Spotted is our semi-regular grab bag of odds n’ ends from the contemporary ceramic art world. This week we have auction workers goofing around, scandalous porcelain by Bouke de Vries, German design for the kitchen, and satanic boomboxes. Enjoy!
Above image: An auction employee poses with a ceramic plate by Picasso entitled “Visage aux grands yeux” at the Christie’s auction house in London, Britain February 17, 2016. The piece forms one of over one hundred and fifty lots from the former London family home of British musician Sting and his wife, British actress Trudie Styler, the inside of which has been recreated at the showroom, and will be auctioned in London on February 24. Photograph by Toby Melville for Reuters.
“Spoonless” is a series of kitchen containers designed by Berlin studio Murken Hansen Product Design. They describe the set as creating a warm atmosphere in the kitchen. By simply removing the cork, the user can pour the contents from the small spout without using a spoon.
The studio was founded in 1999 and has worked for German and international clients. They state of their practice:
Our design aim is to make things better. We like: clarity, simplicity, intelligence, traditions, idea ping-pong, german functionalism, working on ideas for a long time, knowledge that is not hardened to certainty, people that make things happen.
These machine-like contemporary ceramic art sculptures come to us from artist Doug Herren, who is represented by the Snyderman Works Gallery in Philadelphia. His artist statement sheds some light on the unique appearance of these works:
My current work derives from my training as a functional potter. In my most recent work I create oversized vessel forms….teapots, vases, platters, etc….that are infused with an industrial sensibility. These are sectional forms that must be pieced together because of their scale. While the sources I use are utilitarian pottery forms, I have recast them to resemble industrial detritus. While there is still the echo of function in these pieces, that function and purpose can only be guessed at and intuited. I depart further from my past work as a potter in the treatment of surfaces. Rather than the use of traditional pottery glazes for finishing, I strive to replicate the surfaces of abandoned machinery. Here I employ sign-painter’s paints in multiple layers applied over a black-matt glazed surface. Then I scrub the surfaces with steel wool to erode and distress planes and edges, exposing under-layers of color. The result actually gives an extra punch to the overall color palette.
I have several days of techno stored on a phone no larger than my palm, but I have to admit: I miss my janky-ass, six D-battery-at-a-time-consuming boom box sometimes. Artist Tom Sachs taps into that feeling with Boombox Retrospective, 1999-2016 (Brooklyn, April 21 – August 14) at the Brooklyn Museum. New York Times’ T Magazine describes the show:
The exhibition collects nearly two dozen of Sachs’s imaginatively jerry-built audio devices. The show is a historical excavation — a tribute to the portable music players that occupied center stage in popular culture from the mid-’70s to the late ’80s, from the golden age of disco to hip-hop. It is also a record of Sachs’s decades-long obsession with music and the now-outmoded machines that once blasted it out into the world. “The nostalgia I feel for these boomboxes is intense,” Sachs said. “But it’s not exactly nostalgia — because I haven’t let them go. I just kind of keep building them and scattering them around my everyday life.”
Sachs taps into something that isn’t quite sentimentality and isn’t quite junk hoarding and builds a show around it. Hail Satan Ceramics!
Von Pelt is a design collective made up of semi-anonymous members who go to lengths to hide their faces on their web site. They come from a diverse background of contemporary ceramics, literature, textiles and graphic design. Their members hail from places such as London, Berlin, and Spain. They say of themselves:
All united in a common quest for originality, innovation and quality… The style has a strong narrative and the historical and cultural references are glazed with a layer of wit.
VP design studio will be producing Ceramics, rugs, furniture, lights, installations accessories and art projects.
Be sure to check back in a week for more ephemera from the world of contemporary ceramic art!
Do you love or loathe these works? Let us know in the comments.