SEEING THROUGH - Müllertz Mar-May 2019

Malene Müllertz
Exhibition 28 March – 4 May 2019
To look through, to see it all - and look around the world. - A cultural story.
The gallery shows new works by the renowned Danish ceramist Malene Müllertz.

She is the epitome of Danish craftsmanship, unique ceramics of the highest quality, - finest handcrafted design.

The works contains a wealth of detail and finesse - only to be found in the best ceramics – where craft, material and technique are elevated to a higher realm. Work of this nature requires courage and persistence.

But this is not all that is to be said. In addition to the first immediate admiration of the works' aesthetic and technical qualities, there are many more layers and the telling of her familial narratives.
Malene Müllertz shows us her memories and her own family history.
As she discreetly says about the new pots titled, My Chinese Grandmother:
"Yes, it is quite true." (quote: H.C.Andersen)

The teapots have fine curved legs, look as though they are travelling to or from the eastern world
- and it is actually quite true that they are directly related to the Chinese language of form and symbolism.

"My Chinese great-grandmother fell in love with a Swedish captain - and their daughter moved to Denmark and married a Danish actor, theatre and film maker."
Her family was enriched by cultural diversity, a 'can do' and travel courage.
- See, this is a true adventure ...

Grandma was a dear and great inspiration - and in her works Malene Müllertz is influenced by the cultural details of things from Grandma's home and her own adult life, filled with journeys abroad, linked to an affection for her own contemporary cultural history, films, literature, materials and textile tactility.

LEAF STEMS AND PORCELAIN LACE in the latest works come from the memory drawers, filled with textiles, baskets and lacquerware. Things that have been unconsciously seen and experienced from childhood - and throughout life.
The world and other peoples are part of most of our histories. - Where do we come from and what are the cultural differences our families brought with them, what enriched us? These legacies are a natural part of our own personal memory.

Müllertz has learnt to gather her impressions into beautifully crafted art pieces that reveal the many references in a present and poetic manner.

Story continues and we all benefit from the multitude of impressions that unfolds in her works.
The pieces can be seen through, seen from the inside and the outside at the same time and thus experienced as if in constant motion.
The cylinder reveals its sculptural properties in a harmonious balance and at the same time contains tension-filled interactions between the form, the ornamental detail of the surface and the qualities of materials.
Technically, every work is a marvel of carefully thought out experiments and the courage to attempt an idea that is revealed in the final piece.

Malene Müllertz has succeeded in creating apparently simple, yet complicated, technical, poetic, contemporaneous works of art with a cultural narrative that shall go down in history as eternal.

MALENE MÜLLERTZ (b. 1949) was educated from the Arts&Crafts School (Royal Academy of Crafts&Design) in Copenhagen 1965-70, Royal Art Academy, industrial design 1973-75. Artist at Bing & Grøndahl 1970-73, The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain 1977,82, own workshop since 1975. EXHIBITIONS in Denmark and internationally. Ceramic Ways: CLAY Ceramics Museum Denmark 2018, Anniversary Exhibition, Sophienholm 2015. Ann Linnemann Gallery Fragile 2012. Design Museum Denmark and Gallery Nørby 2007. Puls Contemporary Ceramics, Belgium. Collect, V&A Museum, London. MEMBER of the Artist Society and Ceramic Ways. Receives the Danish Arts Foundation's Lifetime Award.

Grateful thanks to The Danish Art Foundation for project funding in 2019.

TEXT & NOTES by Malene Müllertz
I go back to the humans first tools
- The braided basket.
It's a kind of dual shape, built up over several days, of soft extruded clay threads, without the use of a template and tool, just my eyes to check the shape is continuous.

The impression of the many dark threads running simultaneously and gathering, and finally creating the whole shape.
The geometric structure of 'threads' cocoons itself and expresses something eternally valid. - As the wasp builds its nest, round and round.

MY CERAMIC FYKES I see as when I see Willumsen's 'Village with a view of the mountains' in Málaga.
I would like to depict
what it is to look out into the world
- high up from the mountain.
I do my things so that we can (re)visit our life out in the world.

We have our two feet planted on the earth and only this one – it is a way to recognize our existence in simple but harmonious forms and structures.

Remembrance - Vulnerability.
Maybe my work resembles something we've encountered before - not concrete.
But in our memory there is something from eternity.
Maybe it's just the natural order we recognize.

