Sculptural ceramic exhibition gather three artists from different eras at Willumsen’s Museum
Celebrating the artistic process and experiments in the ceramic universes of J.F. Willumsen and Jean Gauguin and the young artist Klara Lilja.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
November 03, 2022
Willumsen (1863-1958) and Gauguin (1881-1961) represent ceramic art of the last decades of the 19th century and mid-20th century respectively while Lilja (b. 1989) — who’s made detailed studies of Willumsen’s glazes — represents the present. They all have worked and are working with sculptural ceramic works in an expressive style with glazes in intense colours. None of them is trained formally, so they also share an unorthodox approach to ceramic techniques, inspired by other artists of the craft.
This weekend, Willumsen’s Museum, located half an hour northwest of Copenhagen, in collaboration with Clay Museum of Ceramic Art Denmark, opens the exhibition Between Myth And Reality, presenting works from the three artists. Klara Lilja has immersed herself deeply in Willumsen’s glaze books to recreate some of his glazes. In her work, she includes elements from things like fantasy, Japanese manga, and computer games. The exhibition sees her working with worldbuilding, a concept that is often associated with the fantasy genre and denotes the idea of creating your own universe and determining the laws of nature, biology, and nature.
Just like Gauguin, she works in a fantasy-like and grotesque style, filled with drama, entwined bodies of fauns and nymphs, and figures. It merges ancient mythology with ancient South American art into a modern and new aesthetics for ceramics.
— You may think that they (the works, Ed’s note) are too much and also that they are so much too much in a grotesque way, that it becomes a bit disgusting. I’m very, very interested in horror, so for me, Gauguin creates something more like ’pastel horror’ says Lilja.