MIAMI, Fla. — Another Design Miami/ Basel (or Design Miami/, or Basel Miami, pick your preference) is in the bag. The proclaimed global forum for design held its show from June 14th to 19th. We’ve yet to hear of any egregious ridiculousness which we’ve come to expect from such large markets, which is great because we came across some fascinating contemporary ceramic art on show. Maybe the talent was given more room to breathe this go-round. Times change, we guess.
We’re presenting our selections from the show along with brief biographies of the different makers. Enjoy!
Emily Gardiner of Brighton, UK, made an appearance with works of gravity-defying liquid glaze— ribbons of white ascending from lifeless black forms. She was represented by A Future Made of London. The artist describes her work:
“The physicality of matter and the convergence and collision of materials is at the heart of Emily’s sculptural ceramic work, whether exploring underlying elements of chaos and order, symbiosis and growth or the physical structure of glaze.”
Represented by Hostler Burrows, NYC, Kristina Riska was showcasing some of her biomorphic ceramic baskets, though you could be forgiven for mistaking them for sculptures. Riska began as a ceramic artist at the University of Art and Design, Finland. She’s known for large-scale pottery, although the piece here is much more restrained (seeing a theme?) She also set herself apart by embracing artistry over functionality, even going against the grain of some her classmates. The gallery says of her work:
“…Riska instead took a vigorous physical approach to her work. She would (as she does now) begin to conceptualize her works on paper, her designs ultimately coming to fruition spontaneously as she worked. She prioritized artistry above functionality and despite the demanding and time-consuming process she engaged in, her impressive yield was that of unique ceramic works that transcended the boundaries of art and design.”
“Biomorphic” is going to come up a lot in this post. I suppose German sculptor Johannes Nagel gets one, too. He’s different in that the works like geological just as much as they look like coral, or bone from some strange hitherto-undiscovered creature. Nagel is represented by Gallery Fumi.
Los Angeles glitterati twins the Haas Brothers exhibited with R & Company, showing one of their accretion vases. Styled after a mons pubis (that’s the first time I’ve written those words in more than a decade of being a writer), the heavily-textured form looks hairy even though it’s made of porcelain. Their biography calls their work “biomorphic,” which is certainly one way to put it.
“Twin brothers Simon and Nikolai Haas run their eponymous furniture design and fabrication studio out of Los Angeles, from which they create everything from set design to wearable art, masks for Lady Gaga to gold-leafed furniture for Louis Vuitton stores. Nikolai apprenticed as a master carver and Simon studied blacksmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design—and together their pieces, while sleek, still retain some traces of artisanal handiwork. Their seating and vessels often combine futuristic finishes with biomorphic forms.”
We love this dinner set designed by Copenhagen artist Michael Geertsen. It’s something of a showstopper. The Sarah Myerscough Gallery said that movement is a consistent motif in his work, which works because the golden, flower-like forms on each piece are expanding outward. They remind me of high-speed photography images that show a projectile passing through an apple. Geertsen, according to his biography, was:
“…(T)rained as a potter in Stensved, Denmark in 1988 and graduated from the department of Industrial Design at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in 1993. 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.”
A unique vase made by the late André Borderie in the 1960s was shown by the Thomas Fritsch-ARTIUM, also of Paris. The piece, the gallery states, works as both an abstract painting and a sculpture. Each view of the decor will turn up something slightly different. According to the artist’s biography:
“André Borderie’s practice combines the practicality of furniture making with the subtle craft of sculpture. His sleek and modern pieces, ranging from seating and tables to decorative objects, reflect a style derivative of the simplest geometric forms—the triangle, the circle, and the square. He began his practice as the result of a chance encounter with artists Pierre and Vera Székely in post-war Vienna, a fruitful collaboration through which he would produce some of the most sensual and simple ceramic objects.”
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramics and contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.