No title (Abstract II)
In response to the Stedelijk Museum, ’s-Hertogenbosch: Abstract II
In the winter of 2015 I went to the Stedelijk in ’s-Hertogenbosch. The exhibition was called 'Night Fishing' by the artistic collaboration between Liet Heringa and Maarten van Kalsbeek. They created a series of abstract sculptures with leftover waste material from a flower parade car; an old chair, tubular frames, rags and a lot of paint. It can be seen in combination with older work, and is a product of some abstracted ceramic figurines. These whimsical figurines with a thick layer of coloured engobe are aesthetically displayed on old tables in a so called ‘Chinese room’.
Upstairs there is a large room with many ceramics. Vases, necklaces, plates painted by Pablo Picasso and the famous Ettore Sottsass teapot are on display. The exhibition is called Interfaces.
There is something obvious about ceramics. It can all be created, but only up to a certain point. The scale brings its own limitations and enamel further softens all corners and edges.
A clay scale model of a wrecked supertanker lies on a poorly constructed table. It is Tilmann Meyer-Faje. An artistic wreck can be very beautiful, and this certainly is. The combination with the table looks rather awkward and not really necessary. It is no accident that the ceramic exhibits are in this museum, since 's-Hertogenbosch is also home to the European Ceramic Work Centre.
A few days later I walked along the river Waal to look at real ships passing by. Then I saw a plastic dustpan and I picked it up. And a moment later there was a plastic tray and then I found a funnel. I think that these are the ‘obects trouvés’ for the next image. I am going to use them to make moulds. The terrazzo concrete will be just as smooth as the plastic object, and the image is created from the negative forms of the waste materiaal moulds. The composition should remain simple, in accordance with the ceramic exhibition. ‘ Objects trouvés’ are used in the same manner as Heringa and Kalsbeek, and displayed on a table.
Photo 2: Chinese room, works by Heringa and Kalsbeek
Photo 3: ‘Shipwreck’, by Tilmann Meyer-Faje.