CLICK photo = LARGE format + slide show.. Exhibition pieces
SLEIGHT OF HAND - Trick of the eye
Exhibition 27 October - 26 November 2016
Peder Rasmussen, Michael Geertsen DK, Kurt Weiser, Richard Shaw USA,
Stephen Bowers, Sophia Nuske, Australia
Artful trickery by sleight of hands and mind.
Contemporary artists explore aspects of Visual Illusion, Visions of the Mind..
A unique international meeting with great iconic artists who are acknowledged for their amazing illustrative ceramics pieces of art.
The exhibition emphasizes on deceiving - and delighting the eye.
While remaining faithful to the ceramic medium and its manipulation, the artists play with ideas of deception and illusion. Things are not quite as they may seem. Expectations are subverted and humorously played with.
The artists exhibit personal artifices and visual fantasies; but equally referring to illusionist trickery made in ceramic materials, the exhibition as much reflects our time seen through the artists' eyes, personal references and images of the world created by our global, cultural and art historical context.
PEDER RASMUSSEN and MICHAEL GEERTSEN have invented an alter ego named Gert Pedersen, who takes us out on an adventurous journey where anything can happen.. - and happen.
Animals and humans emerge from known and unknown tales.
They live in a world of vessels and geometric shapes, where it is quite easy and almost temptingly safe to go in and explore new land marks.
- Collaborative pieces by the two Danish artists
RICHARD SHAW shows a cigar box filled with shells and other memories, - another work is an envelope of a letter to his daughter. He makes personal collections of memories that could be collected by ourselves - or someone we know - silly memories that across ages we can relate to, but relate to differently depending on whether we have ever written a letter - or this has become part of cultural history.. - and challenges our contemporary concepts.
KURT WEISER presents a large piece, a pictorial vessel, a naturalistic immediate narrative universe, that in a way is recognizable; - but without telling the whole story, it draws the viewer in and around the piece to find the answers or understand the whole story.
His work contains mysteries and do not serve 'all on a plate', but makes you want to see the piece from all sides. It is masterfully executed porcelain painting and advanced visual narrative.
STEPHEN BOWERS moves in to a historical pictorial world, where he has painted highly detailed pottery shards from different periods and styles onto an 'aerial' of Australian nature.
He references a variegated culture, personal ideology, and local characters, but also gives an image of the global community we all live in, experiences, fragments and motifs from around the globe, along with phone apps and other contemporary iconic characteristics.
SOPHIA NUSKE, a new Australian talent invites the viewer to focus attention on the ordinary, neglected man-made things. By playing on the inherent language about these objects, she creates humorous juxtapositions of ideas, guided by wordplay. She references trompe l'oeil super objects from the 70s and 80s in a new 'design' and cartoon-like imagery that is the hallmark of the younger generation of ceramists.
Grateful thanks to The Danish Arts Foundation’s Committee for Crafts and Design Project Funding of the Ann Linnemann Gallery in 2016.
The French term, Leger-de-main is another name for sleight of hand.
= Sleight of Hand - trickery; deception - any artful trick.
= skill in or practice of feats of dexterity that create a magical illusion.
= an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers.
= sleight of hand, prestidigitation the kind of legerdemain you'd expect from a magician.
= deception, manoeuvring, manipulation, cunning, artifice, trickery, subterfuge, feint, contrivance, chicanery, hocus-pocus, CRAFTINESS, ARTFULNESS, footwork (informal) financial and legal legerdemain..
PEDER RASMUSSEN and MICHAEL GEERTSEN DK
For the second time Michael Geertsen and Peder Rasmussen have created ceramic works together.
This time the symbiosis is completed - they have simply signed the pieces: Gert Pedersen.
The pieces are a burlesque mix of properties we already know from the two ceramists separately - in the intermingling they simply become more narrative and adventurous. You can tell, - they have amused themselves.
(Photo of collaborative piece - Copenhagen Ceramics, 2012)
PEDER RASMUSSEN DK www.pederrasmussen.dk
Peder Rasmussen is a potter, artist and one of Denmark's few major cultural authorities who takes the ceramic profession seriously. He gets involved in everything from writing critical posts to as an author publishing books with ceramic theme: Kählers Værk i 2002 and Reistrup, Nyt Nordisk Forlag Arnold Busck, 2006, and in 2016 Familie På Træben - About J.F. Willumsen's Family Vase.
