Mikael Jackson and Sophus Ejler Jepsen: For miles … & tanton / Copenhagen Ceramics

Mikael Jackson and Sophus Ejler Jepsen exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics

Mikael Jackson and Sophus Ejler Jepsen: For miles … & tanton / Copenhagen Ceramics
September 25 - October 18, 2014

Materiality and balance – and a young man’s search for his lost shadow in the concrete-jungle of Chamisso. Two very different artists meet in Copenhagen Ceramics’s current exhibition.

At Copenhagen Ceramics ceramicist Mikael Jackson is showing a new series of works that explore the physical conditions for balance with the architecture of the gallery-space itself as the starting point. The ceramic works consist of juxtaposed geometrical elements, whose meaning as both freestanding and supporting elements is scrutinized.

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Marit Tingleff and Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl: X–Scapes / Copenhagen Ceramics

Marit Tingleff and Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl: X–Scapes at Copenhagen Ceramics

Marit Tingleff and Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl: X–Scapes / Copenhagen Ceramics
May 1-24, 2014

Landscape as the scene of everyday life. Sculptures as concrete drawings in space. Huge, robust ceramic dishes are set against more fragile, sinuous accumulations of abstract form in the exhibition of Marit Tingleff and Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl at Copenhagen Ceramics.

X–Scapes is the title of the joint exhibition by Norwegian ceramicist Marit Tingleff and Danish artist Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl. The title refers to ’scape’ as in landscape, while also pointing to numerous other possible scapes - physical and mental scenarios – anything from seascape and cityscape to mindscape; from the concrete to the abstract.

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Gunhild Rudjord and Nils Erik Gjerdevik / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark

Gunhild Rudjord and Nils Erik Gjerdevik at Copenhagen Ceramics

Gunhild Rudjord and Nils Erik Gjerdevik / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark
February 27 - March 22, 2014

The expressive potential of ceramic glazes is one of the artistic links between both artists at the year’s first exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics. Gunhild Rudjord and Nils Erik Gjerdevik both master the capacity to exploit the particular textural possi-bilities of ceramics, but make use of them for widely differing purposes.

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Interview with Bente Skjøttgaard

Interview with Bente Skjøttgaard / Featured now
By Andra Baban
Published in Ceramics Now Magazine Issue 2

As a Danish ceramic artist, do you consider the living climate an important influence in your work?

I think it’s fair to say that my works have a certain Nordic nature component. Danish nature is not wild and magnificent – more one that offers quiet experiences: a misty morning over the ploughed fields; an old, dead tree; rainy weather that starts as dark streaks on the horizon; the weather clearing up after rain. Danish weather is changeable and often a cold, clammy affair, but this makes one more keenly aware of the light and small shifts in nuance.

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Emmanuel Boos and Esben Klemann: Systematic Uncertainty / Copenhagen Ceramics

Emmanuel Boos and Esben Klemann: Systematic Uncertainty exhibition Copenhagen Ceramics

Emmanuel Boos and Esben Klemann: Systematic Uncertainty / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark
February 28 - March 28, 2013

In ceramics the unknown is a fate for the practitioner. Emmanuel Boos and Esben both welcome unpredictability. Moreover they are provoking it. They share a playful and experimental approach to the ceramic material and their works are bred from a great curiosity towards the processes of the material.

Emmanuel Boos, now living in London, was born and grew up in France. He trained with Jean Girel, one of the big names in French ceramics, known for his works with beautiful textural glazes. Emmanuel Boos equally places the glazes at the centre of his artistic practice, but goes further. He questions the classic hierarchy, where the materials as such are regarded as undifferentiated, depending on being given form, morphe, which traditionally is considered the essential part.

For Boos form is often a pretext, a playground for glazes to develop on. His interest lies with the poetic character and sensuality of the glaze, both in a direct sense as the fusion of basic materials and in the symbolic potential of this. His works are not conceptually based; rather they express a search for beauty, that strives for a form of aesthetic contemplation appealing firstly to our senses and our emotions.

