Wietske van Leeuwen

Press Release https://bruttogusto.berlin/ 20 january 2023


Made in Holland
20 January – 19 March 2023

Thinking of Holland / I see wide rivers / flowing slowly through / infinite lowlands

This stanza , written by Hendrik Marsman (1899-1940) in 1936 -7, is one of the most beautiful in the history of Dutch poetry. The Netherlands is a large delta of rivers with their source in Central Europe, which discharges infinite amounts of fresh water into the sea. For millennia, as it meandered through the landscape, the water has carried mud, silt and pulverised rock, which has settled in the bends of the rivers. Since time immemorial, brick factories have sprung up in those places where clay was in abundance. They produced the bricks with which the streets were paved, and with which the houses and churches were built. For centuries, clay has also been used for everyday utensils and ornamental objects. For sculptors it has proved the ideal material for rapid modelling. History has been written here with clay. It has made the Netherlands what it is today.

Many contemporary Dutch ceramic artists take the nation’s cultural heritage as a starting point:

Sculptor Guido Geelen (1961) creates bricks and stacks them almost carelessly. By inserting test tubes, they suddenly become a Dutch tulip vase.

Ceramicist Wietske van Leeuwen (1965) uses all kinds of natural objects such as shells, fruit and vegetables to make impressions in clay. She uses them to build vases, bowls and boxes with meticulous precision. They are three-dimensional still lifes.

Gijs Assmann (1966) is a versatile artist. He makes paintings and sculptures, often in ceramics.
He juggles both folk art, cartoons and high art in his work, His sculptures are often constructed from everyday utensils that tell stories about human emotions and the facts of life.

Thimo te Duits