Your fingers touch and feel a surface as fine as silk
while your eyes drink in colors: blue, red, orange, black
or green. The form is always the same, the cross lines
are always the same. It’s tempting to speak of perfection
– these objects possess a simplicity and liveliness
that cannot be heightened. In these hectic times, filled
with contradictions, we almost never encounter such things.
The Australian ceramicist is exhibiting twenty vessels
in Heidelberg’s Marianne Heller Gallery, and what
at first glance seems almost simple-minded instead exerts
a persistent fascination.
gallery has been in existence for twenty-five years, and
this small show, in a somewhat different grouping, was
previously on display in the Museum for Applied Art Frankfurt.
It is almost impossible to understand how the city of
Heidelberg could force a painful odyssey upon its renowned
gallery owner in her jubilee year. Since the tragic fire
in a pizza restaurant last year, her rooms near the city
garden still remain unavailable, and Marianne Heller has
had to find refuge in the Gallery Lepanto. But because
she will unexpectedly have to vacate this space by the
end of June, it remains uncertain whether she will able
to carry out her exhibition plans for the year. At the
very least she will be able to hold her exhibition of
the “Group 83” in the America House, and she
has also received an offer from the Museum on the Market
Square in Karlsruhe. But the situation is extraordinarily
difficult for the gallery, artists, and the public.
The serenity and calmness radiated by Pippin’s vessels
almost seem like a force from another planet. The artist
wanted to capture the Australian desert, with its red
earth, the orange-colored sunsets and painfully blue skies,
as well as the soft shapes of dunes and the scattered,
fleeting lines blown in the sand by the wind. And yet
Pippin Drysdale works in porcelain, a material that demands
utmost precision and does not allow the smallest degree
of uncertainty or vagueness. She appears to have experimented
long and hard to develop the classically simple, slightly
convex cylindrical form and merge it with the generally
monochrome-colored interior surfaces and the two-colored
exterior surfaces, which are scored across with lines.
result stands before the viewer, vessels of such naturalness
that they seemed have developed on their own, even though
the process of making them was extremely complicated.
These thin-walled objects up to 50 centimeters tall were
thrown on a wheel! Using multiple layers of colorful glazes,
the artist developed a contrasting pattern of fine, wave-like
lines across the surface, incising the lines by hand and
then filling them with colored glazes so that the surfaces
feel incomparably soft and smooth. “Red Earth –
Tanami Desert Traces” is only one series in the
artist’s rich oeuvre, but it contains first-rate
objects of almost meditative beauty.
By Hey, Tuesday, 27