For his first show in Denmark, Emmanuel Boos will be showing both plinth and wall pieces. His intent is to draw the viewer into the glaze, inviting us to meander in its depth through poetic reverie. His forms oscillate between mysterious enclosed objects – minerals with an underlying organic presence – and thin sheets of porcelain like canvases gently folding and developing into space.

The expressive heartland in Esben Klemann’s work is clearly defined by his interest in architecture, construction and material, and a constant urge to further develop the making-processes, that are essential for the expression of the final works.

On ceramics, he states: "People envisage a lot of different things when you use the word ceramics. Images of ordinary domestic items, giant-sized-vessels, reliefs by Asger Jorn, etc. Through changes in work-methods, tools and placements, I strive to add new images to the picture, believing that ceramics has the potential to offer something more and different. I purposely draw my experiences from other sculptural areas into the ceramic process, to push it all into new directions.

You may label my work non-thematic or abstract, or see it as a formal language which communicates by establishing artistically elaborated spaces and objects, that in contrast to the ordinary, inject vitality into things.”

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Anne Tophøj and Marianne Nielsen: Elitist Folklore / Copenhagen Ceramics

Anne Tophøj and Marianne Nielsen: Elitist Folklore exhibition Copenhagen Ceramics

Anne Tophøj and Marianne Nielsen: Elitist Folklore / Copenhagen Ceramics
October 25 – November 17, 2012

Artist talk: Saturday, October 27, at 2 pm.

The dish, the plate, the table and the flower. These common everyday objects and the most beloved iconic shapes from nature are framing in the lives of most people. For their shared exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics Marianne Nielsen and Anne Tophøj are investigating why and how we value these universal expressions of culture and nature. But what is elitist folklore? What does it look like from their point of view?

Marianne Nielsen occupies a very special position in Danish Ceramics. She takes interest, in an almost nerdy way, in the role of nature in our culture. In recent years her work often has concluded in definite renderings of natural subjects: mountains, feathers, leaves and now flowers and plants. As a kind of souvenir they refer to something beyond ourselves, being continuous, universal and something which, through its authenticity, contains an essential beauty. Yet, the representations of nature are about ourselves, since they only acquire their meaning through our very own gaze.

Marianne Nielsen articulates this: ’Flowers hold a modest position in the arts as something banal, soft, often assigned the subordinate part. For these pieces I have let the flower be on its own, allowing it to make up the entire work. The works are about what is not directly present – the references linked to flowers, both as representatives of beauty and natural souvenirs. But they also deal with that particular application that has worn down the flower-motif and turned it into a cliché.’

In a similar way Anne Tophøj is working with the values and inherent meanings of things. Either because the artifacts contain specific images or symbols that pass on a story or message, or by suggesting a particular use or way of handling.

Characteristic of her work she investigates the dish and the plate, objects that we are all very familiar with and make daily use of. As she herself puts it:The plate and the dish are signs of human culture and how we raise ourselves above the animals; they are pivotal in all eating rituals and our daily meals. Artefacts that we all have in common – universal, banal, indispensable tools helping us to sustain life. They are beloved and treasured objects that different cultures and times have shaped endlessly for use and for ornamentation, for the table and for the wall.”

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Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen: Setting the Stage / Copenhagen Ceramics

Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen: Setting the Stage exhibition Copenhagen Ceramics

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.

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Oh la la - Majolica… a Pottery Slam, by Peder Rasmussen and Michael Geertsen / Copenhagen Ceramics

Oh la la - Majolica & a Pottery Slam, by Peder Rasmussen and Michael Geertsen at Copenhagen Ceramics

Oh la la - Majolica … a Pottery Slam, by Peder Rasmussen and Michael Geertsen / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark
May 24 - June 16, 2012

Artists talk: Saturday, 26 May at 2 pm.