For potters and other folks, he is a commentator and sometimes a provocateur - but first and foremost one who knows his craft and plays from all humorous angles with a sharp tongue, a clear eye and mind to rediscover historical themes, as he rethinks and involves in his own pieces.
- “Although the shape is important, it is the picture side that matters most to me. The diversity of intrusive figuration has always been my excuse to make another image vase. The human figure is usually the core of the decorations, often in combination with ornamental elements or involved in various activities. Human interactions and our relationship with nature are a couple of my recurring themes, but generally the subject matter is rather wide.
The circular or oval vessel form, I consider to be absolutely perfect as a narrative medium. I see my image vases as cinematic stories - almost as a kind of visual film loops. In my plates, I use the opportunity to arrange pictures with a more solid and central focus.
I also work a lot with freestanding figures that often share a motivic starting point with vases and plates.
In regards to the technical terms, I've been through a lot, as evidenced in my "Museum"(*). First it was the pottery - so stoneware, since Raku.
From the early nineties, I worked mainly with shiny glazed earthenware in relatively classical forms. Recently, I been experimenting with Majolica, the classic Italian technique I met during my study in Italy in the early seventies."
*See Museum: www.pederrasmussen.dk/peder-rasmussen/museum
PEDER RASMUSSEN was born in 1948. Lives and works in Haslev, DK.
EDUCATION potters certificate at Herman A. Kähler, Næstved 1966–70. Istitutto Statale per la Porcellana, Sesto Fiorentino and Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence, Italy, 1970–71.
DANISH ARTS FOUNDATION Lifelong Artist Award, 1998.
REPRESENTED BY Victoria & Albert Museum, London. National Museum Stockholm & Röhss Museum of Decorative Art, Gothenburg, Sverige. Designmuseum Danmark. Kunstmuseum Trapholt & CLAY Ceramics Museum, Denmark. National Museum & Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Trondheim, Norway. Keramion, Frechen, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg & Hetjens Museum, Düsseldorf, Germany. COLLECTIONS National Arts Foundation in Sweden & Denmark, Annie and Otto Detlefs Foundation, Denmark.
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS Museum of Arts and Crafts, Oslo, Norway, 1989. Galerie Clara Scremini, Paris, France, 1997. Galerie Droysen, Berlin, Germany, 2000. Galerie Nørby, Copenhagen, 2003. Holstebro Art Museum, Denmark. Keramion, Frechen, Germany, 2006. Koldinghus Museum, Denmark, 2009.
FILM - part 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXcNWV8kmaM&feature=related
FILM - part 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=u17BfEl4f0U&feature=related
MICHAEL GEERTSEN DK www.michaelgeertsen.dk
Michael Geertsen is one of the few who is trained both as potter and industrial designer.
After 25 years of professional career, he is internationally recognized for his fancy-full, often colourful pieces that reflect a playful cultural approach to the material in line with the great interest within contemporary ceramics.
The driving force has largely been opportunistic from the idea that everything before the modern breakthrough was "bourgeois merchant ceramics". However, he acknowledges that clay's own, built-in logic and the fundamental studies of material have been the same across time and culture. It is this collective relationship between all time potters, such as the exhibition Geertsen VERSUS at Næstved Museum, has focused on. This exhibition was a potter's dialogue with his historical legacy and showed a kinship that is not only parallel by virtue of shape, glaze and technology, but a quite common mind-set that has its roots way back in antiquity.
“It makes sense for me to create pieces that are in dialogue with the history of a present days optic.
My artworks include both the physical and written statements, as the historical elements, after all, are to be decoded. But they are nevertheless 'on their own feet' in their own idiom. And surely it is in all modesty, my humblest ambition: to become one of those who gets speaking time in history through my work.
All the individual parts of my unique pieces are turned by hand. Then I unite the various elements into a finished expression via hands and my eye for proportion.
Usually I have a fairly complete idea in my head, but a jazzy improvisation is as much a part of my working method
My trademark has been a sculptural accumulation of ceramic elements: cup, plate, pot, saucer, teapot - everyday recognizable ceramics sampled in a deconstructive grip that transcends everyday life and points both back into history and forward to new tales "
(Quotes from Geertsens website - interview/C. Jul and various exhibitions)
MICHAEL GEERTSEN was born in 1966, trained as a potter in Stensved, Denmark, certificate in 1988 and graduated from the department of Industrial Design at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in 1993. He lives and works in Copenhagen.
