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Museum of ceramic art

Nature. Traces & Reflections

Nature. Traces & Reflections

26 September 2021 – 13 March 2022

Nature plays the main role of inspiration in the magnificent works from the Danish design movement around 1900 called Skønvirke of which a selection may be admired in the Treasury at the museum. Especially the pieces in fine porcelain by Fanny Garde and Effie Hegermann-Lindencrone demonstrate a particular fascination of the world of plants.

Nature as source of inspiration is still – or perhaps again? – very present among numerous contemporary artists. But does their approach to nature differ from that of the Danish design movement? And how does contemporary art reflect our present understanding of nature?

For the exhibition Nature. Traces & Reflections three prominent ceramicists have been invited to interpret and revive the topic: Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, Manuel Canu and Marianne Nielsen. Following their individual and very different artistic strategies, they have entered into a dialogue with a selection of works from the museum collection of works from the Danish design movement.

Malene Hartmann Rasmussen zooms in on details, enlarges, and arranges them in entire tableaux which tease our imagination and curiosity. With references to the worlds of myths and fairy tales she creates stories through elements from nature; stories which balance on the edge of joy and horror.

Using a phenomenological approach Marianne Nielsen examines the boundaries between nature and culture e.g., when flowers are picked and arranged in bouquets. Or when a flower is immortalized and interpreted in ceramics and thereby becomes a piece of art.

Manuel Canu has immersed himself into a selection of old drawings of gently swaying seaweed. Like a long-forgotten alphabet, he has revived it by repeating the rhythmically swaying movements of the plants in both drawing, raw clay, and fired ceramics. From this processual method grows an experience of nature as a room for spiritual awareness.

Based on selected works from the museum’s collection from the Danish design movement, the three artists present very different interpretations on the essence and understanding of nature today. Nature as the frame and the premise, as trace and reflection across time and place.