With their common educational background in the now almost vanished pottery tradition, Danish ceramists Michael Geertsen and Peder Rasmussen are challenging themselves and each other in an exhibition-tour-de-force within a classic ceramics discipline, the Majolica – tradition. Not only have they produced their individual works – but occasionally they have left the decorating of their own pieces to the other.

Michael Geertsen and Peder Rasmussen both belong to the small group of  contemporary ceramists, who also apprenticed as potters  – in their certificates termed as free-hand-throwers.
As young they found themselves in a world of age-old crafts and were thus among the last links in a very long chain.

Speaking of this, they say: ’We both share great love of classic pottery; of the idea of the vessel and the ceramic figure as artistic medium, even in a world being ever more technological, as far from our starting point as can be imagined. Does this show in our work?  Is there any reminiscence  of something archetypical still present in our otherwise highly contemporary expression? In our own opinion, yes!  We actually insist that our education within a tradition-bound craft has imbued us
with a deep respect for  professionalism. It has also provided us with a reservoir of references – possibilities for ’professional quoting’. Anything goes. With the apprenticeship-certificate as baggage, we know that there are lots of unoccupied seats within the space of tradition’.

This time both ceramists work with Majolica, the age-old technique of white-glazed and decorated earthenware, known especially from the Italian renaissance. From the great artists of the Della Robbia dynasty or the Deruta-workshops. Hispano-Mauresque faience, too, has been in their view with its ornamentation, lustres and other metallic effects. The technique itself tempts with a richness of colour unequalled in other techniques, thus offering possibilities for new stories, stylistic approaches and quotes.

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Bente Skjøttgaard

Bente Skjottgaard Contemporary Danish Ceramics

Bente Skjøttgaard's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

“The basic elements in my work are the materials: clay and glaze. I enjoy engaging in expressive ceramic experiments that test the boundaries of material and form.
I often take my point of departure in nature’s principles and regularities of form. This results in strange inscrutable sculptural growths and large wild and amorphous nature abstractions that may be both lush and melancholic with an expression of beauty in both growth and decay.” Bente Skjøttgaard

“Bente Skjøttgaard is a ceramist: she was born in 1961. In much the same manner as a runner or an existential philosopher, she is cultivating her material, which is clay overcoated with an application of glaze. She is a master of her field and she is “inside” the clay in the sense that she is challenging herself each and every time she creates a new work. The glazed pieces are constantly becoming larger and more voluminous, with interiors consisting of complicated constructions, as is the case inside a person or an animal, a prehistoric creature or another biological phenomenon. And the beauty cannot be mistaken. It is a kind of primeval nature, but accordingly a nature that is created both from within and from without, in the course of a protracted reciprocal interplay.” Excerpt from “Elements in white”, a text By Erik Steffensen - Professor at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen.

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Turi Heisselberg Pedersen: My Garden / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark

Turi Heisselberg Pedersen: My Garden exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark

Turi Heisselberg Pedersen: My Garden / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark
March 29 - April 21, 2012

Opening reception with Garth Clark, New York-based critic, writer and gallerist: Thursday, March 29, 5–8 pm.
Artist Talk with Turi Heisselberg Pedersen: Saturday, March 31 at 2 pm.

"I love my garden, its plants and vigorous growths. Its potency of growth that within one season can produce an enormous plant from a tiny seed. It contains such a wealth of amazing and strange shapes, textures and colours. Furthermore it is a curious mix of nature and cultivation, of something dirty or beautiful, of poetry and ugliness. Certain things bloom and grow, some go wrong, unsuccessfully. It is a world of controlled nature, which is shaped, trimmed and reworked, not unlike the world of clay" Turi Heisselberg Pedersen explains on the inspiration for her show. Her garden can be experienced at Copenhagen Ceramics from 29 March through 21 April 2012.