His works are represented at the Metropolitan Museum, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and MAD/Museum of Arts and Design, all in New York City, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Designmuseum Danmark in Copenhagen. In 2012 he created a permanent installation at The V&A in London and in 2009 he did a mosaic mural in Hanoi.
Michael Geertsen is represented by Jason Jacques Gallery in New York, Galerie NeC nilsson et chiglien in Paris and Superobject gallery in Copenhagen.
FREELANCE INDUSTRIEL DESIGN - Muuto, Cor Unum, Kähler, House of Prince, Paustian.
KURT WEISER - USA
Kurt Weiser is Internationally recognized as a contemporary ceramic artist and educator. He is acknowledged for his technical virtuosity with porcelain forms and his use of china painting techniques in a distinct contemporary style.
His subject matter illustrates lush, mysterious landscapes and distorted narratives set amidst colour-saturated flora and fauna that read as voyeuristic candid snapshots of the human condition.
The illustrations challenge and surprise the viewer all the way around the forms with a continuous dreamlike narrative.
“For years the work I did in ceramics was an effort to somehow express the beautiful nature of the material. Somewhere in the midst of this struggle I realized that the materials are there to allow you to say what you need to say, not to tell you what to say. So I gave up trying to control nature and decided to use what I had learned about the materials to express some ideas about nature itself and my place in it.”
EXHIBITION PIECES present a new large porcelain vase complimented by a series of blue and white cups, together with a salt-fired earthenware and a tall black&white cylindrical vase.
KURT WEISER was born in Michigan 1950, lives and works in Arizona and Montana, USA.
Studio: Tempe, AZ. Education: Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, MI, 1967-69; Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO, BFA, 1972; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, MFA, 1976. Since 1988 he has taught ceramics at Arizona State University where he is now a Regents Professor. Awards: Aileen Osborn Webb National Artist Award, 2003; American Craft Council College of Fellows, 2003; Arizona Commission on the Arts, Artist Fellowship, 1999; National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Fellowship, 1992, 1989. USA Artists Fellowship 2012. .Collections: Victoria and Albert Museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Carnegie Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Ceramics, Shigaraki, Japan; Mint Museum of Craft and Design; Racine Art Museum and the National Museum of History in Taipei.
RICHARD SHAW - USA www.richardshawart.com
In the world of contemporary ceramics, Richard Shaw is a great master of trompe-l’oeil sculpture. He has developed an astonishing array of techniques, including perfectly cast porcelain objects and overglaze transfer decals. By combining the commonplace with the whimsical, the humorous with the mundane, Shaw captures the poetic and the surreal with the sensibility of a comedian. Shaw is one of the most respected and collected artists in contemporary ceramics.
Richard Shaw came out of the San Francisco Bay Area art scene in the late 1960's and he continues to add to his skills and appropriate from mass culture.
He has developed a vocabulary of found objects that form intimate still life sculptures, complex figures, and personally referential assemblages.
He brings life to the detritus of the studio, as a cartoonist animates the page.
“I have been working in this mode of realism since 1976. My earlier work dealt with illusion, so I believe it was a logical transition to my present work which has been traditionally referred to as Tromp l'Oiel.
All the work is constructed in glazed porcelain. Since the mid 60's I have been working in ceramics, the medium that has become my main source of expression.
Many of the pieces illustrated are containers or refer to containers. This gives me a format to work from and is also a tradition in functional ceramics, European and worldwide.
I use the still life to suggest an arrangement by an absent person, male or female, of common objects they use in daily life, which they have left for a moment, is frozen in time. The figures are also about containers, still-lifes and objects that have been anthropomorphized into people frozen in action or repose.
I hope that these pieces come across as quiet reminders of a person's presence whether they are artists, librarians or some crackpot constructing a figure out of junk. I also hope that they have the ability of function, humor, surprise, beauty and universality.”
EXHIBITION PIECES Collection Box with Sea Shells, Windy Lady, Origami Ship on Cake, Letter for Alice, Bray Show.
RICHARD SHAW was born in 1941, Hollywood, USA. He lives and works in Californien, USA.
EDUCATION San Francisco Art Institute, BFA,1965; MFA, University of California, Davis, 1968. Teaching at San Francisco Art Institute 1966-86. Now Professor of Art, University of California at Berkeley.
AWARDS National Endowments Grants. Fellow, American Crafs Council 1998; Honorary Member NCECA (the National Council of Education in Ceramic Arts) 2010 ; Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts Legends Award 2011; Master of Medium Award, James Renwick Alliance, Washington DC.
