Above: Julia Obermaier. Verborgen #10. Photo: Julia Obermaier. Right: Akiko Hirai. Moon Jar Large 'Earth', 2022. Photo: Dave Watts.
Hauser & Wirth’s space on Rämistrasse in Zurich presents the first Make Hauser & Wirth exhibition in Switzerland. Curated by Jacqueline Moore, Senior Director of Make Hauser & Wirth, ‘Within. Without’ examines the dialogue between artists like David Gates, Helen Carnac, Derek Wilson, Alexander deVol, and features LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize finalists, Akiko Hirai (2019), Harry Morgan (2019), Peter Bauhuis (2021) and Julia Obermaier (2022).
The exhibition in Zurich puts on view both traditional techniques and new and evolving notions of material investigation, highlighting the creative excellence and vision of the makers’ individual practices and in turn, suggesting the true breadth of contemporary craft.
Multidisciplinary works by these eight artist-makers, spanning disciplines from wood, ceramic and gemstone to metal, glass and concrete; include Hirai’s texturally rich ceramic moon jars imbued with an animate energy; the hand carved forms of deVol that reveal the inherent properties of wood; altered vessels by Wilson exploring the fluid potential of geometry, and the jewellery of Obermaier.
Originating in Somerset, England, Make launched in 2018 and this summer, its second outpost debuted in Southampton NY. Works exhibited by Make embrace material truth, provenance, sustainability and the value of emotional engagement with the handmade.
With the debuting exhibition in Zurich, curator Jacqueline Moore, honours knowledge, process and experimentation, the objects on view reveal an intuitive response to interior and exterior form and material properties, (see below).
Could you elaborate on the Make concept and the idea to debut Make in Zurich?
Jacqueline Moore: Over the past four years, we’ve held over 23 exhibitions in locations across the UK, Europe and the US that have celebrated some of the best independent artist-makers working today.
We’re thrilled to introduce such an outstanding selection of artist-makers for Make’s first presentation in Switzerland, the birthplace of Hauser & Wirth and home to a great tradition of makers and craftsmen.
We want to celebrate and grow the relevance of contemporary craft on a wide scale – and our commitment to these artist-makers, plus our growing international presence, is testament to that.
Evolving Make across digital platforms over the past couple of years has also been an exciting development, but the works at Make really demand to be seen, held, touched. We’re pleased to offer the Swiss audience a visceral, intimate experience with the works on display at Hauser & Wirth Rämistrasse.
What do you hope to convey through this presentation to the Zurich audience?
The presentation essentially compacts the ethos of Make all into one with the wide range of disciplines on display, from wood, ceramic and gemstone to metal, glass, and concrete. It also honours both traditional techniques and new and evolving notions of material investigation. It’s really an opportunity to view the true breadth of contemporary craft.
What did you focus on when curating this particular group of eminent artist-makers for the Zurich art lovers?
This presentation in Zurich shows our long-term dedication to artist-makers who have been at the core of our pro-gramme since its inception. I particularly focused on a dynamic selection of makers who have a shared vision for experimentation.
When curating this presentation, I wanted to celebrate the rich narratives and vision at the heart of contemporary craft practice and offer visitors a deep engagement with the handmade.
Could you give some examples of what is unique about the approach to the materials used by artists?
Each maker possesses an intimate understanding of their material, whether working with methods rooted in tradition or employing new techniques. The vision for experimentation that I’ve discussed is what makes each approach distinctive. For example, Harry Morgan often reimagines the traditional Venetian glassblowing technique ‘murrini.’ Peter Bauhuis also deviates from the norm by purposefully engaging with chance. He does this by fusing different alloys and playing with oxidation. Similarly, Akiko Hirai revels in the deliberate imperfections and impuri-ties that emerge through the firing process. Other makers, such as Derek Wilson, Julia Obermaier and David Gates, consider functionality when approaching their materials in order to create sculptural objects that can also be used.
Above: Alex deVol. Souls-Solitary. 2022 Photo Dave Watts. All images: Courtesy Hauser & Wirth.