Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen: Setting the Stage / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark
30 August - 22 September 2012
Opening reception: Thursday, 30 August, 5 – 8 pm.
Artist talk with Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen: Saturday, 1 September, 2 pm.
For their upcoming exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics – Setting the Stage – Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen are each showing their variant of a contemporary version of the figurative ceramic tradition. They both share an interest in visually expressing the psychological aspects of life and their wish to reflect the inner life of humans in figurative works with elements of animal and human being.
From children’s books and fairy tales we are used to projecting human characteristics on to animals and so we likewise identify with the drama that takes place in the ceramic scenes of Jungersen and Hindsgavl.
The ceramic expression of Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen differ widely. But each have, in their own way, revived the figurative tradition and renewed its relevance. The porcelain figure is a starting point for both, but the kitschy and banal references, that are normally attached to this genre, are replaced and transformed into underlying, more disquieting messages. The figure or the figurine – which plays an ever important rôle in the history of ceramics – often contains wit and humour and is of lesser scale than that of sculpture, is well suited for both artists’ commenting accounts on big and small dramas of life.
For the exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics Gitte Jungersen has taken a new step. She has in recent years been transforming the stories of found, industrially produced, porcelain animals by inserting them through firing into new landscape-like ’scenes’. This feature of the earlier works is now to a large degree substituted by abstract structures made up of squared shapes. However, these otherwise stable forms are falling in, collapsing and broken at times. The dissolution is further emphasized by masses of glaze, that overflow the shapes as big blobs, partially erasing them. The scenes evoke a sensation of the uncontrollable and catastrophic, while the ceramic appear sensually specious and beautiful.
Glazes play a very special rôle in the works of Gitte Jungersen. She is known for her heavily sensual surfaces of great textural complexity. The bubbly surfaces of her pieces result from the glazes ’boiling’ at top temperature of the ceramic kiln and the subsequent rapid solidifying in the cooling-process. Thus the handling itself of the materials contributes to emphasizing the thematic content. Whether it’s a nearing dissolution awaiting or rather a new narrative in the making, is left open for you to decide.
Louise Hindsgavl’s contribution to the exhibition circles around the loss of innocence, the confusion and the transformation, that happens in the transition from childhood to becoming an adult. For this show, Hindsgavl has chosen to work with a totally different expression than her well-known porcelain-figures and their absurdist accounts about the darker recesses of the human mind. In recent years she has also experimented with including other materials and ready-mades in her porcelain tableaus. Now the pieces are bigger, of a coarser nature and with quite a different volume than she has mainly been using, but her works still invite to our ongoing discussion about pure and impure.
The work ’Luckys & Bunnys’ refers to the tale of Alice in Wonderland, where the child meets change in the shape of an unknown magical world and where the rabbit is the central element, pulling the child through its development.
Both artists have over many years been frequent exhibitors in Denmark and internationally.