“What used to be created in a single ecstatic session is now comes to be in many small steps, due to illness and age….” This is what Lotte Reimers, who was born in 1932, wrote in the introduction to her most recent “Bilderbögen” (“Picture Album”) in 2018. Fortunately, this is not evident in her ceramics. The “Bilderbögen” is a small catalogue. As always brilliantly photographed by ad lumina Ralph Ziegler, it contains pictures of her ceramics of the past year in large images against a dark gray background. Nearly 70 objects will shown in the exhibition, which takes place at the artist’s home in the winemaking town of Deidesheim from September 7 to 22,2019. The 44-page catalogue presents 33 works, i.e. almost half of the objects on display.
As Lotte Reimers reveals in the foreword, she used not only lightly speckled or coarser, light brownish fireclay, but also finer, almost white material containing fireclay. In the “battalion” of her ceramics of the past decades, the artist sees “familiar formal accents appearing again in 2018 as if from wafts of mist, as well as new forms such as the ‘neck ruffs,’ single or multiple, on the neck or as a waist constriction.”
Apart from that, her new pieces continue the forms of expression and color schemes of past years: powerful, freely constructed vessels, from flat round bowls to angular and round forms or a combination of both. More than a few of the pieces are conically tapered at their tops or flow upward from the vessel’s bulbous body toward a chimney-like neck, which also recalls an extinct volcano. This impression is sometimes reinforced by black glaze, which seems to flow downward over lighter, earthy colors. A stocky form with a neck ruff – the art historian Marlene Jochem terms it “smoked” – calls to mind a primeval dwelling or an animal’s torso. In a series of recent works, the upwardly striving form is structured by irregular gradations, slight cantilevers or slender grooves.
A section titled “Zur Erinnerung” (“Reminder”) at the back of the “Bilderbogen” contains two reports on the two exhibitions that Lotte Reimers staged in October and November 2018 in Landshut, where she showed her works under the title “Ceramic Dialogue” together with pieces by students of the Landshut Ceramics School. A small photo shows her surrounded by students. The exhibition “Geteilte Erde – Shared Ground” at the Sculpture Museum im Hofberg once again impressively demonstrated the formal and spiritual relationship between Lotte Reimers’ ceramics and the paintings of the Australian Aborigines. The striking parallels between Australia’s contemporary indigenous painting and the ceramics of Lotte Reimers can certainly be seen as evidence of common roots among all artists, indeed all people, across times and borders. Be that as it may, let’s appreciate these similarities as a human fact and as an opposite pole to the dreary nationalist tendencies of our time.