“Looking around Marie Torbensdatter 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 While Hermann’s work is influenced by all of these art historical references, she appeals to something more humble and humane than any of them.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. There is nothing whimsical about them. But all the same, Hermann infuses these little maneuvers with a great deal of enjoyment – just as the slight sway of a violin or the mournful swell of an oboe might convey the emotion that a composer feels for his own symphony. Hermann’s pots may inhabit worlds of their own, and to that extent they stand proudly and resolutely apart. But through the deft and playful touches that are everywhere in this exhibition, we are let into something very human indeed: something not too far from bliss.” Glenn Adamson, Head of Graduate Studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, about Marie T. Hermann’s work.
Marie Torbensdatter Hermann’s C.V. (resume) – View her works
2011 – Shades of days, Gahlberg Gallery, McAninch Arts Center, Glen Ellyn, Il, USA
2010 – Stillness in the Glorious Wilderness, Matin Gallery, L.A, USA,
2007 – A joyful gathering of a defenceless legion, Matin Gallery, L.A, USA
– To the legion of the lost, Sixpm Project Space, London
2006 – The only thing I can think about is yellow, Egg Gallery, London
2005 – Matin Gallery, L.A USA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2011 – “Collect”, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, May 2011
– “Overthrown: Clay Without Limits”, Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA
– “New Departures, New Transitions” , N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit, USA, March 201
2010 – “På tværs”, St. Hof, Ny Tap- Carlsberg, Copenhagen, Denmark, November
– 27AD Gallery, Italy
– The Butter Projects, MI, USA
– Kabinett 3, devening projects + editions, Chicago, USA
– Stop Start Repeat, The Anton Art Center, USA
– Gahlberg Gallery, USA
2009 – 27AD Gallery, Italy
– Devening Projects, Chicago, USA
– Jingdezhen International Ceramic exhibition, China
– Mint Gallery, London, UK
– Keramikmuseum Westerwald, Germany
– Egg Gallery, London, UK
– Royal College of Art, degree show, London, UK
2008 – Sir John Soanes Museum, London, UK
– Helen Beard Project Space, London,
2007 – Royal College of Art, London, UK
– Drud & Køppe Gallery, Copenhagen, DK
2006 – Gallery Nørby, Copenhagen, DK
– Joanna Bird Gallery, London, UK
– Harley Gallery, UK
2006 – Origen, London, UK
– Henley art space / Cultural Connection. U.K
2005 – Blackwell, U.K
– Hatfield house, UK
– Ashgate Gallery, UK
– Henley Artspace, U.K
– Gallerytop, “New Domestic”, UK
– Crafts Council, U.K
– New Designers, London, UK
2007-2009 – Royal College of Art, MA, London
2003-2007 – Studio manager to Edmund de Waal, London
2000-2003 – University Of Westminster, BA Ceramic, London
1999 – Skolen for Billedkunst, Copenhagen, DK
– National Workshops for Arts and Crafts, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2010
GRANTS AND AWARDS
2010 – The Anni and Otto Johs. Detlefs’ travel award for young experimental ceramic artists, Danish Crafts
2009 – The Danish Arts Foundation
– Augustinus Fonden
– Frimodt- Heineke fonden
– Grosserer L.F. Foghts Fon
2008 – Knud Højgaards Fond
2007 – Oticon Fonden
– Statens Kunstfond, DK
– Jingdezhen Ceramic Art Museum, China
– The Rothschild Collection, Waddesdon Manor, UK
– Cooper, Emmanuel, Contemporary Ceramics; an International Perspective, Thames & Hudson 2009
– 2008 – Bath Spa University College, England, guest teacher.
2007 – Curator and co director of Sixpm Project Space, UK, USA, DK
2010 – Jury at the Biennale Internationale de Vallauris, Fr.
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