Pioneering Ceramics – Museum Prinsenhof Delft

16 February 2024


8 September 2024
Museum Prinsenhof Delft
Pioneering Ceramics places masterpieces from the collection of Museum Prinsenhof Delft side by side with the work of contemporary makers. An exciting dialogue and exceptional insights are the result. For while the basic formula for ceramics has remained the same, the world to which makers are responding has changed profoundly. Pioneering Ceramics presents multiple points of view and narratives, and invites visitors to look at the past from a contemporary perspective. The exhibition Pioneering Ceramics concludes with a presentation by No Limits! Art Castle in which the works of four pioneering makers come together. In the annually recurring exhibition ‘The Great Ceramics Show’, No Limits! Art Castle brings together artists with and without disabilities to express themselves with ceramics in complete freedom. On the occasion of Pioneering Ceramics, The Great Ceramics Show has come to the Museum Prinsenhof Delft in a smaller format.

Ateliers De Wijde Doelen

Ateliers De Wijde Doelen is an Utrecht art studio where around thirty makers with a cognitive impairment work. The studio is part of the care organization Reinaerde, which wants to contribute to the quality of life of its clients with this type of activity. Mostly sculptures and garden ceramics are made in the ceramics studio of Ateliers De Wijde Doelen. The artists present themselves as a collective, but work individually, on the basis of their entirely idiosyncratic view of life. They find inspiration in the everyday things around them. They frequently work on location, outside of the studio, making sketches and coming up with new ideas.
Although the makers have no specific training in art, they still produce for the art market. Their work is exhibited in museums or sold to businesses and private individuals. This gives the outsider artists recognition in the traditional art world, and their work takes on a new significance.

Naomi Gilon
Naomi Gilon (1996) is a multidisciplinary artist with a fondness for ceramics. She uses the medium to give everyday utilitarian objects a polished but monstrous appearance, often by providing them with sharp claws, thorns or quills. To Gilon, the ‘monster’ is a creature that disturbs the existing harmony and contrasts with the ‘hero’ of a story. She plays with this archetype in her work. By transforming ‘innocent’ objects from mainstream culture into monsters, she exposes hidden layers of meaning. A luxury designer handbag is not only a symbol of status, then, but also of the powerful hold large companies have on consumers.
Gilon sees her objects as characters that are unique and cannot be reproduced. She therefore makes only a single copy of each work. To guarantee the quality and unique personality of each object all pieces are handmade, without a mould, by modelling them. Gilon regards irregularities and small mistakes as qualities of the object’s character, and as traces of the creative and sometimes complicated process needed to make ceramic objects.

Samuel Sarmiento
Samuel Sarmiento (1987) is a Venezuelan artist who lives and works on Aruba. He is interested in the narrative power of objects. With his work in ceramics, Sarmiento unravels symbols and motifs from Caribbean visual culture. Concealed behind them are indigenous stories, myths and legends that are an important means of passing on knowledge and culture. They nevertheless often remain hidden.
In his work, Sarmiento calls attention to these stories. He shows that the visual culture of the Caribbean should not be thought of as something colourful and superficial, but as a gateway to important intangible cultural heritage. He wants to strengthen the self-awareness, pride and interconnectedness of the Caribbean community and express the riches of a culture suppressed by colonization in this way.

Niels-Jan Tavernier
Artist Niels-Jan Tavernier (1988) is especially interested in history, archaeology and science fiction. Using clay, he represents figures and objects he finds as an archaeologist in a fantasy world he has invented himself. His spaceships, towers and dinosaurs are inspired by documentaries, films and books, but also by his work in an archaeological museum.
Tavernier creates his oeuvre at De Zandberg, an art workshop for people with disabilities. He is part of a group, but prefers to work alone on his unique creations.

Participating artists: Koos Buster, Fabrique Publique en Coudre, Viktor Hachmang, Olivier van Herpt, Yoon Seok-hyeon, Sunwoo Jung, Lisa Konno, Aliki van der Kruijs, Max Lipsey, Leo Maher, Yuro Moniz, No Limits! Art Castle (Atelier De Wijde Doelen, Naomi Gilon, Samuel Sarmiento, Niels-Jan Tavernier), Simone Post, Benedetta Pompili, Octave Rimbert-Rivière, Studio JOACHIM-MORINEAU, Studio Rink

Curators: Esther van der Hoorn (Curator Decorative Arts Museum Prinsenhof Delft) and Esther Muñoz Grootveld (guest curator)

Museum Prinsenhof Delft
Sint Agathaplein 1, Delft, the Netherlands
Tuesday – Sunday, 11.00 – 17.00

Image: Samuel Sarmiento