Nagel (b. 1979 in Jena, Germany) apprenticed under the potter Kinya Ishikawa in Canada in 2001, according to his biography on Art Aurea. From 2002-2008 he studied ceramics at the HKD Burg Giebichenstein in Halle. He started his own ceramics workshop in Halle in 2008. The following year he received a scholarship at the Culture Foundation in Cove Park, Scotland. He presently teaches ceramics at the Burg Giebichenstein, a position he’s held since 2012. His biography describes his experiments with vessel forms.
“His vessels are more rhetorical figures than objects for practical use. Johannes Nagel is bold enough to elevate the tradition-laden theme of the vessel to a program in its own right. And he is uncompromising enough to narrow this theme to the exemplary vessel form of the vase. But when he does so, he probably isn’t thinking about flowers.”
Many of the works take on the look of natural life forms, though it’s intriguing to us that many of these life forms look as though they have been touched by great age or natural conflict. The flowers comment above is on-point. If these are biology they’re more like fungi or gnarled, deep forest-hardened trees. Other vessels of his appear to be more mechanical, but they have been affected by some corrosive action over the course of their long lives. Please enjoy these best examples of Nagel’s contemporary ceramic art and, whether you love them or loathe them, tell us what you think in the comments.