Wouter Dam

The Netherlands
b. 1957

"The objects I create are minimalist at first glance, yet intriguing, leading your eye around the soft curves and sharp edges, pleasing in a meditative way, slightly hinting at classical ceramic shapes and plant structures. Every object I create is slightly different, each one a step in a long line of development, a subtle variation on the same theme.  My search is for a very personal kind of perfection, I look for a certain tension in the work, beautiful and fascinating in equal measures.”

Dutch ceramic sculptor Wouter Dam combines traditional crafts with free sculptural ceramics.  To create his elegant, undulating and abstract sculptures he begins at the wheel, throwing numerous stoneware cylinder, vase and bowl shapes. These he cuts and joins together to form ribbon-like shapes that twist and flow.  Each piece is unique and evolves over time. Wouter approaches the work  intuitively, working with the ribbons of clay, influenced by previous works and natural forms such as aquatic shapes and creatures, plant seeds and floral buds. He adds subtle colour by way of matte pigments that are sprayed onto the surface to enhance shape and shadow.

In his work, he strives to reveal "just a vague memory of the real thing, just a hint.  I don’t try to do conceptual art. I want people to create their own ideas when they look at my work.  For me the main thing is that people are pleased when they truly look.”

Dam’s architect father encouraged him to explore form and beauty from a young age. In 1975, he enrolled at The Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam where he began his exploration of shape and volume which continues to fascinate him today.

Dam’s work is exhibited internationally and is included in numerous collections including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Detroit Institute of Art.


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