North – South – East – West: Marianne Heller's 2014 exhibition program follows every cardinal direction to present a choice quality of ceramic art (and more...) in beautiful Heidelberg. In its 36th year her gallery confirms the reputation of being Germany's centre of international activities in the field of contemporary ceramics.
For a start, there will be a remarkable dual exhibition titled “Interplay” covering already three quarts of the compass circle: South-Korea- and Finland-based Suku Park (*1947) and British Ken Eastman (*1960) – both well-known in the Heidelberg gallery – are showing new works from the 9th of March to the 13th of April. Distantly referring to the idea of a vessel Ken Eastman is refining his work consistently. His former starting point was a cylindrical shape but nowadays he assembles his works from undulated, sharp edged slabs constituting an irregular spatial object. Its surfaces are covered with a kind of smooth, matte Color Field painting evoking a three dimensional vibrant color chord, coherently combining sculpture and painting. Wandering between East and West Suku Park is silently occupying space itself in a poetical manner: Drop-shaped, pastel-colored forms are filling the room like large scale frozen rain – ignoring gravity with charming lightness and throwing lively shadows. His wall works are completely different: Cuboids, sometimes angled, like isolated elements of architectural plans with red, yellow or black colored surfaces. But he is also proving his steadfast love with vessels building large, side-handled bowls. The opening speech will be given by Michael Moore, Reader and Head of Centre for Applied Art Research at the University of Ulster, Belfast School of Art and Design. And the last Sunday of the exhibition (13th of April) will be enriched with an extra presentation by jewellery designer Tamara Grüner (*1978), second part of last year's “Pasticchio”.
This is followed by another quite contrasting dual show from the 4th of May to the 7th of June: “Bremen Duet” – Kirsten Brünjes (*1964) and Bernd Fischer (*1956), both – unsurprisingly! – Bremen based. Kirsten Brünjes' bizarre but also whimsical and delicate man-beast-hybrids are affecting and alienating any viewer at the same time whereas Bernd Fischer's large wall works made of torn and folded slabs of paperclay seem to loose materiality because of their texture and monochromacity. The opening speaker will extend the duet into a trio: It's me speaking...
Arnold Annen (*1952) from Switzerland, an “extremist” of contemporary porcelain, is showing “Extreme Porcelain” from the 22nd of June to the 27th of July. The obsessed craftsman is able to process the “white gold” into unbelievably thin-walled translucent, sheer unreal bowls but also into large-scale rotation-symmetric solid objects. The extraordinary artist is introduced by Dr. Sally Schöne, head of the Hetjens-Museum Düsseldorf.
The gallery's focus Japan will come into its own from the 10th of August to the 21st of September. Another cooperation with Yufuku Gallery Tokio is titled “The Beauty of Materials” showing not only ceramics (amongst others Masahiko Ichino's bowls or Atsushi Takagaki's celadon vessels) but also Japan's highly advanced craftsmanship treating glass, metal, lacquer and bamboo. This delicacy is prepared for all friends of the culture of the Far East by opening speaker Dr. Nora von Achenbach, head of the East Asian and Islamic Art department at the Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg.
This year's Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2014 will be Finland. So what could be more obvious than showing ceramics of Finnish artists at the gallery again? „Introducing Finland“ from the 5th of October to the 16th of November – Erna Aaltonen, Åsa Hellman, Eliisa Isoniemi, Kirsi Kivivirta, Pekka Paikkari, Heikki Rahikainen, Kristina Riska, Johanna Rytkölä, Kim Simonsson, Caroline Slotte, Kati Tuominen-Niittylä. The artists will publish a catalogue and the exhibition will be opened by Jakob Köllhofer, director of the German-American Institute in Heidelberg.
Last but not least, and lasting until the beginning of 2015, there will be another dual exhibition: “Figure & Abstraction” from the 30th of November 2014 until the 11th of January 2015. Silvia Siemes (*1960) is showing her pausing, “lost in reverie” sculptures of today's people, Michael Cleff (*1960) is presenting his cryptic stoneware sculptures reminiscent of architecture and wall works.
Just a reminder: All openings take place Sundays 11.30 a.m. The gallery is open between the special exhibitions showing ceramic art from own stock.
Dr. Walter Lokau, Bremen