FLOWER VASE - Marianne Nielsen Nov 2017

Marianne Nielsen
Flower Vases
Exhibition 2-25 November 2017
Juxtaposition of culture and nature - new thoughtful entities.
Marianne Nielsen is acknowledged for her fine modelled ceramic work concerning universal phenomena in small and large scale: mountains, feathers and flowers.

Her pieces seem easily accessible; but conceal a personal and thoughtful depth where the beautiful and banal are just the point.
By isolating the subjects from their genuine context, she is able to emphasize their culturally underlying meaning and iconic strength.

The exhibition's vases with flowers, made in ceramics, are each image of a genre.
Where we immediately understand that the flower is an imitation, the vase will generally not be perceived as such.
Marianne Nielsen consider the vase as something primary, a composition of ornamental parts. Ornaments that refer to existing styles but do not directly deny them because they appear detached from the context or whole that they would normally be in.

She does not aspire to create a rounded defined object, but seeks openness in perceptions where conventions do not blur the eyes.

The works contain a clash between the sharp, geometric shape of the vase and the soft organic of the flower.
The meeting between the soft and the hard is interesting - two parts that do not "match". A reflection of opposition pairs: nature and culture, organic and geometric, evolved and produced, motif and pattern.
Something imagined -
and something that is.
But most of all,
a contradiction
between the vase impermanence and flower's timelessness.

The pieces at Marianne Nielsen's solo exhibition is a development from the flower vases exhibited at the Biennial for Craft and Design: ”Liquid Life” in Copenhagen, Spring of 2017.

Marianne Nielsen - about her work
"It has long been naturalistic made individual items that make up my work.
I think there is an honesty and strength in the single object. And so..it is the link with nature that does not need any more - it's greatness lies in the way it is.
The reason why I do not just use the real items to exhibit, is that I find the artificial, imitation so very interesting. The obvious assumption that one readily accepts, partly since it belongs to the long tradition in ceramics.
It presents the idea of things - the things are transformed into concepts. This is not a carrot, it is my idea of the carrot.
I believe that
the issues
I work with
become clarified.
You look at the pieces because one can not do otherwise (neither eat nor smell), but also because they have moved into a category where this is what you do. And this is another aspect of the project, to move something on to a place where it does not belong. Given different meanings and values, and in ceramics, their significance evolves too.
We see nature with our human gaze that draws it into our culture. This transition from nature to culture is an important part of my thinking.
My choice of subject is not wild nature, but something that in one way or another has a cultural reference. My ceramics have a contrary to what it represents.
The anthropogenic is clarified in the contrast to the nature theme. It is not self-grown, but the result of selection and processing."

Photos of new and previous pieces – please also notice the later descriptions.

Marianne Nielsen (b.1971) graduated from The Kolding School of Design in 1999, and received The Danish Arts Foundation's three-year Artist Award in 2012.
She lives and has her studio in Copenhagen.
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS - 2017 ”Large formats – Clever Hands”, CLAY Museum of Ceramics, DK; ”Flower Power” Vejen Art Museum; "Liquid Life" Biennial for Arts, Craft & Design, Copenhagen; ”TILSTEDEt”, Bagsværd Church. 2016 ”Danish Contemporary”, Lacoste Gallery, USA; Galleria Salvatore Lanteri, Milan; Galerie für Angewandte Kunst, Munich. 2015 'Homeliness', private apartment, Copenhagen; Nordic Craft Pavilion, 'Révélations', Grand Palais, Paris. 2014 'Lunch of the green', solo exhibition, Shop for Tableware, Copenhagen - 'Mind Craft', Milan Design Week, Milan, Italy. 2013 Biennial for Crafts and Design 2013, the Round Tower - 'Terres. Copenhagen Ceramics Invites .. 'Galerie Maria Lund, Paris, France. 2012 ' Elite Folklore', Copenhagen Ceramics, Copenhagen. 2011 Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl Invites..' Puls Contemporary Ceramics, Brussels, Belgium. 2010 'Across' New Tap, Carlsberg, Copenhagen.
Artist residency at the Danish Institute in Damascus 2006. Freelance designer for Kähler Ceramics since 2009. Designer at the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain 2001-02.


