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Friday, 28 March 2014
Turner Contemporary unveils Edmund de Waal's new commission
Edmund de Waal: Atmosphere (29 March 2014 – 8 February 2015) presents a new installation by the renowned ceramic artist and author.
De Waal, who grew up in Canterbury and is best known for his large installations of porcelain vessels and the international bestselling book Hare with the Amber Eyes, showcases a major new commission for Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery. This is the third commission produced for the Sunley Gallery following those by Maria Nepomuceno in 2012 and Daniel Buren in 2011. For this ambitious project the artist has created an installation in response to the space, light and architecture of the Sunley Gallery with its double height windows and spectacular views over the North Sea. Atmosphere(2014) comprises of a series of long, suspended vitrines that are in conversation with the mutable light from the sea.
Suspended at different heights, the lines of the vessels within the vitrines offer the viewer an array of horizons as they move through the space both on the gallery’s ground floor and from the overlooking balcony. Inatmosphere De Waal brings the changing weather into Turner Contemporary and echoes the ways in which artists as diverse as Gerhard Richter, Hiroshi Sugimoto and JMW Turner have thought about clouds and horizons.
This commission is accompanied by two other works by the artist. Juxtaposed alongside atmosphere isbauspiel, a group of vessels residing on a floor based plinth in a configuration which reflects those in the nearby suspended vitrines. Turner Contemporary’s ground floor corridor is transformed by a new wall-based text installation, in which De Waal has converted the corridor walls into a life-size notebook, drawing on an array of sources from Turner’s letters to the poems of Baudelaire.
Edmund de Waal states: “When thinking about the changing landscape of clouds, I remember Constable's beautiful letter about lying on his back and doing 'a great deal of skying'. There is no more extraordinary place to look at the sky than the Sunley Gallery at Turner Contemporary. Atmosphere is my attempt to make a response to this threshold between a building and the air outside. Suspended in the space are nine vitrines holding 200 small celadon and grey porcelain vessels. I hope they will provoke some skying of their own.”
The exhibition coincides with a new monograph, Edmund de Waal published by Phaidon Press and featuring contributions from AS Byatt, Peter Carey, and Colm Toíbín amongst others. Edmund de Waal, which will be released on 5 May 2014, will be the first and only complete survey of the artist’s career to date, weaving together both his literary and ceramic practices.