RESIDENT ARTIST Shigaraki Cultural Ceramic Park, Japan; Manufacture National de Sevre, Paris; Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Maine; Peter Voulkos Fellowship, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, Montana.
PUBLIC COLLECTIONS Whitney Museum of American Art; San Fran Museum of Art; Taipai Museum of Modern Art; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Shigaraki Cultural Ceramic Park, Japan; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Nederlands; Victoria Albert Museum, Cantor Museum, Stanford England..
Video - www.youtube.com/watch?v=INL-EQL0o1E
STEPHEN BOWERS - Australien
Stephen Bowers brings together in his painted ceramic vessels many of the traditions from the history of ceramics.
In any one piece, one might find traces of many familiar styles and decorations.
While maintaining a respect for the master techniques, Stephen Bowers' flamboyant and exuberant ceramics combine a classical ceramic heritage with inspiration from indigenous sources and are spiced with dashes of wit. His work is distinguished by intricately painted underglazes which "wear its expertise lightly.
His ceramic pieces may reflect ideas about recollection and persistence in the form of remnants and shards; and be about how sections of memory survive utilising borders, patterns, overlaps, edges and shadows.
His drawing skills, and the way these are carried out through ceramic materials, are considerable, but the drawings are more than decoration and illustration. They are witty collages that betray thoughtful research and intelligent observation.
He regularly retrieves and re-positions images, representing ‘the familiar’, often sourcing ‘clichéd’ images (blue and white, willow pattern, wallpapers, natural history illustrations, etc.) within a personal contemporary context, often with a surreal, whimsical, humorous, sceptical or satirical subtext.
Reflecting the influence of textiles, wallpapers, comic strips, natural history illustration and childhood memories his work brims with ideas and imagery that trace their origin to both historical and contemporary sources.
It is a sustained investigation into hand painted imagery and how it might be applied to the ceramic surface. Appreciation of this approach is a key to understanding how he develops and composes his imagery and achieves the complexity of resolution in his work.
His work is almost always functional in its form, and ranges from pieces that are mainly domestic in their purpose, to monumental urns and jardinieres intended for large public places.
- “My aim is to make people look - and to look again; encouraging viewers to observe, react, consider, discover and re-consider. I make both production and exhibition work, using hand craft skills informed (but not driven) by ideas with origins in the theory and study of images, their historical recall and reproduction and perception, and giving reference to the contexts and crossovers of visual arts with traditions, trade, travel, politics, science and exploration.
Compositionally, juxtaposition is important and I work in a kind of ‘mash up’ way; perhaps tongue-in-cheek, but always selectively, deliberatively and with an element of homage in mind. My work presents fictive tableaux, sectional or shard-like conjunctions, forming mosaic-like narratives of observation, conjecture and inquiry, often with a surreal, whimsical, humorous, sceptical or satirical subtext.”
EXHIBITION PIECES “Fake real shards, and real fake shards…“ - Ironstone, Buddhist, French Toile, Parrot, Ming-Morris-PhoneApp, Jewel at the Border.
Wheel thrown earthenware, underglaze colour, clear glaze, gold lustre, 2016.
Together with Monkey & Kangaroo plates, cups and bowls from previous exhibition.
Ann Linnemann Galleri, 2010: 2010/10/illustrious-wonderes-udstilling
Ferrin Gallery: ferrincontemporary.com/portfolio-items/stephen-bowers
Robin Gibson Gallery: robingibson.net/artists/stephen-bowers
SOPHIA NUSKE - Australien
“I invite the viewer to refocus their attention on common, overlooked manmade objects. By playing with the inherent language of these things, humorous juxtapositions of ideas are created, guided by wordplay. A level of realism is achieved through carefully fine-tuning a tool kit of visual cues, referencing trompe l’oeil super objects of the 70’s and 80’s. The humour found both in lingual and visual puns, as well as the graphic or cartoon-like appearance of the work reinforces the playful quality underpinning my practice. Through my installations, I question: How do these common objects affect our daily rituals? What sentimental value do we imbue in them? And what happens when their function is subverted? Ultimately the viewer is invited to renegotiate their surroundings and how they engage with objects of the everyday.”
BIOGRAPHY – see: www.sophianuske.com
EXHIBITION PIECES "To Cut a Short Story Long" & "Bandaids"