Special Exhibition


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June 12 - July 24, 2005


Michael Cleff, Germany - Edmund de Waal, Great Britain

Edmund deWaal
born 1964

Artists Statement

I love the ‘visible imperfections’ that come from the gestures of throwing and handling clay and the fierce symmetries of industrial porcelain, the vessels of the chemical laboratory. My pots span both these histories. Working in Japan has given me a feeling for how pots can work in the hand, how their heft, balance and texture matters. So my pots are slightly bashed, slightly crooked and tell of their making.

For the last eight years I have also been making installation groups. I called them ‘cargoes’ of pots, an image that came from the images of sunken cargoes of porcelain.

There are few images of groups of porcelain – we are much more used to seeing single pieces in isolated splendour – and this has haunted me. This focus on installation has allowed me to be ambitious in making pots that challenge architectural space. My installation groups focus on the ways in which subtle modulations are manifested through repetition.

Much of my recent work explores the different colours that make up white. These new pieces look at how colour change through shadow.

All these pots were made in porcelain as I believe that it is the porcelain that is the matrix for East and West, the Sung dynasty and the Bauhaus.

It remains to a powerfully contemporary medium.
Edmund de Waal


Michael Cleff
born 1961 in Bochum

For many years Michael Cleff's sculptures have impressed with their concentrated power, a power drawn from their simplicity, from their compactness and from the stringency with which Cleff pursues and powers forward his intention, continuously studying his concept, drawing new conclusions and gaining new insights.

His use of geometrical shapes or multi-storeyed rotunda most readily suggests parallels with architecture. Not only because the clay forms he constructs have been fired as hard as clinker; much more than this, it is the subjects he draws on, the relationship between the basic ground plan and the total volume, the way vertical and horizontal interact; it is the way the various elements composing the surfaces create their own rhythms, the way in which the internal and external interlock, the subjects the sculptor chooses, and the features that coincide with classical architectural tasks.

Cleff's language is spartan, yet never cold. The forms he uses are strict, yet never dogmatic. What interests him is the reduction of phenomena to enable satisfying perception, of one's own voice, one's own reactions, and ultimately of one's own self. What he creates is the discovery, the plan and the accessibility of our own inner rooms. In the midst of a raging torrent of information and events, he constructs and opens up rooms for us, where we can withdraw into our imagination; refuges for our thoughts, oases of quietness, and places where we can encounter our own quest and experience.

Gabi Dewald : „Don’t say much. On Silence“, 2004 (Extract). In: Michael Cleff: Something of Everything. Sculptural work. Stadtmuseum Hattingen, Catalog.


"Über Grundrisse", 2004
H = 35 cm
"Über Addition", 2004
H = 30 cm
"Über Innen und Außen", 2004
H = 47,5 cm
"Über Addition", 2005
H = 23 cm
"Über Addition", 2004
H = 29 cm
"Über Addition", 2004
H = 33 cm
Opening: June 12, 2005, 11:30 a.m.
Brief address:

Lady Mayor, Mrs. Beate Weber
Jane Hamlyn, England

Opening speeches:
Gabi Dewald, Germany
Tanya Harrod, England


opening hours:

Tuesday to Saturday 11.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. & 2.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m
Sunday, July 24: 11.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.

exhibition site:

Galerie Heller
Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 2
Im Stadtgarten
D-69117 Heidelberg

Phone: ++49 (0) 6221 - 61 90 90


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