Rebecca Maeder is a Swiss artist who received her MA in ceramics from Seoul National University in 2015. She creates voluptuous vessels through repetitive processes of addition or subtraction. Maeder’s touch is removed from the work, relying on process to develop the organic forms and textures. She won the Design Prize for her work Archeological Cup at the XI Biennal Internacional de Cerámica de Manises in 2013. She is represented by several galleries including Galerie Claudia Geiser.
Above Image: Rebecca Maeder, from the Eros series.
In her three series of work using balloons as molds, beginning with Coelenteron in 2004, she brilliantly captures the fluid nature of the liquid clay. Coelenterate was created by dripping layers of slip over a balloon, slowly building up the fluid surface and taking on the incredible volume of the inflatable. Where often the seductive material qualities of wet clay are lost in the firing she manages to maintain it. Her recent series of vessels created when pursuing her MA in Seoul take a reductive approach to making, while maintaining the same organic qualities and voluminous forms seen in her previous work.
Maeder’s touch is not present in her sculptures but has given way to organic generation to create form and texture. The detail present, particularly in Maeder’s new work, appears so fine that it looks “grown” like fungus or mold. This detail makes the work more related to nonrepresentational realism. Although the process makes them “real” the forms and textures are still invented, pushing them towards a beautiful moment of suspended disbelief of a fictional fantasy world. Maeder’s titles also hint at her interest in the natural world with Coelenterate being an aquatic invertebrate and “acanth” (from Acanthocoelenteron) as the Greek prefix meaning “thorn.”
Justin Crowe is Writer-at-Large for CFile.
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