Pieces by Sten Lykke Madsen and Galapagos Iguanas. Photos: Ann Linnemann
LUCK with an EDGE
Sten Lykke Madsen
Exhibition 21 February - 23 March 2019
Opening reception Thursday 21 February at 16-19.00
Love and lust for life added an edgy humour - and gravity.
The gallery features new works by the famous Danish ceramist Sten Lykke Madsen. It is works that are cleverly modelled in stoneware and porcelain with a surface of ash and glaze from flames and soda in the wood-fired kiln.
Pieces by Sten Lykke Madsen. Photo: Ole AkhøjSten Lykke Madsen has worked through an 80-year life, filled with experiences and ceramics. He has travelled widely and still look at life with attentive eyes.
Somewhere on the Great Wall in China, he suddenly met someone to talk with, who understood the same language, sign language. Not everyone use the same signs, but there is always an opportunity to communicate and create this present mutual framework of understanding.
Studio photos by Ann Linnemann - exhibition photos will follow..
Sten Lykke Madsen is known for his fabulous, humorous figures, who leads the viewer into a different world of hybrid between animal and human.
It is modelled quirky characters, favourites in stoneware and porcelain from the wood-fired kiln.
Imagination and humour create shapes and drawings that lead to new experience.
The works do not need further articulation, - the figures speak for themselves and go straight to the heart. Maybe everyone should try to close their ears and listen in a new way?
Is this what Sten Lykke gives his 'Followers' - a sense of presence and to see the world in a different way - opposite, upside down or just plainly much larger?
Everything is possible and could be something completely different.
It is this all-embracing, wondering and generous conception of life that LYKKE gives his viewers:
the wordless who know how to use their eyes and perceive with multiple senses - without having to hear a word of what others say.
Is LYKKE (English: LUCK) so easy? - Or does the 'cute' imaginative fabulous also have its sharp edges and dark sides?
We only see what we discover.
Sten Lykke Madsen does not serve everything on a dish or is stuck in reproducing cosy ceramic figures, but shows in his works constantly new aspects,- also gloomy sides of LYKKE/ LUCK in an ever vividly living contemporary narrative.
It's about presence and acceptance of difference; where the greatest diversity is the most natural - for the curious.
The world comes to him - and he is relentlessly working in a worldwide physical network of both younger and established ceramic artists from China to the US and Russia, who also find their inspiration working in professional communities such as artist-in-residence, workshops.
STEN LYKKE MADSEN
Sten Lykke Madsen's wood-fired pieces invite us into a world where the volcano ashes in Iceland can suddenly fly over our heads and stop all fast traffic, to give us time for immersion in unknown corners of the mysteries of mind.
Like the Galapagos dragon iguanas, Sten's pieces are standing completely still - while we wait for them to move suddenly towards us.
The pieces show that Sten Lykke Madsen always is moving forward in his long and active work to create ever-imaginative, fabulous, quirky characters.
Sten Lykke often works with raw materials and clear forms that bring our thoughts to unseen depths and universes beneath the earth's surface - or to distant parts of the world.
The baroque and 'sinister' is evenly mixed with humour and sweetness that is characteristic of Sten Lykke as he speaks in a language we can all recognize, but not always explain.
The pieces are eternally young and contain stories of a NOW time that is distant from the current preoccupation of globalization, rapid consumption and financial considerations.
TECKNIQUE and MATERIAL
The pieces in the exhibition are modelled in stoneware and porcelain. Either one type of clay alone, - or the bright china clay is combined with the coarse darker stoneware.
The combination of materials means that the glass layers of the coloured glazes and melted ash particles are deposited differently on the clay surfaces, combining the dark gloomy texture on stoneware with clear, lighter colours on the porcelain.
The pieces have an insistent natural expression, which is created by a skilled advanced and artistic intuitive process.
The wood fired kiln with or without an addition of salts is the preferred firing method. It is a long laborious working method that gives a special surface that characterizes the pieces.
STEN LYKKE MADSEN (b. 1937, DK) was educated at the School of Applied Arts, Copenhagen 1954-58. EMPLOYEE Bing & Grondahl and Royal Copenhagen 1962-03, guest teacher Kolding School of Design 1981-05. TRAVELS in Europe, China, Taiwan, Japan, USA 1979-2006. EXHIBITIONS 'Ceramic Ways' exhibitor and Co-founder since 1985, CLAY Museum Denmark 2017, Sophienholm 2015. CLAY Museum Denmark solo 2016. Ann Linnemann Gallery 2019,11,10,08. Puls Contemporary Ceramics, Belgium 2010, SOFA Chicago 2005. Kilns of Denmark, USA/Europa 2002. Gallery Nørby, solo 1999, Charlottenborg Foundation, solo 1975. Concorso Internazionale della Ceramica, Faenza, gold winner 1975, 1967. Victoria & Albert Museum, London 1972. WALL COMMISSIONS Castberggård, Urlev 2002; Sølvgade 1993; Vesterbrogade 1978. FOUNTAIN Holstebro 1986, Randers 1973. GRANTS Danish Arts Foundation, Danmarks Nationalbank's Anniversary Foundation, Ole Haslund Artist Award.. ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE China 2004. International Ceramic Research Center, Denmark since 2003. MEMBER of Académie Internationale de la Cèramique (AIC).
