For twelve years, Brutto Gusto enlivened Torstrasse in Berlin-Mitte with its unique mix of art gallery and flower shop. In addition to the permanently displayed range of vessels and sculptures made of ceramics, porcelain, glass and metal, there were also solo exhibitions several times a year featuring international greats such as the ceramic artists Morten Løbner Espersen, Guido Geelen, Johannes Nagel or Guido Sengle. Geer Pouls, who is responsible for the gallery section, keenly appreciated works by glass artists such as Ritsue Mishima or Massimo Micheluzzi. But this Dutchman also has a flair for original vintage vases and surprises us with the surrealistic objects by Johanna Schweizer. All this became an inspiring, sensual dialogue between art and nature with a table adorned by magnificent flowers or twigs and the floristic skills of his partner Takayuki Tomita.
The complete program has been available since November 2020 on the new premises at Wielandstrasse 34 in Charlottenburg. Geer Pouls says: “After twelve years of being established in Berlin-Mitte, we are following the natural cyclic moves of the gallery scene, getting ready to open our doors with refreshed excitement at our new address in Charlottenburg. There is nothing better than to celebrate this occasion by presenting a selection of what has shaped our reputation in the city’s setting – containers/sculptures made of ceramic, porcelain, glass and metal made by a careful pick of our roster of artists who are reviving the international circuit of contemporary crafts – tradition with a touch of nonconformity.” Founded in Rotterdam 32 years ago, Brutto Gusto continues to thrive with “a concept that blurs the boundaries between fine arts, crafts and horticulture.”
Wietske van Leeuwen – Collages and Assemblages
By Thimo te Duits
Who doesn’t know the paintings of the Milanese Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo? His eccentric and comical work – imaginary portraits in which the faces are dense collages of vegetables, fruit, fish, books or baskets – was much appreciated amongst royalty and the nobility. His paintings ended up in Cabinets of Curiosities, where they were a welcome addition to collections of natural history. Fruits and vegetables were perishable, but in painted form they could still be archived in surveys of the earth’s treasures.
The art of collage remained dormant for centuries until the Dadaists and Surrealist breathed new life into the genre. In his collage novels, Max Ernst employed created Loplop, his alter ego in the form of a birdlike creature. René Magritte used images cut from books and magazines for many of his works on paper. The Surrealists put collage on the map as a medium in its own right that continues to inspire artists today.
Wietske van Leeuwen (1965) has been making three-dimensional ceramic collages – or assemblages – for years. Raw, formless clay is no use to her. She must first mould it into fruits and other objects before she gets to work. Among the items she casts in multiples in clay and arranges in rows or stacks are shells, lemons, bell peppers, coiled rope and the stems of drinking glasses and weeds such as hogweed. The resulting objects are usually dishes or lidded pots. This makes her a classic ceramicist with a style all of her own. Writers have compared her work to pastry, but they are actually showpieces: centrepieces that function as conversation pieces.
Extended until April 23rd
- Brutto Gusto