For the exhibition My Garden Turi Hesisselberg Pedersen has created a new series of works inspired by the patterns, textures and structures in her garden. In the process of transforming this into ceramics works, two overall themes have emerged:

Vases inspired by buds and growths
On one hand you find a group of precise, simple and cultivated shapes. For example vases inspired by the tautness of swelling flower buds – formal expressions that may seem almost vulgar. Or abstract, simple vase-shapes miming the upward, rhythmic patterns of plant-growth. Both act as ceramic equivalents to the trimmed and cultivated nature of gardens and an interpretation of the underlying order.

The opposite theme renders visible the sprouting life under ground. Out of this, works in the shape of organic, bulbous forms and seed capsules emerge with coarse, expressive surfaces or fluted structures. Careless growths and root-like forms, testifying to the more unruly forces of the garden.

In her new exhibition, Turi Heisselberg Pedersen will be showing some all-new, expressive and asymmetric works, where she explores the inherent character and textural freshness of the clay. Other pieces are more typical of her and display her mastery of simplified sculptural vessels, where rhythm, lines and the interplay between forms are recurrent themes.

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Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen: Geometrical Evolution / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark

Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen: Geometrical Evolution exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark

Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen: Geometrical Evolution / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark
March 1-24, 2012

Artist Talk: Saturday, March 3rd, 2pm

Geometric Interpretations
Copenhagen Ceramics presents a new exhibition with works by Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen, two highly experienced ceramists with a particularly well-developed sense of operating visually within one of the great fields of inspiration for ornamentation – the world of geometry.

Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen have both repeatedly returned to this inexhaustible source of astonishment and fascination, and for their first exhibition together they offer new and surprising visual interpretations of geometric phenomena.

Karen Bennicke has for many years remained a remarkable profile within the context of contemporary ceramics, in Denmark and internationally. First and foremost, she is a real form-person. Her ceramic objects are typically characterized by a great complexity of form; they are spatial visions, often constructions reminiscent of contemporary architecture. Through self-defined systems and an almost intuitive mathematical construction-method, she arrives at surprising, poetic expressions somewhere between exactitude, the illogical and occasionally even the absurd.

Light and shadow are always important factors in Karen Bennicke’s sculptures. In the new works the choice of material helps to emphasize the multi-faceted surface, that has resulted from her process this time. The unglazed, matt clay surfaces enhance the great variation of light and shadow, bringing to mind the kaleidoscopic universe of crystals; a recurrent theme in her oeuvre, and one she has intensively been working on in recent years.

The precise approach of the textbooks is not defining the relationship with geometry for Steen Ipsen either. He perceives geometry as images and pattern. From the very start of his ceramic career he has had a keen eye for the ornamental potential within the universe of geometric form. Early examples of this are his large porcelain vessels from the 1990ies with strict, repetitively faceted forms, that turn into brightly colored patterns on the surface. In later works he has thematically explored repetition in the form – or the ’variation of repetition’, as was his title for an earlier exhibition.

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Bodil Manz and Bente Skjøttgaard: Cuts and Interventions, Copenhagen Ceramics

Bodil Manz and Bente Skjøttgaard: Cuts and Interventions, Copenhagen Ceramics

Bodil Manz and Bente Skjøttgaard: Cuts and Interventions, Copenhagen Ceramics
2 – 25 February 2012.

Wheel-Tracks in Clay Meet Sampled Porcelain
Opposites will meet when Bodil Manz and Bente Skjøttgaard, two of Denmark’s well awarded ceramists, convene in their upcoming exhibition, ’Cuts and Interventions’. They belong to different generations and traditions, but for this show, they have decided to explore possible common denominators. The result can be seen and experienced from February 2 – 25 at Copenhagen Ceramics, the new gallery for contemporary ceramics in Copenhagen.

In their first ever co-exhibition, two of Denmark’s very distinct artistic profiles have decided to explore possible common denominators in their otherwise very contrasting work. The title of the show, ’Cuts and Interventions’ is referring to the characteristic manner, in which both ceramists are handling materials and working-processes.

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