For me it is important that my vessels/ structures are focused on themselves
- as one's own life cycle from here to there, a world resting in itself
- but also in the hope proactive in its substance,
a forceful symbol of our life, a reminder of our existence.

II know when it is right.
A sort of order where the boundaries are important for what a pot can 'accommodate'.
I'm still loyal to the original 'pot/ vessel'. Imprint the wet clay.
Finger taps. Sensitive feeling.
Concerned about describing vulnerability. And tenderness.
Moving on a knife edge.

I make them as a counterweight - and defence against the world's horror and misery - would not be able to be here to express vulnerability, if I am not allowed to make them.

What I love, and which to me is the whole inspiration and incentive, is where I work within a kind of framework
- and where I cautiously make myself clear, how far the clay can be moved.
The moment I open my kiln to see the final result - and see that my experiments have been successful, I see that my effort have been rewarded.
Craftsmanship is a fierce and demanding search within the physical boundaries of the materials and what they can do.

It gives us reminders of the fragility of life, our responsibility for nature – and, in all probability, as a kind of shield against all the world's troubles.

NATURE and BAROK - New net pots in stoneware and porcelain
The dark coarse clay is combined with chalk white porcelain - a technical and visual balancing act.
Here I have examined crafts such as embroidery, wickerwork, knitwear and textile (weaving) that can also move into 'another dimension'.
LEAF STEMS in the stoneware cylinder - and THE CROWN FLOWER in porcelain, combine the dark form with a dancing light and rhythmic top border.
The contrast between the dark earthly leaves - and the wind, clouds, dance and the lights of transparency.
- Still following the classic rules of a jar, that is formed in a circular movement.

At the same time as the nature-inspired vessels, which are still a great ballast and necessary part of my everyday life,
- I continue my paraphrase of the tea pot.
This time with pots that I call:
My Chinese Grandmother - (yes, it is quite true)

They look as if they will roll away, says Ursula Munch Petersen.

Small adventures, like looking out into the world high up, to spot sizes, a freedom to see, spatiality and..
I don't know where it comes from. - It presses itself on, and I 'hasten' to grab a pad and pencil - still tentatively draw a thin line that forms the idea.

Dark grey-spotted ceramic cylinder jar form, made as a net and attached with loose fragments.
The loose moving parts provide a vibrant and cheerful feeling when you take the net in your hands - beside providing a tinkling sound, like a thousand bells when it is moved.

The Marguerite flower has been my starting point in my sound basket, and the bright sticks that tilt back and forth equal the flower's stamens.
Visually and physically changeable as nature.
They are made on throwing-wheel, inserted a slab base, cut and brushed.
The tilt pins are modelled separately and mounted with small balls of light clay, carefully aligned with regard to the mobility.
Partially glazed after bisque-firing with a matt quartz-syenite stoneware glaze, and with a purpose-made cloth tool - to avoid melting of the loose parts during firing. Electric kiln at 1270C.


Born in 1949

1965-66 Ceramic workshop /internship
1965-70 Arts&Crafts School
1970-73 Employed as Artist at Bing & Grøndahl Porcelain Factory
1973-75 The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, industriel design
1977,82 Employed as Artist at the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Factory
1975 Own ceramic studio

Augustinus Fonden. Carlsberg Academy. CLAY Museum Denmark. Design Museum Denmark. Ellen & Knud Dalhoff Larsens Fond. Culture Ministry. Ny Carlsbergfondet. Danish Ar Foundation. Trapholt Museum, Kolding. The Danish Embassy, Berlin. Keramion, Frechen, Köln. Museum Het Princessehof, Leeuwarden. Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam. National Museum, Stockholm. Nordenfjeldske Art Museum, Norge. Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum, Schloss Gottorp. Sammlung Thiermann, Hamburg. Palmer Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University, USA. Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Tecnical Society Awards: Bronze 1970, Silver 1982
Danmarks Nationalbank's Anniversary Award, 1975,82,89,92,94,95,97,98,04,06
Danish Art Foundation stipend, 1985,91,93,95,97,99,01,03,05
Artist-in-residence San Cataldo, Italy, 1985
Johs. Krøyer's Award, 1985
Ole Haslund's Artist Award, 1986
Danish Art Foundation 3-year Stipend, 1988-91
Tuborg Award, 1992
Politiken's Award, 1992
Artist-in-residence Spain, Fondación Valparaiso, 1993
Artist of the Year, JyllandsPosten, 1995
Residency Award, Paris, Ludvig Preetzmann-Aggerholms Fond, 1995
C.L. Davids Legat for slægt og venner, 1997, 98 02 og 06
L.F Foghts Award, 1997
Lis Ahlman's Award, 2002
Solar Fonden, 2003
Beckett Fonden 2003,06
Residency Award, Berlin, Jyllands-Posten, 2004
Oticon Award, 2004, 06
Kong Christian X's Award, 2004
Augustinusfonden, 2006
Inga & Ejvind Kold Christensen Award, 2007

