Marie Torbensdatter Hermann exhibition / Galerie Nec, Paris
October 26 - November 24, 2012
"The work reflects on some kind of strange family of domestic objects, they are bound together by a form of action, something undefinable but with a hint of a purpose. As if they are there for one very specific reason, each with a small specific individual function, but on their own they are un-significant, it is as a group how they become useful and self-sufficient. It is in the choice of grouping certain objects with each other and in the spacing of them, that they come into existence. I also see a big part of my practice as an arranger. Someone arranges objects and creates small details, small shots taken from a lager scenario. As if we have the time line in constant flux, I make the decision on where to cut out one image and create that as a memory of what ones was, before it moved on to become something else." Marie T. Hermann
“Looking around Marie T. Hermann’s most recent exhibition of work, we may well have a similar feeling: that we are in the presence of pots that don’t quite need us. They are just fine on their own, thank you. Poised atop their handmade clay shelves, microcosms like the implacably calm still life paintings of Morandi, or set out in a neat ring on the gallery floor, these ceramic sculptures have a quiet assurance, an ease that belies the difficulty of their own making.
You almost have to remind yourself that it’s by no means easy to create this sense of completeness. The usual way of doing it is to make objects that are resolutely alien to everyday experience: the abstract geometries of De Stijl, the weird and hermetic object-poems of the Surrealists, the industrial quality of Minimalist sculpture, or the unearthly light and space created by artist James Turrell. While Hermann’s work is influenced by all of these art historical references, she appeals to something more humble and humane than any of them. As is true of most potters, even those working in the manner of installation artists, daily use is constantly at issue for her – either as a haunting presence or a conspicuous absence. The inclusion of two plates, one sunk into its shelf and the other just emerging, gratifies our expectations on this score, even as the closing off of vases at the mouth refuses it.
While her commitment to achieving a unified aesthetic impression is total, it seems to me that her greatest interest as an artist comes at the level of the detail. Yes, she knows she must (according to some modernist logic) ‘earn’ the right to create an interesting shape, like a sharp break in the profile of a vase, or a gentle curve in the rim of a plate. For her, these subtle touches have to make sense within an overriding context.
Clémence van Lunen exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong
October 5 - November 18, 2012
Opening: Thursday, October 4, from 6 pm.
"Sculpture, polyglot, curious and on the alert, fascinated by the countries which she has discovered, cultures and languages which she practises and likes, Clémence Van Lunen is a renaissance woman. She develops multiple works which could be defined as high curiosity in the same sense we sometimes describe ancient amateurs cabinet, but in her case it is in an eclectic and knowledgable way. The art critic and exhibition curator Frédéric Bodet wrote about her work, "rare forms are expressed with an indecisive act, dedicated to the enjoyment as much as to the dismay that she constantly tries to disturb us, her sculptures evoke a sort of sympathy which makes you stop and hesitate."
Her invitation to Sèvres in 2007 - that allowed me to get to know her better - stood out as an evidence, as a necessary stage for her after her travels a round the world and her research in ceramics.
On her return from one of her regular travels to China, she proposed at Cité de la céramique a universe of porcelain dragons (she chose on purpose the most symbolic animal of China), with the determination to produce them all herself with an never before used experimental mixture of porcelain pastas from our mill.
Compositions of a series of porcelain elements turned, deformed then wrapped up, gathered in an experimental way and delicately assembled, the monumental sculptures required the traditional techniques of production but, however, adapted in a personal and creative way. She then imagined an centre piece , consisting of several elements of biscuit which was built up of a small «archipelago» on a table, like so many islands with strange plants; it was an invitation to a new journey!
Her experience at la Cité de la céramique illustrates perfectly its capacity to create a gateway, to imagine formal round trips, cultural and aesthetic juxtapositions, which are her trademark and her talent.”
David Caméo, Director of Sèvres, Cité de la Ceramique France
Gustaf Nordenskiöld exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong
August 24 - September 29, 2012
Opening: Thursday, August 23, from 6 pm.
Gustaf Nordenskiölds ceramic work deals with issues about functionality, primitivism, natural forces, and perceptible method. He is exploring the field between design, crafts, arts and industrial production.
The exhibition consists of new museum collections, post production, the assembly of pre-existing and newly manufactured items, and works transformed to form new en-sembles. The exhibition presents ambivalent ceramic works, virgin archaeological objects of unknown origin that expresses beauty in the making, or in disrepair.
"My intention is to create works in which the methods are a prerequisite for the final result, where traces of the process remains in the finished work.
To freeze a moment for posterity. To preserve and display an action. What is worth preserving? Methods where the finished objects conveys trace of effort, different movement patterns or natural deformation/formation.”
Traces, as a memory of its creation, Gustaf Nordenskiöld, 2012.
In partnership with the Consulate General of Sweden, Hong Kong.
Gallery Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 am - 8 pm. Sunday, 1 - 6 pm.
Wouter Dam exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong
28 June - 18 August, 2012
"The ceramic sculptures I make, do steadily develop along a clear line, this last group of sculptures here on show are slightly larger and with more unbroken circles incorporated into the sculpture, in this way slowly revealing more of its origins, the vase and bowl shape.
The sculptures are closed and curled on to itself and in this way, keeping more of it’s secret, enticing you to explore the almost hidden inside of the sculpture.
They are covered with a coloured engobe, the latest colours I have introduced are the soft pink, a light porcelain blue, and a grey tone. All these colours are specifically chosen to enhance the shape and to give a good contrast in between light and shade.
The sculptures are built up of elements made on the potterswheel, assembled when leatherhard, every one of them becoming a unique sculpture, although clearly belonging to the same family of shapes.
The sculptures are like drawing lines in space, making the clay seem weightless. The edges are refined and cut through the air in contrast to the soft voluminous exterior surfaces that bask in the light.” Wouter Dam, 2012
Gallery Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 am - 8 pm. Sunday 1 pm - 6 pm.