols, olives, skateboards, Polaroids, record players, cassettes, cigarettes, chewing gum, coin-operated telephones, typewriters. From his studio, a whole series of obsolete objects emerges, items of minimal value in their original guise, and even more so when recreated in clay! Nonetheless, these sculptures possess meaning, whether we are viewing them as part of the large installations that the artist constructs for every exhibition, or whether we have been unable to resist the temptation of owning some of them, so that we end up buying one or more and bringing them home.
On reflection, we are all aware of why in fact these objects acquire value, of the meaning that they express every time we see them and react with a smile. But when we explore the artist’s website, we discover that in addition to ceramics, there are videos, books and performances.
Giorgio di Palma
The work of Aino Nebel has been in evidence in national and international exhibitions for years now. She has taken part in all the major competitions, and yet she is only familiar to a small circle of experts and ceramics lovers. Where she showed a paraphrase of Rococo figurines at the Frechen Keramikpreis in 2003, as they are still being made in Meissen even today, three years later she was awarded one of three prizes in the same location for her highly realistic animal skins, which had only been defamiliarised by the use of a white glaze. Two souls seem to coexist in Aino Nebel. Antje Soléau has interviewed her to find out more.
Antje Soléau: In the Northrhine-Westphalian state exhibition manu factum for the State Prize in craft art, you showed an installation of 14 woodfired beige-brown mugs – if I am not mistaken. For me this is a new, different Aino Nebel from the one whose works have been familiar to me for years. Where did this come from?
Aino Nebel: I am always trying out new materials and techniques and this is not the first time. I arrived at the Desperate Teabowls through my cooperation with Tomasz*. I was inspired by his teabowls, which I hold in high regard. To feel and understand what makes the quality of a vessel, I started on these mugs using the most banal of any technique, pinch-building.
How did it start with your work in clay and painting?
After graduating from high school, where I studied applied painting, I felt like taking a break and trying a different craft. I applied for a bachelor programme in ceramics and porcelain at the Academy of Arts Architecture & Design (AAAD), which, to be honest, was just a lucky choice, since I didn’t have much experience with clay. In the last minute of application deadlines I was still deciding between ceramics or glass.
During my first two years at the academy, I was trying not to base my art on painting. Clay was a new medium to me and I wanted to prove to myself that I can create good artworks without painting. This caused me some really hard times. I often found myself not enjoying what I was doing and I even considered quitting the programme. It doesn’t make that much sense to me any more, but back then I felt that making painting a vital part of my projects would mean to surrender to this new medium. To concede that I can’t make beautiful art just from pure porcelain. I didn’t want to admit that painting is essential to me and my porcelain.
When I started painting again, everything went smoothly, more easily and naturally, I had better ideas. It felt almost like cheating when I started enjoying making art again. It took me some time to realize that this is just how it was supposed to be, and that to resist combining the two crafts I love was silly and futile.
(interviewed by Monika Gass)
Collect 2020, now officially the International Art Fair for Modern Art and Design, took place for the 16th time this year, between 27 February and 1 March in Somerset House, a major exhibition and event venue in the heart of London on the north bank of the Thames. Since the art fair was launched in 2004, Somerset House is the event’s third “home” after the Victoria and Albert Museum (5 years) and the Saatchi Gallery (10 years).
Somerset House is a 19th century Neoclassical palace with a large rectangular courtyard, which is converted into an urban skating rink in winter. These traditional surroundings allowed Collect to present itself in a completely new guise.
In contrast to the Saatchi Gallery, a neutral, contemporary exhibition space, Somerset House offers a succession of “rooms” of various sizes with original parquet flooring and traditional fireplaces, which makes a much more intimate setting for the exhibits.
Akiko Hirai, Moon Jar, Flow Gallery
CERAMIST’S PORTRAIT OLDENBURG INT. CERAMICS FAIR - 31 July – 2 August 2020
For over twenty years, the cultural organisation, die Werkschule – Werkstatt für Kunst und Kulturarbeit has been organising the Ceramist’s Portrait within the framework of the Oldenburg International Ceramics Fair. Two outstanding international ceramic artists present their work over a whole day, showing the audience their working methods. This year, the two artists, Alberto Bustos from Spain and Zsolt Joszef Simon from Hungary, have been invited to take part. Both from the idea of their work and the technique of its execution, they both show a highly original, innovative approach.
Alberto Bustos, born in 1972, was highly creative even as a child. Since he came into contact with ceramics during a course, he knew that he had found the “material of his life” and, in a deeper love of nature, his subject. Although he was self-taught, he developed special techniques to depict tufts of grass, for instance, or twigs and whole groups of plants, bent in the wind or triumphantly sprouting towards the light.
Born in 1973, the versatile and gifted artist Zsolt Jozsef Simon tested and deepened his talents in his broadly diversified training and education. He set out in 1988 by studying porcelain painting with the Herend porcelain factory. But achieving extreme precision in a prescribed work process with a clearly defined result did not fulfil him.
Alberto Bustos, Circulo
An exhibition with works by Michael Cleff at the KERAMION
The list of works by Michael Cleff held in national and international museums and major collections is very long, with the graduate of the Düsseldorf Academy being among the leading German artists who work in clay. This is reason enough to devote an exhibition to his art at the KERAMION in Frechen.
Cleff’s style is unmistakable. In spite of the developments that have occurred over the three decades he has now been making his wide-ranging works, they can immediately be identified as his.
In his work, Cleff concentrates on a small number of formal components. He places the same basic geometric forms such as circles, squares, rectangles and ellipses in various changing relationships to each other. The viewer immediately associates architecture at the sight of his free-standing sculptures. We think we can recognise groups of buildings, bungalows, silos, bunkers, high-rise buildings or churches in the outlines of his handbuilt objects. These compact, hermetic forms occupy space and self-confidently wait for their subtlety to be discovered. The minimalist form with its schematic clarity and lucid geometric structures is the first impression the viewer gains but this resolves itself on closer inspection in stair-like recesses, projecting cubes or transverse struts.
Bonnstraße 12 , 50226 Frechen, Germany
Exhibition: Michael Cleff
7 June – 23 August 2020
Artist Journal: Kutani Tsutae and Meekyoung Shin
Kutani Tsutae (Japan)
Tsutae Kutani was born in Imizu, Toyama Prefecture, Japan, in 1952, and graduated from Tama Art University with a MA degree in 1977. Kutani began developing her “Empty Wrapping Series” in 1976. Seemingly still, the solid fabric with folded pattern captured the moment of life in constant expansion.
Meekyoung Shin (South Korea / UK)
“Her work neatly straddles the divide between craft and conceptual art; her exquisite craftsmanship is evident throughout her work…”
Working between Seoul and London, Meekyoung Shin (b. 1967) registers her idea of ‘translating’ her experiences and observations in different cultures and environments with various media.
In Studio with Angela Burkhardt-Guallini
Angela, how did you come to be a ceramic artist, and who inspired and encouraged you most?
I always like telling the story – thirty-five years ago, the Japanese poet, calligrapher and ceramist, Mitsuya Niiyama (*1922) gave me a small porcelain tablet in neriage technique when we met briefly. It was hardly any larger than a thumb. But to me it was a revelation. I have been working in this technique ever since. I taught my self how to do it via research and experiment and perfected the technique. But the ceramics of the Zen monk Matsui Kosei from Japan have always fascinated me too. There is no shortage of inspiration even today – I find it in nature, when I am travelling, but also in architecture and art.
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