Design Museum Denmark, Copenhagen, 1983
Galerie Heidi Schneider, Zurich, 1983
Galerie L, Hamburg, 1984
Blås & Knåda, Stockholm, 1985
Galleri K, Copenhagen, 1985
Vestsjælland Art Museum, Sorø, 1988
CLAY Museum Denmark, 1995
Designmuseum Danmark, 'New Ceramic Boxes', 1997
Næstved Museum, Boderne, 'Najade Dreams', 1997
Galleri Björnen, Stockholm, 1999
Galleri Granberger, Sweden, 1998
Galleri Nørby, 'New Ceramic Works', 2000
Galleri Nørby, 'Network', 2002
Puls Contemporary Ceramics' Brussels, 2003
Design Museum Denmark, 'New Ceramic Works', 2007
Galleri Nørby, Copenhagen, 2007
Sophienholm, 'Ceramic Ways ', 2009
Ann Linnemann Gallery 'Fragile', 2012
Kaolin, Stockholm, 2012
Sophienholm, Anniversary 'Ceramic Ways', 2015.
CLAY Museum Denmark, 'Ceramic Ways', 2018

Charlottenborg, Spring Exhibition, 1970,77,84
Viborg Stiftsmuseum, 1975
Design Museum Denmark, 1976,77,80,82,85,96,03,05
Royal Copenhagen Porcelain, Copenhagen, 1977
Galleri Sluis, Leidschendam, 'Boxes', 1981,85
Palmer Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University, USA, 1981
Museum für Kunst und Geerbe, Hamburg, 1981
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY, USA, 1982
Wilhelm Hagg Museum, Ludigshafen, 1984
Oldenburg Stadtmuseum, Germany, 1984
Fyn's Art Museum, 1984
Den Frie, 'Keramiske Veje', 1985,87,89,92,94,97,00,04
Esbjerg Kunstforenings Samling (w. Vibeke Klint), 1988
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 'Scandinavian Ceramics & Glass in the Twentieth Century', 1989
Singer Museum, Laren, Holland, 1990
Viborg Kunstmuseum (w Vibeke Klint), 1990
Kunstindustrimuseet, Helsinki, 'Art and Industry in Ceramics', 1992
'Keramik Europas', Keramikmuseum Westerwald, Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany, 1993
'Keramik Europas', Museum Het Princessehof, Leeuwarden, 1994
Bornholms Museum, Gudhjem, 1994
Art Museum Trapholt,'Danske Keramiktriennale', Kolding, 1994
Galleri Lejonet, Stockholm, 1995
City Art Centre, 'From the Golden Age to the Present Day', Edinburgh, 1995
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, 'Danish Ceramics', Rotterdam, 1995
Galerie Besson, 'Danish Pots and their Influence', London, 1995
Sophienholm, ' Danish Ceramics 1850-1997', Lyngby, 1997
Haderslev Museum, 'Danish Ceramics', 1998
Sigtuna Museum, 'Danish Ceramics', Stockholm, 2001
Galleri Yofuko, 'Euro Art/Clay', Tokyo, 2001
Nordjylland Art Museum, 'Flet', 2001
Borreby Castle Gallery, 2001
'From the Kilns of Denmark', travel exhibition, USA/EU/ American Craft Museum, NY, 2002
Danish Embassy, Berlin, 2004
Gallery Carlin & Maison Danemark, Paris, 2004
De tiendschuur Tegelen Museum, 'Danish Ceramics', Holland, 2005
Designmuseum Danmark, 'Kunstforeningen af 14. August', 2005
COLLECT ART FAIR, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2005,06,07
SOFA ART FAIR, New York 2008,09,10,11
Ann Linnemann Gallery 'Master Pieces', 2018

Kunstnersamfundet and 'Ceramic Ways'
Danish Art Foundation, Lifelong Artist Award, 2007