Marianne Nielsen received exhibition funding from the Danish Art Foundation.
Also Thanks to The Danish Art Foundation for the Gallery funding in 2017.

Between imitation and abstraction by Peder Rasmussen
Text about Marianne Nielsen - extract
”...There are ceramists whose primary reason for working with vases, jars and dishes is an excitement with the material itself and the many textural possibilities. And then there are ceramists whose reason is form, always subordinating colours and glazes to their ideas of form. There are those who just want something to decorate – and there are those who want to provide their surroundings with sensible objects for everyday use.
And then there is a fifth kind of ceramist – a rare kind – who wants nothing at all … apart from working with the phenomena of ceramics. Phenomenologists, of a sort, who for the sake of comprehension simply choose to express their observations and considerations through ceramics. Marianne Nielsen belongs to this latter category – and hence the conventional ceramics descriptions fall short in her company. But are her works not beautiful? Yes, that just is not her primary concern; rather, beauty is a by-product. Is their shape not harmonious…? Yes, absolutely, but that is not the point – the point is rather that they are interesting to behold.
Fortunately, she is an avid writer: As a ceramist I essentially address the underlying cultural meaning of ceramics. I wish to present the traditional creative process that forms the basis for our understanding of the objects’ identity. Highlighting the iconic power of the most trivial objects.
She views her works, for example, as presentations of beauty. Either in a concrete sense – or, in particular, by representing beauty in the form of an implicit use of symbols....
.. The craftsmanship is outstanding, but otherwise the classic ceramic virtues are downplayed – and in that sense she often demands more from her audience than most ceramists do.
Thus, through what she once referred to as her interest in identity codes, Marianne Nielsen repeatedly – and with great talent – refers to the many ways in which the conversion of the natural character of Nature – and of culture – dominates our encounter with the world: as hair is civilised into a hairdo, clay is shaped through a technique – form is stylised by the artist … and the beholders are assured through their senses … and become aware. ”

Read the article at Marianne Nielsen's website: www.mariannenielsen.com/tekster.htm


2017 - From the exhibition series: TILSTEDEt, Gallerigangen, Bagsværd Church. Curator Katrine Borup.
Photo Benita Marcussen.
"Modelled, glazes stoneware".
2017 - Flower vase. Exhibition: Biennial for Craft & Design.
A vase with a flower. The vases are shaped not to resemble any known vase; instead they are more like representations of ornamentation and style. Photo Ole Akhøj
2016 - Flowers: wall objects, modelled glazed stoneware. Exhibitions: Galleria Salvatore Lanteri, Milan and Lacoste Gallery, Boston, 2016. Photo Ole Akhøj
2005-16 - Mountains. Cast glazed porcelain, 11-26 cm.
Photo Ole Akhøj.
2015 - Vessels. Exhibition HOMELINESS w. Kristine Tillge Lund. Exhibition in private home in Copenhagen. Inspired by granite and sandstone jars, the "exterior" jar is moved indoors.

2014 – "Meeting Beauty". Exhibition: Ann Linnemann Gallery.
Exhibition pieces from opposite ends of the expressions palette depicting nature in the tale of beauty.

2013 – "Squander". Exhibition: Gallery Pagter, Kolding.
with Alexandra Gaul (DE) & Johan Peter Hol (NL).
The flowers, we do not associate with nature, but as we best know from the culture - gladioli, chrysanthemum, daffodil. Even though they are alive, they seem almost synthetic. They have been bred for a more intense expression than their natural starting point; stronger colours and flowers. Nature exceeds its boundary to culture, and this meeting point of contradiction interests me.

2012 - " Elitist Folklore". Exhibition: Copenhagen Ceramics, with Anne Tophøj.
Flowers hold a modest position in the arts as something banal, soft, often assigned the subordinate part.
For these pieces I have let the flower be on its own, allowing it to make up the entire work. The works are also about what is not directly present – the references linked to flowers, both as representatives of beauty and nature.

2011 - Feathers, wall objects, modelled stoneware, 55 cm.
When the feather is isolated from the bird, its natural purpose disappears. I see the single feather as almost being passed from being nature to become an artefact.

