Brutto Gusto is pleased to present No Fake, the fourth solo exhibition by Johannes Nagel in the Berlin gallery, showcasing the ceramist's latter production of 2019 and 2020.
Although conceived with the archetypal shape of vessels in mind, Johannes Nagel's sculptures wander far from the utilitarian aspect of the object. He performs a transformation of the ceramic vessel into free plasticity and deconstructs both the historic and contemporary meanings of the term 'vase'. They are too disparate for flowers–they draw all attention to themselves with their breaks, irregularities and fragile equilibrium.
Traditional processes of pottery are the starting point for his experimentations, from where he shatters conventions with innovative methods and deconstructionist techniques. The gaps in the surface are a defining feature of many of the pieces produced by slip-casting porcelain in sand, in which he forms hollow negative spaces with his bare hands. The sculpture forms where the clay meets the edges of the mold–it paints a vivid image of a vessel forming in a void. No longer does a vase only hold empty space–it fills it and the evidence of this act is left scored into its surface. It's a technique Nagel invented himself and which introduces additional layers of chance and gesture onto a medium already subject to the high level of indeterminacy involved in glazing and firing.
In No Fake, Johannes Nagel reverences his ultimate expression, which is a place of truth and tangible, tactile presence. The gesture of an individual is located precisely at the interface between mental design and practical realisation on the material itself–where consciousness meets the world.
They are all original, genuine, no copies, no fake. Ever aiming for more singularity, now he flirts at some level with the graffiti sub tone. The new work has a number of variations of spraying of colour that quests for a fresh aesthetic combined with the glazes. Shape-wise he aims for a distorted rotational symmetry and a vague vase outline in new constructions that revolution around their axis, as if they were spinning off a DJ turntable.
Press release courtesy Brutto Gusto.