Danish ceramics may enjoy a high international profile, yet one group of local ceramicists has seen the need to raise their presence on home turf. Copenhagen Ceramics is an ambitious new project that gives a close-up look at the changing face of the contemporary Danish ceramics scene with a mixed programme of both young and established names.
Founders Bente Skjøttgaard, Steen Ipsen and Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl have been crossing paths on the Danish ceramics circuit for a long time. 'We kept saying to each other that someone should do something,' says Kaldahl. 'But we thought, let's do it in a different way. Instead of thinking of a long-term gallery, we conceived it as a project with 10 exhibitions to start with.'
Kaldahl and co belong to a tight-knit group of ceramicists, whose community spirit helped bring the project to fruition. Their driving force has been a desire for ceramics to be seen in the flesh rather than in just photographs, so that people can see the textural quality of the works in minute detail.
The founders are reluctant to predict the gallery space's future past its 12-month show programme - which this year includes the likes of Bodil Manz, Turi Heisselberg Pedersen and Michael Geertse. This rather organic approach means there is ambiguity as to whether Copenhagen Ceramics will remain a 'pop-up' or turn into a permanent gallery space. As such, the website is a comprehensive platform which visitors can use to view future exhibition artists' work and keep abreast with the project's developments.
Housed on the second floor of an old factory building in the Frederiksberg district, the gallery launches with an exhibition by Detroit-based but Denmark-born
Anders Ruhwald, whose show is entitled 'You will see'. Says Kaldahl of the gallery's choice to make Ruhwald its debut artist, 'Ruhwald's work marks a change and he has a way of thinking that is an inspiration for young people right now. He is very aware of Danish tradition but also at the same time very experimental.'