Porcelain from the muses: Jürgen Partenheimer’s ’Calliope’ at Musèe Ariana

Porcelain from the muses: Jürgen Partenheimer’s ’Calliope’ at Musèe Ariana

Geneva glass and ceramics institution Musèe Ariana is hosting the ceramic works of celebrated German artist Jürgen Partenheimer this winter.

By the invitation of porcelain experts Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, the abstract artist produced twenty-one minimal porcelain pieces inspired by the Ovidian figure Calliopemuse of all muses, famous for her eloquence and golden crownworks, between 2011 and 2012. The resulting series is based on three vase shapes which the artist has applied his celebrated linear touch to.

For their creation, Partenheimer immersed himself in the complex process of porcelain production, exploring in full the the aesthetic possibilities that come with the material. Eschewing a traditional casting method, he chose a wheel throwing technique instead to give his vessels a more liberated shape.

The superficial decoration of the white ceramic forms give a further dimension to the artist’s work, following the vases’ shapes while at the same time creating new geometric figures that merge abstraction with decoration. It’s the first time this series is shown to the public in its entirety; the sculptural quality of these vessels adding a new element to the history of Partenheimer’s work. 

Most importantly of all though, Partenheimer proves his ability to gracefully push the boundaries of minimalism, taking it to more discreetly ornamental shores.

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