Barbara Nanning

The Netherlands
b. 1957

"Nature, both organic and inorganic, is a constant source of inspiration. I am interested in the forces of gravity, in the balance between positive and negative elements, between inner and outer form.  I always work from the circle, the center of the circle is a resting point, from there, the movement emanates. That’s what I do, I capture the essence of movement and growth in my work."

Barbara Nanning describes herself as a ceramic and glass artist and is part of a generation of ceramic artists who have defined contemporary Dutch ceramics since the mid-1980s. She completed her studies at the Amsterdam Rietveld Akademie in 1979 and initially made a name for herself in the international art scene with monumental ceramic works. Her interest in glass was sparked in 1995 when she was asked to design an object for the Netherlands’ National Glass Museum and found herself fascinated by the clarity of line and the optical effects of this material.

Thimo te Duits, art historian 20th century decorative arts, describes Nanning's work as follows: "Barbara Nanning combines tradition with innovation, Eastern opulence with Dutch austereness, freedom with structure and reason with emotion. Nanning's work is an interesting mix of unequal quantities without becoming complex; a fusion of carefully chosen and at times seemingly contradictory elements, which in the end look so self-evident that no one wonders about the unusual combination of ingredients.

She unites classical artisan methods with an innovative use of materials to achieve an entirely unique language of form, one which often develops in the making process, the turning of clay on the wheel and the blowing of glass. At a later stage she processes those forms by cutting and assembling them. Her language does not comply with the existing one, but breaks new ground and forms a universe all of its own."

Barbara’s work is widely collected.


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