Grateful thanks to The Danish Art Foundation for project funding in 2019.
BIOGRAPHY - STEN LYKKE MADSEN
Born in 1937, Copenhagen DK.
SOLO AND DUO EXHIBITIONS
Bing & Grøndahl 1971. Höganäs Museum 1973. Charlottenborg 1975. Koldinghus Museum 1975. Ceramic Sculpture in Scotland, The Danish Culture Institute, Edinburgh 1986-88. Ceramic Expressions – with Love, Lidköpings Konsthall 1987. Royal Copenhagen Porcelain 1988/1995. Musikhuset, Århus 1990. Næstved Museum 1989, 1998. Galerie b 15, Munich 1992. Rundetårn 1998. Galleri Nørby 1999, 2002, 2006. The Danish Embassy, Berlin 2001. Salt, Designmuseum Danmark 2002. Galleri Pagter 2004. Galleri Svenshög, Lund 2005, Kähler, Næstved 2006. Fukuoka, Japan (w. Takashi Nakazato) 2006. Ann Linnemann Galleri solo 2008, Kontrast (w. Marianne Nielsen) 2010, Still in Love (w. Akio Takamori) 2011. CLAY Ceramic Museum Denmark, retrospective solo exhibition, 2016.
Bing & Grøndahl 1963,1965, 1967 og 1981. Nieman Marcus, Dallas 1964. Concorso Internazionale delle Ceramice, Faenza 1967, 1975, 1978, 1981. International Ceramics, Victoria & Albert, London 1972. Chunichi International Exhibition of Ceramic Arts, Japan 1976. Keramion, Frecehen. Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam 1977. Design Museum Danmark 1978, 1980. Artists Autumn Exhibition, Charlottenborg 1983. Ceramic Ways, Den Frie Exhibitions, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2004. Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan 1984, 1994. Denmark Modern Craft Exhibition, Seibu, Tokio 1987. 1st Biennial International de Obidos, Portugal 1987. ”Design aus Danemark 1950-87. Travel exhibition, France 1987-88. ”Deense keramisten en Leen Quist”, Singer Museum & Galerie Amphora, Netherlands 1990. ”Form und Glasur”, Hoechst, Frankfurt 1991, 2000. Gallery Nørby, Copenhagen1995, 1996, 2005. ”From Golden Age to The present Day”, Edinburg. 1995. Pro, Charlottenborg 1996. Danish Ceramics Trienneal , Trapholt Art Museum 1997. CLAY Museum 1997, 2000. ”Keramik aus Dänemark”, Munich 1998. Ceramic Biennial , Korea 2001. ”From the Kilns of Denmark” New York, Fitchburg, San Diego, Sacramento, Racine, Paris, Berlin 2002–2004. Denmark's House, Stockholm 2003. Galleri Kaffeslottet, Gudhjem 2004. ”Sofa”, Chicago 2005. Museum De Tiendschuur, Netherlands 2005. World Clay, IAC members, Riga 2006. Puls Contemporary Ceramics, Belgien 2010. Ceramic Ways, Sophienholm anniversary 2015/ CLAY Ceramic Museum Denmark 2018.
Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam. CLAY Keramikmuseum. Helsingborg Museum, Höganäs Museum, Sweden. Keramikmuseum, Westerwald. Design Museum Danmark. Museo Internazinale delle Ceramice, Faenca. National Museum, Stockholm. Nordenfjeldske Art Museum, Trondheim. New Carlsberg Foundation. Danish Arts Foundation, Trapholt Art Museum. Victoria & Albert, London. International Ceramics Museum, Fu-ping, China.
GRANTS AND AWARDS
Gold Medal Museo Internazionale delle Ceramice, Faenza 1967/ 1975. Royal Jeweler Michelsens Anniversary Award 1969, Paul Mindelegat 1971, Thanning's Travel Stipend 1972, Danmarks Nationalbank's Anniversary Foundation 1974, Ole Haslunds Artist Award 1984, Danish Art Foundation 2003/ 2005, Travel Stipend 2004. Kay Bojesen and wife Erna Bojesen's Award 2005. Arts Association of 14. August Award 2005.
TRAVELS in Europe, USA, China, Japan 1979-2006.
ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE China 2004; International Ceramic Research Center, DK 2003-19.