2011 – Leaves on wall, modelled porcelain. Danish Art Foundation purchase.
Exhibition: Ann Linnemann Gallery, Contemporary Ceramics Copenhagen.

2010 – Wall objects, modelled porcelain.
Exhibition: Ann Linnemann Gallery, Contemporary Ceramics Copenhagen.

2009 - Variations of hair. Modelled glazed stoneware.
Hair is interesting because it is both intimate, personal and universal. The hair style as an image expressing our culture: cultivation of the nature we are as people. Photo Ole Akhøj.

2008 - Knitting. Modelled glazed porcelain, D. 26 cm.
Photo Ole Akhøj.
2008 - The plates are part of a folklorist theme.
A sort of pop culture that has been established through long-standing tradition. This may involve braids, balls of yarn, or the placement of a handle on a cup. Photo Ole Akhøj

2007 - Vases/Trees. Glazed stoneware.
Four vases taking their starting point from the model of a tree, as we know it from model railways and architectural models. The model, I find interesting because it so directly is an imitation, it is representing. In this way, paradoxically, it becomes “it self”.

2006 – Inspiration from the Souq in Damascus.
Investigation in relation between decoration and dish.
On the dishes there is both a formal pattern and a representation of a motif. I am fascinated of how we create understandable notions out of simple geometrical constellations of shapes.

2004 - ”Ceramic Categories”, hand build, glazed stoneware.
From an exhibition in a WWII bunker in Copenhagen w. ceramic group "CeramicsUnderGround"
2000 - " Dinnerset for the Future".
Freelance design for Royal Copenhagen.
In a time of global gastronomical exchange and altered modes of living, food culture has lost its traditional platform: time, place, content and dimension of meals are no longer fixed. We manifest our identity largely by our consumer choices. The service is of few pieces, each with its own essential character, but yet confessing a common denominator in shape and of such simple design that the food plays the lead in the application situation. The dinner set is not in production.

