Sgrafo vs. Fat Lava

"Ceramics and Porcelains made in West Germany, 1960-1980"
Curated by Nicolas Trembley
@ Alex Zachary Peter Currie, 16 East 77th Street, NY

"In a way I still don’t know anything about German ceramics and have always wondered why I went into it so deep (apart from the paradigm exercise on Collecting.)"





"Whether it is a question of Sgrafo vases, of Raymond Loewy's "Form 2000" for Rosenthal (1954), or of the improbable "Fat Lava"glacis of the 1970s, postwar German ceramics attest to a surprising stylistic inventiveness and diversity.

Through these creations, both well-known and anonymous designers knew how to capture the impulses of a society in the middle of reconstruction and desirous of looking to the future. Mixing references to Op art, the geometry of a Verner Panton, or the vegetal style of the hippie wave, these objects follow a path of exaggerated shape unique in the history of forms.

In this sense they simultaneously incarnate the inevitable bombacity that menaces design, and its aspirations to autonomy as a quasi-artistic practice. It is this crossing of intentions and this body of supposedly ordinary objects that this publication explores, with a text by the specialist Horst Markus, and an interview with the designer Ronan Bouroullec.

Published with the support of Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich; CEC, Centre d'├ędition contemporaine, Geneva; and FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims." (text from here)








"Last year, I was invited by the Centre d’Edition Contemporainae in Geneva to propose a show. I said, “Let’s show those vases. I have 150 now. It should be enough, then the story’s over.” The show was a success and even Artforum wrote an article about it. Now the show is going to Frac Champagne-Ardennes in Reims, and we published a little booklet with Jrp-Ringier, with contributions from Ronan Bouroullec. I sent it to Kreo Gallery and Didier called me back. “Nicolas, I told you, when you have enough vases, we can do a show.” The show is scheduled for June.

In a way I still don’t know anything about German ceramics and have always wondered why I went into it so deep (apart from the paradigm exercise on Collecting.) I found the answer recently. I offered a vase to my father for his 70th birthday. When I gave it to him, I was in his office in the French provinces. He opened the box and said, “That’s great. It looks like one of my Raku Asian ceramics.” I was like, “What? What Asian ceramics?” When I looked at the shelves in his office, I saw hundreds of ceramics — a colletcion I’d totally forgotten…"

text by nicolas trembley, taken from Apartamento 07