The contemporary ceramic art of Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl at Galleri Format Oslo all emphasize their fundamental existence in space. The exhibition, Possible Gestures runs through January 21 – February 28 in Oslo. Through his precise formal elaboration of the material, even a casual and banal gesture in space is attributed significance. With a vigilant eye for the monumental within the insignificant, the artist himself works to create the conditions for shaping an intuitive, spatial form. He works from an overall vision, while at the same time making obstacles for himself in order to lose some of his control. Out of numerous pieces of cut clay tubes, the artist builds parts that are later assembled into larger structures, that rise and fall, randomly dancing and groping their way through space. The sculptural statements might be emerging out of a mental void. They exist, but they could just as easily have looked completely different. They are results of a distracted sense and thus remain pure sculptural movements – like a captured account of the moment.
For the exhibition at Gallery Format, Kaldahl has made works of a larger scale than before. The works have all been made during an artist’s residency in the ceramics department at KhiO, Oslo National Academy of the Arts in the autumn of 2015. The works are interpretations of basic elements in visual imagery, e.g. the line as sculpture or the sphere as a three dimensional reference to the point. The enclosed ring is the pivotal point of several works; in a simple shape placed directly on the floor or as sculptural stackings. The artist equally exploits aspects related to the textural and color potential of ceramics itself.
Throughout his career Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl has worked with various formal expressions in clay. One returning theme has been the knot as a spatial figure. He has made series of works, where natural form and cultural construction are juxtaposed – one reflecting the other. His interest lies in the potential of the form to make a direct emotional impact on the viewer. The motif is always clear in its simplicity – you see what you see – but the work equally displays a time-dimension, that underlines the banal starting point and inscribes the work into a tradition, where the precise elaboration is a self-evident precondition.
Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl (born 1954) lives and works in Copenhagen. He was educated at the Royal College of Art in London (MA, 1990). His works are represented in several public and private collections, e.g. the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Musée d’Art Decoratifs, Paris; Kunstindustrimuseet, Oslo; Röhsska Museum, Gothenburg; Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen; Trapholt Art Museum, DK; CLAY/Grimmerhus, Museum of International Ceramic Art, DK; MIMA, Middlesborough, UK; Diane and Marc Grainer Collection, Washington DC; Annie and Otto Johs. Detlefs’ Foundation, DK; Aller Media, DK. Recent exhibitions include: Random Growth, PHOs Art and Design, London, 2015/16; NeC Gallery, Paris, 2014 (solo); X-Scapes, Copenhagen Ceramics, 2014 (with Marit Tingleff); The Ceramic Object, Gallery Format, Oslo, 2014; Danish Design at the House, Sydney Opera House, 2013; Other Objects, Copenhagen Ceramics, 2012 (solo); PULS Contemporary Ceramics, Brussels, 2011 (solo); Contemporary British Studio Ceramics, Mint Museum, North Carolina, US, 2010; Mindcraft 09, Milan 2009; The Digital Clay, Designmuseum Denmark, 2008; END – Engelsk-Norwegian-Danish group exhibition, Designmuseum Danmark, 2007. Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl is a part-time teacher at SuperFormLab at KADK, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation. He was a co-initiator of the exhibition platform, Copenhagen Ceramics in 2011.
Text (edited) and photographs courtesy of the gallery.
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