Taste Contemporary is proud to present The Light of Lustre - a solo exhibition of work by German artist, Johannes Nagel.
Frequently described as intensely sculptural, visually arresting and powerful, the subject of Johannes Nagel’s work is the improvised and provisional. Works are finished in that the porcelain is painted (glazed) and fired. Most are somehow vessels or pots, at times constructive composing, at times wilful destruction, sometimes vases, sometimes fragments or alienated objects. Their purpose is not, as the artist has stated ‘to achieve the perfection of the ultimate expression, but to verbalize a concept of the evolution of things.’
At the beginning of his career, Nagel served as an apprentice potter with the noted Japanese born, Canadian based, potter Kinya Ishikawa before returning to Germany to study fine art ceramics at the University of Art & Design, Burg Giebichenstein in Halle. From 2005 to 2006 he was artist-in-residence at the Shigaraki Ceramics Cultural Park in Shigaraki, Japan.
Writing in the catalogue that accompanies this exhibition, writer and curator Glenn Adamson reminds us of Nagel’s primary influences; the perfect imperfections of traditional Japanese ceramics, the strong silhouettes of the Bauhaus and the dramatic intensity of Abstract Expressionism. What makes his work exceptional, Adamson observes, is the fact that all of these influences have joined together into ‘a single mighty flow.’ He goes on to say that Nagel has been influenced by all of them ‘via a curious geographical and professional itinerary.’ They appear in his work ‘like radio transmissions tuned in during a storm, emerging into legibility, then receding again into an overall impression of energetic flux.’
This is Taste Contemporary’s second Johannes Nagel solo exhibition – the first was at artgenève 2017. ‘Johannes Nagel brings into play a variety of techniques such as throwing, hand building and sand-casting’, notes Taste Contemporary Director, Monique Deul. ‘It’s a wonderfully instinctive technique that leaves much to chance and is constantly adjusted as he redefines his relationship with his creative practice. He never ceases to surprise me.’ This new body of 13 works includes a number of pieces from the Stegreif series. A German word meaning ‘improvisation’, it seems a fitting name for these instinctive creations.
The Light of Lustre can be seen at the Taste Contemporary gallery at Rue Abraham Constantin 6, Geneva from 17th March to 18th April 2021.