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magdalena suarez frimkess

Artifices Instables, Histoires de Céramiques

NMNM – Villa Sauber, Monaco
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Artifices Instables, histoires de Céramiques

Cristiano Raimondi, guest curator at the NMNM for this exhibition, chose to investigate ceramics as a heterogenic and unstable material, able to tell transversal stories. Through a selection of more than 120 pieces by international artists, the curator envisioned a set-up which is a crossover between atelier and a cabinet of curiosities.

The «fabrique de Poteries artistiques de Monaco» (Monaco Artistic Potteries factory), begins its activity in 1874 inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement, enhancing the production of ceramic pieces enriched with verycolourful floral and animal decorations, referring to the local plants like lemon and grape, often depicted in enameled braided straw baskets.

Italian Chiara Camoni and Syro-Libanese Simone Fattal give life to mythological and archetypical creatures, while Venezuelan Magdalena SuarezFrimkess, jostling with codes, renews the tradition of American potterygiving it a new function connected with social and political claims.

This plastic research, thoughtful or hazardous, and these unstable transmutations, always confer a symbolic value to the earth. Malleablemedium, it will only reach an unalterable state after cooking. Become ceramic,it will always preserve, through its metamorphoses and the inventionswhich its creators subjected to it, the memory of its artificiality and itschromatic alterations.

« Ceramics is not futile », said Paul Gauguin, who, having started his own experimentation with this medium in 1887, prophesied that one day hewould be recognized for having elevated this practice to the rank of an art. Thus, liberated from classifications, it pursued its emancipationduring the following century. However, it never stopped questioning itsown genesis, the relationship of the work of art to merchandise, and increasingly investigating the field of a metaphysics specific to the medium. These considerations produce between the works the subtle echoes that thisexhibition tells.