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.
The exhibition is resulting from a long dialogue between both ceramists. Not only have they made their individual works , but occasionally they have left the actual decorating of their own pieces to the other. Out of pure curiosity and in full confidence that this kind of “obstruction” will lead to something new.
Both artists have long and comprehensive exhibition-careers behind them in Denmark and internationally. Their works are represented in important museum collections worldwide: Michael Geertsen’s works are in the V&A Museum in London, Metropolitan Museum , New York; Museum of Art and Design, New York and Designmuseum Danmark to mention a few. Peder Rasmussen is represented in the collections of the V&A, London; The National Museum, Stockholm; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg and many more.
Gallery Hours: Wednesday — Friday: 1–6 pm, Saturday: 12 am – 4 pm.
Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl
Tel: +45 2728 5452
Smallegade 46, 2. sal tv
Above: Michael Geertsen, Standing Object. Earthenware with Majolica decoration, 2012. H: 66 cm. Photo by Jeppe Gudmundsen-Holmgreen.
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