The possibility of a vessel

English New Art Centre gallery shows vessels by ceramic artist Johannes Nagel


Exhibition view “Vessels, perhaps” at the New Art Center in Salisbury, Great Britain.

Until March 22nd Johannes Nagel‘s solo exhibition will take place in the New Art Centre in Roche Court (Great Britain). The exhibition titled Vessels, perhaps will include ceramics from his Improvisorium and New Jazz/Isolator series. Nagel last showed at Roche Court in 2014 in the Design Show curated by Sarah Griffin. She describes perfectly the experimental nature of Nagel’s ceramics: “Nagel reverses the axiom that form has to follow function, letting spontaneity and inaccuracy of method determine the outcome of each pot”. The title of Nagel’s current exhibition also sums up the improvised and experimental nature of his approach. It is taken from an article by another potter he admires greatly, Edmund de Waal, who wrote in the journal Think Tank 01 (2004) about a pot which defied a museum curator’s attempts to describe it and the potential poetry of objects which such resist categorisation: “It is a moment caught between pathos (the curator struggling to define an object) and insight (how can we list the objects in our lives?). It seems apposite for those of us who are attempting to find languages in which to talk about objects: how do we move from the unknown into the known? And how do we keep the ‘perhaps’ alive…?”

Of his own work, Johannes Nagel has written: “The subject of my work specifically is the improvised and provisional. The objects are finished in that the porcelain is painted (glazed) and fired. Most objects are somehow vessels, pots. What else are they? The attempt to confuse the connotations that technology and material provoke. At times constructive composing, at times wilful destruction, sometimes vases, sometimes fragments or alienated objects. Improvised are the handling of the material and the methods of creating volume and shape – sawed, dug out, stacked, found or painted on. The joints and fissures, the blots of colour and unfinished painting appear provisional as they point from the finished object to the instant of making. It is not the perfection of the ultimate expression that is intended but to verbalize a concept of the evolution of things. What sort of a function do vessels have today? What may they contain? I hardly ever thought of flowers.”

Photos press materials

  • New Art Centre
    Roche Court
    East Winterslow
    Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 1BG
    Great Britain
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