Marianne Nielsen - b. 1971

"Liquid Life", The Biennial for Craft & Design 2017, Copenhagen, DK
"Handbuild, glazed stoneware", Bagsværd Church, DK
New York Ceramics and Glass Fair 2017, USA
”Hairy Matters”, PLADS Artspace, Aarhus, DK
”Danish Contemporary”, Lacoste Gallery, Concord, MA, USA
”Copenhagen Ceramics Invites”, Galleria Salvatore Lanteri, Milan, Italy
“Danish arts and crafts”, Galerie für Angewandte Kunst, Munich, Germany
”Homeliness”, private flat, Copenhagen, DK
”magic language///game of whispers”, Nordic Craft Pavilion,
“Révélations”, Grand Palais, Paris, France
Biennale Internationale Design, Saint-Etienne, France
"3 days in Paris", Galerie Maria Lund, Paris, France
Meeting Beauty, w. Jørgen Hansen, Ann Linnemann Gallery, Copenhagen, DK
”Céramique 14”, Paris, France
”Lunch of the green”, solo, Butik for Borddækning, Copenhagen, DK
MINDCRAFT14, Milan Design Week, Milan, Italy
Biennial for Crafts and Design 2013, Rundetaarn, Copenhagen, DK
”Terres. Copenhagen Ceramics invites”, Galerie Maria Lund, Paris, France
”Écrits, Mythes & Legendes”,
17. Biennial internationale de ceramique de Châteauroux, France
Chi Chi Potter, Copenhagen, DK
"Elitist Folklore" w. Anne Tophøj, Copenhagen Ceramics, DK
"Behold", Ann Linnemann Gallery, Copenhagen, DK
"Mechanic Picnic", Lunchmoney Gallery, Aarhus, DK
"Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl invites...", Puls Contemporary Ceramics, Belgium
The Biennial for Crafts and Design 2011, Koldinghus, Kolding, DK
"Wild & vigorous" w. M. Krumbach, Ann Linnemann Gallery, Copenhagen, DK
"Across", Ny Tap, Copenhagen, DK
”The Cultivated Nature", CLAY Museum of International Ceramic Art, DK
Exhibition w. Marianne Krumbach, Designer Zoo, Copenhagen, DK
"Contrast", w. Steen Lykke Madsen, Ann Linnemann Gallery, Copenhagen, DK
Exhibition w. Marianne Krumbach, The Cobra Room, Sophienholm, DK
Spring Exhibition, Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, DK
Exhibition w. Marianne Krumbach and Anders Bockelie, Nicholaj, Kolding, DK
Exhibition w. Gitte Jungersen, Blås & Knåda, Stockholm, Sweden
“Nothing To Display”, Koppe Gallery, Copenhagen, DK
The Biennial Of Crafts and Design, Trapholt Art Museum, Kolding, DK
“Ceramics in Kolding”, Koldinghus, Kolding, DK
“Damascus – Copenhagen”, The Danish Institute in Damascus, Syria
“Home from Damascus”, Gallery Nørby, Copenhagen, DK
“Wofür brennen wir”, Künstlerhaus 188, Halle, Germany
“Ceramics Above Ground”, Blås & Knåda, Stockholm, Sweden
“Conversation Pieces”, Gallery Nørby, Copenhagen, DK
“Stuff - Ingenuity & Critique”, HarbourFront Centre, Toronto, Canada
“Ceramics Below Ground”, Bunker DG 177, Copenhagen, DK
Solo exhibition, Gallery Nørby, Copenhagen, DK
“Western”, Autumn Exhibition, Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, DK
“Visite” - Danish + German Ceramics, Banegaarden Art&Culture, Aabenraa, DK
“Tableware”, CLAY Museum of International Ceramic Art, DK
Summer Exhibition, Galleri Nørby, Copenhagen, DK
“The tradition of the future.
Innovation in everyday life”, Maison Du Danemark, Paris, France
Ambiente-fair, Frankfurt, Germany
“Happy Christmas Clay”, Puls Contemporary Ceramics, Brussels, Belgium
“Christmas plaque”, Museum for Decorative Arts, Copenhagen, DK
“New Nordic Ceramics”, Gallery Nørby, Copenhagen, DK
Ambiente-fair, Frankfurt, Germany
“K.E. Den Frie”, Copenhagen, DK
“Challenges”, Royal Copenhagen, Copenhagen; Trapholt Art Museum, Kolding, DK
Summer Exhibition, Galleri Nørby, Copenhagen, DK
“Ceramics without Precedent”, Udstillingssted For Ny Keramik, Copenhagen, DK
“Danish Porcelain 1775 - 2000”, Museum for Decorative Arts, Copenhagen, DK
“The Danish Wave”, eight cities in China: Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijng, Qingdao, Dalian, Nanjing, Wuhan, Chengdu
“Talente”, Handwerkskammer, Munich, Germany
Christmas Exhibition, Gallery Nørby, Copenhagen, DK
Design School Kolding´s Diploma Exhibition, Edison, Copenhagen, DK
“Fast Forward”, Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen, Norway
“Design projects”, Museum for Decorative Arts, Copenhagen, DK
“Young Designers Award´97” SNBA National de Belas Artes, Portugal
“Brick furnitures”, Trapholt Museum of Art, Kolding, DK

2009-.. Freelance designer for Kähler Design
2007 Artist-in-residence: Collaboration symposium, International Ceramic Research Centre, DK
2006 Residence at The Danish Institute in Damascus
“4th. International Symposium of Ceramics”, Halle, Germany
2002 - Artist-in-residence: Tableware symposium, International Ceramic Research Centre, DK
2001-02 Employed as designer at Royal Copenhagen
1999 Freelance design: “The Dinner Set for the Future” for Royal Copenhagen
Graduation from The Design School Kolding, Institute for Product (Now KADK)
1997 Participant “Young Designers Award ´97”, Caldas da Reina, Portugal
1994 Admission at The Design School Kolding, Ceramics and Glass

Danish Arts Foundation, Three-Year Award 2012, artist award 2017, 2011, 2002, 1999. Annie & Otto Johs. Detlefs´ Ceramics Award, travel grant 2011. Ole Haslund Artist Award, travel grant 2009. Danish Crafts 2008, 2003. Grosserer L.F. Foght´s Foundation 2008, 2005, 2000. The Danmarks Nationalbank's Anniversary Foundation 2008, 2006, 2003, 2002, 1999.