An Interview with Morten Løbner Espersen

The Seven Deadly Sins. Ceramic Art of the danish artist Morten Løbner Espersen.

Morten Lobner Espersen. Portrait

Morten Lobner Espersen. Photo Christian Yde Frostholm

Art Aurea What was it that sparked your interest in ceramics in the first place?

Morten Løbner Espersen I always liked to draw and paint as a kid, but when I as a teenager did my first night class in ceramics, I realized that working with a three dimensional material was so much more rewarding for me.

AA Did you have any role models? And, if so, who influenced you most?

MLE I have had many along the way, my grandfather who painted and encouraged me to do the same, my first teacher in clay, who taught me to just keep on centring the lump of clay even when results seemed far away. Some teachers and various artists that took my breath away: Bernard Pallisy, Aksel Salto, Hans Cooper, George Ohr among others.

AA For a long time, you created eminently clear-cut, unsophisticated shapes that served you as a kind of canvas for your complex, multi-layered glazes. Do you want these objects to be regarded as works of art, or should they rather be used primarily in everyday life, for example as flower vases?

MLE To me works of art are many things. Maybe all human attempts to make art is art. It is very important for me however to make a distinction between poor art and great art. My cylindrical vessels are art works – with or without flowers. Function as such doesn’t remove the artistic dimension. Lack of quality does.

AA You say that you risk an object’s complete destruction by your glazes. Why?

MLE I do it to obtain true beauty. When I strive to make a large complex surface and vibrant colours in my work, I often re-fire my work, trying to achieve that extra depth, the magic. But clay can suffer technically from several firings and at some point the vessel break. I take this risk because no result is better than a mediocre one.

Morten Lobner Espersen, Ceramics

Morten Lobner Espersen, ceramics. Photo Christian Yde Frostholm

Morten Lobner Espersen, Exhibition at Brutto Gusto

Morten Lobner Espersen, Exhibition at Brutto Gusto

Questions Reinhold Ludwig

Read the whole article in the print edition of ART AUREA 3-2015

You find more information on the current exhibition at Brutto Gusto here.