BOUKE DE VRIES

CURRENT + RECENT EXHIBITIONS

Canary Syndrome

Canary Syndrome September 27–November 4, 2018 September 27 5 - 7 p.m. Opening reception at Ferrin Contemporary1315 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass. takes place in conjunction with DownStreet Art...

REVIVE, REMIX, RESPOND

REVIVE, REMIX, RESPOND February 17–May 27, 2018The Frick Pittsburgh7227 Reynolds St., Pittsburgh, PA 412-371-0600 About the Exhibition In 2017, twenty contemporary artists were invited to respond to and produce new...

War and Pieces at The Wadsworth Athaneum

BOUKE DE VRIES: WAR AND PIECES Bouke de Vries' contemporary interpretation of the decorative sculptures that adorned 17th- and 18th-century banqueting tables. War & Pieces is an eight-meter (26-foot) installation by Dutch-born artist Bouke...

Bouke de Vries is a Dutch-born ceramic artist currently living and working in London. He has lived a life that is much like his artwork — a mash-up of old world skills that he uses to remix, reorder, and deliver overt contemporary satire and social commentary. The  reverse of Ai Weiwei, who dramatically dropped the Han dynasty urn to make a point about the loss of history, de Vries puts the broken back together to re-contextualize the past.

de Vries applies gold (kintsugi technique) to highlight the cracks of exploded ceramic matter to create new meaning and added value to shattered ceramic vessels and figurines, archeological finds, sunken treasure, and scavenged beach shards. Sad stories of accidents, disasters, mistakes, and loss become new triumphs. Using the skills of the conservator and reversible but miraculously strong adhesives, deVries actually does put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

With his skillful touch and biting wit, de Vries’ shards come to life to deliver a humorous punch or social commentary. de Vries’ career, like his work, is exploding.

WAR AND PIECES STATEMENT

War & Pieces is an eight-metre, 26 foot installation by Dutch-born artist Bouke de Vries inspired by the sophisticated figural centerpieces that decorated eighteenth-century European rulers’ banqueting tables. Displayed during the dessert course on special occasions, these figures first made of sugar and later increasingly porcelain, told stories or conveyed political messages to the diners.

Bouke de Vries draws on such traditions in his modern centerpiece, arranged around the mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion whose force appears to have turned the entire table into a wasteland. Battle rages across this heap of shards old and new, fought by myriad miniature figures with conventional arms. Jesus on the cross and the Chinese Buddhist goddess of compassion Guanyin watch over the death and destruction.

War & Pieces has been exhibited at ten venues in Europe and Asia, beginning in 2012 at the Holburne Museum in Bath, England with support from the Arts Council of Great Britain. At each venue, de Vries worked with the curators and the collection by responding to the region, its history and interact with the interior settings. In some he was able add to the installation using relevant objects from the collection. The image featured is the setting of Charlottenburg Palace, which was looted in the Seven Years’ War and almost completely destroyed in the Second World War adding a special meaning to the era spanning work.

In 2018, it will begin a museum tour in North America.

 
Born in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Bouke de Vries studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and Central St Martin’s, London. After working with John Galliano, Stephen Jones and Zandra Rhodes, he switched careers and studied ceramics conservation and restoration at West Dean College. He has been a full time studio artist since 2010.

BOUKE DE VRIES

Bouke de Vries (b. Utrecht, The Netherlands, lives and works in London) studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and Central St Martin’s, London. After working with John Galliano, Stephen Jones and Zandra Rhodes, he switched careers and studied ceramics conservation and restoration at West Dean College.

Using his skills from art conservation, de Vries applies gold (kintsugi technique) to highlight the cracks of exploded ceramic matter to create new meaning and added value to shattered ceramic vessels and figurines, archeological finds, sunken treasure, and scavenged beach shards. Sad stories of accidents, disasters, mistakes, and loss become new triumphs.

De Vries has exhibited throughout the US and internationally. His recent installation, War and Pieces will make their US debut in early 2019 at the Montgomery of Museum of Art in Alabama and the Wadsworth Atheneum. His work can be found in numerous public collections including National Museum of Norway, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Aberdeen Art Gallery in Aberdeen, Scotland among many others.

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NCECA PITTSBURGH

REVIVE, REMIX, RESPONDThe Frick Pittsburgh 7227 Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh Group show of contemporary artists who are breathing new life into the ceramic medium by reinvigorating age-old motifs, processes, and techniques....

Ceramic Arts Daily: Bouke de Vries

Ceramic Arts Daily on Bouke de Vries "A Mirage of Before: Bouke de Vries" by Anthony Stellaccio "... passion, compassion, precision, and expertise. These are all qualities that characterize this conservator-turned-sculptor’s own innovative...

Telegraph Magazine: Bouke de Vries

Flights of Imagination The west London home-cum-studio of artist Bouke de Vries makes for the perfect gallery for his creative refashionings of antique ceramics and vintage objects. By Cloe Grimshaw with photos…

RE—Reanimate, Repair, Mend and Meld

RE—REANIMATE, REPAIR, MEND AND MELD co-curated by Paul Scott and Andrew Baseman a group show of work by contemporary ceramic artists explores the issues of conservation, restoration, over-consumption, reuse, and…

IN New York: The Art of the Hunt

IN NEW YORK magazine’s January 16, 2016 special art feature, “The Art of the Hunt,” by Terry Trucco, investigates the hottest items at this January’s art shows. In the section…

PEM: A Thing for Porcelain

In their online blog, Connected, the Peabody Essex Museum’s Dinah Cardin connects some porcelain dots — dots of music, literature, Edmund de Waal, Bouke de Vries, and the clay itself. Click here…

New York Ceramics & Glass Fair 2016

Ferrin Contemporary presents Paul Scott in “Scott’s Cumbrian Blue(s): American Scenery” at the New York Ceramics & Glass Fair 2016. Public Lecture: January 22, 2pm Join us for a lecture…

Click here to view a video presented in The New York Times Magazine, Art & Design section. Dutch artist Bouke de Vries discusses the inspiration behind his work at his West London home and studio. (Oct. 2014)

 


Bouke de Vries: War and Pieces


 

 

The Golden Box: Bouke de Vries


Bouke de Vries: Fragments

 

 

 

 

BOUKE DE VRIES: WAR AND PIECES CATALOG

BOUKE DE VRIES: WAR AND PIECES Bouke de Vries' contemporary interpretation of the decorative sculptures that adorned 17th- and 18th-century banqueting tables. War & Pieces is an eight-meter (26-foot) installation...