It is the 34th year of Marianne Heller`s gallery in Heidelberg. And without any doubt: it is a little wonder to run a business like that for such a long time successfully – if it is a high leveled gallery for contemporary ceramic art and if it is in Germany! But isn`t it in the nature of wonders to be unique...?! Anyway: Also in 2012 Marianne Heller`s program proves her to be the No. 1 address for international ceramics in this country – there will be six exhibitions with new work by nineteen artists from Europe and Japan, from all artistic fields in ceramics and slightly beyond...
Until the 29th of January there are still the enchanting animal sculptures by the Scots artist Susan O'Byrne in the gallery. Under the title "Fox - Marten - Hare - and some other beasts" we meet the creatures of local fauna in a fabulous manner just as if they had risen from an old storybook, seeming delicate and frail while made of strange coloured and decorated shards.
A show of three artists will be the true kick-off of this years program, a fascinating mixture of jewellery, vessels and sculpture at the highest stage: „Frozen, thrown and folded...“ – from 12th of February to the 1st of April. Once again the gallery program includes contemporary art jewellery, this time by Sam Tho Duong who was born in Vietnam and skilled in Germany as a jewellery designer. His silver necklace and brooches are covered with hundreds of freshwater rice pearls and look like small fruit and twigs mantled with frost and ice crystals. A well known artist in the gallery is Thomas Bohle from Austria. His auratic double walled vessels, more stringent than ever, combine an ideal shape with premium reduction glazes into perfect objects. Bernd Fischer studied at the University of Kassel with Prof. Ralf Busz but left the vessel as a subject of his work. Now he mounts slabs of paperclay and coloured clay – gray-black, white, red or yellow, folded, bended, torn – into large wall sculptures that deny in some way to be made of clay. Like having lost their weight they appear like rubber, felt or thick cloth.
“About Buildings and Vessels...” will show contrasts from the 15th of April to the 27th of May. The cool abstract sculptures by the Irish artist Michael Moore remind us of rock formations abraded by wind or of models of swinging postmodern architecture. Grey, blue or black lines mark the white elegant bodies like dynamic vectors. In contrast the ceramics by the Norwegian potter Svein Narum is in fact warm and domestic. Oval and squared plates, well rounded jugs covered with yellowish slip and painted in green and the colour of honey – a good tradition of domestic ware but with finesse and freedom only an artist can offer.
Also world-famous Claudi Casanovas from Spain and Alev Ebüzziya Siesbye, born in Turkey and now living in Paris, will make a pair of opposites with their exhibition “Earth and Heaven” from the 17th of June to the 2th of September. Made of coloured, heavy grogged clays the sculptures by Claudi Casanovas are throughout earthen. Like worn, burst boulders they seem to be more like nature than man-made but nevertheless they are subtle compositions – art brut in ceramics, abstract memento mori. Alev Ebüzziya Siesby is considered to be a classic of the art of the minimalistic vessel. Poising on tiny bases her stunning bowls follow the idea of an absolute vessel evoking the presence of mediterranean culture.
All friends of “Figurative Sculpture” will find many folks scurrying in the gallery from the 7th of October to the 18th of November. Seven sculptors have chosen a device each and gather their peoplets, beasties and hybrids – ironic, witty but in no way un-serious: Kirsten Brünjes (“Of Man and Beast”) - Marianne Eggimann (“Relatives”) - Theresia Hebenstreit (“Luzie is back”) - Martin Neubert (“Breakfast with Clowns”) - Sybille Onnen (“Wallrunner”) - Silvia Siemes (“Staying – Waiting”) - Beate Thiesmeyer (“Female Dwarfs and some other helpful beings”).
“Tokyo as guest” is the culmination and conclusion of the gallery year. From 2nd of December until the beginning of 2013 there will be the third co-operation with the Yufuku Gallery Tokyo presenting four ceramic artists from Japan. Unglazed, sculpture-like stoneware-pots by Ken Mihara – vessel-objects between tradition and innovation by award-winning Masahiko Ichino – perforated porcelains apparently made of matter and nothingness, of light and shadow by Yasuko Sakurai – and strict cylindrical vases of coloured and glazed porcelain by Masaru Nakbada – a feast for all lovers of Japanese ceramic art!
Dr. Walter Lokau, Bremen