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       ‘Focusing and concentrating on a single object such as a sphere, a square, a cylinder, a cup, fundamentally something quite ordinary, the stuff of everyday life, [seems] indeed almost banal. But during the process we discovered fresh aspects, and suddenly ‘the ordinary’ became a new experience.’ -Bodil Manz

Bodil Manz is a ceramicist known for her predominant use of ultra-thin, translucent eggshell porcelain to create distinctive cylindrical forms, anchored by bold, geometric abstractions in a style evocative of Russian Suprematism.

Bodil Manz was born in Copenhagen in 1943. In 1961, Manz studied ceramics at the School of Arts & Craft in Copenhagen, and in 1966 she studied at the Escuelo de Diseno y Artesanias in Mexico and also at Berkeley University in California, USA.  Manz established a studio in Horve in 1967, where she lives and continues to work today.

Initially creating utilitarian works, such as traditional serving ware, Manz shifted her focus onto the creation of experimental forms in the 1990s. Manz developed a method to create translucent vessels, whereby she would pour liquid porcelain in a thin layer onto a plaster mold, and fire the biscuit several times in succession at temperatures of up to 1300 degrees.

As for the geometric designs that embellish the interior and exterior of her vessels, Manz drafts each composition on paper, which are made into transfers and applied to the surface of the porcelain. These geometric patterns are comprised of bold, tightly composed fields of color. They are dynamic, linear patterns that take inspiration from modernist architecture and painters such as Mondrian and Malevich. The transfers require several consecutive firings to achieve her desired affect. However, Manz notes, she cannot always control the final outcome. At times, the firing process results in a softening effect upon her initial geometric design.

The resultant forms are a wonderful exploration of the multidimensionality of the cylinder. Her attentiveness to the interior and exterior aspects of the form, the applied geometries, and consideration for the way in which light acts upon the opaque and translucent elements of those geometries, not only enhance each of these features individually, but in Manz's attentiveness to their cohesive interaction serves to unify these compositional concepts into a three-dimensional whole.

Each vessel Manz creates is unique. Though they vary in size, texture and design, each is executed with the same technical ingenuity, characterized by a tenuous thinness but also balanced and harmonic design elements that can be observed from every angle. And, despite the unconventionality of Manz's creations, each one references the traditional form of the vessel rooted in her arts and craft training.

Manz has exhibited in Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam, London and New York. Her vessels are featured in several prestigious public collections including the Museum of Modern Art New York, Victoria and Albert in London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Musée de Sèvres, France and the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu, Japan.  In 2006, Manz was awarded the Grand Prize at the 4th World Ceramic Biennale, Korea and in 2008, her works were the subject of a major retrospective at the Kunstindustrimuseet in Copenhagen.


B. 1943, Copenhagen, Denmark

1961–1965   Arts and Crafts School, Copenhagen
1966             Escuela de Diseño y Artesanias, Mexico City, Mexico
                     Art Department, Berkeley University, California

2006    The 4th World Ceramic Biennial, Korea, Grand Prize
2005    The 3rd World Ceramic Biennial, Korea, Honourable mention  
            The 7th International Ceramic Competition, Mino, Japan, Honourable
2003    Knud V. Engelhardt’s Memorial Grant
            The 2nd World Ceramic Biennial, Korea, Jury’s prize
            Bavarian State Prize, Germany
2001-2 Anna Klindt Soerensen’s 2 years grant
2001    The 6th International Ceramic Competition, Mino, Japan, Honourable
            The 1st World Ceramic Biennial, Korea, Special prize
            The Thorval Bindesboell Medal
2000    C.L. David’s Fund
            Carl Jacobsen’s Travel Grant, The New Carlsberg Foundation
1998    The Life Long Grant of the Danish Government 
            The 5th International Ceramic Competition, Mino, Japan, Gold Medal
1997    Ellen and Knud Dahlhoff Larsen’s Foundation 
            Merchant L.F. Foght’s Foundation Kutani International Decorative
                 Ceramic Competition Award of Merit, Japan
            5th World Triennial Exhibition of Small Ceramics, Zagreb, Krapina prize
1994-5 The Danish Arts Foundation,3 year grant
1993    4th World Triennial Exhibition of Small Ceramics, Zagreb, Grand Prix
            Arts, Crafts and Design Council’s Annual prize
            Johan S. Kroeir’s Foundation
            Silversmith Kay Bojesen and Mrs. Erna Bojesen Memorial Grant
1985    Ole Haslund’s Artist Grant
1978    Ole Haslund’s Artist Grant
1972    The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory, Jubilee Competition,
                 2nd prize
1969    Den Permanente, Ceramic Competition, 1st prize
            The Cowi Foundation
            Handelsbanken Jubilee Grant
1968    The Danish National Bank’s Jubilee Foundation
            K.A. Larssens and Mrs. L.M. Larssen’s Grant
            Manufacturer and Mrs. Svend Aage Rasmussen’s Memorial Grant 
            Painting Contractor Achen’s Grant
            The Danish Arts Foundation

2012      Galleri Weinberger, Copenhagen, Denmark
2011      Galleri Pagter, Kolding, Denmark
2008      Danish Museum of Art and Design, Copenhagen, Denmark
2006      Galerie Pierre, Paris, France 
              Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
              Garth Clark Gallery, New York, USA
2005      Puls Contemporary Ceramics, Brussels, Belgium
              Galerie Besson, London
2004      Galerie Nørby, Copenhagen, Denmark
2003      Galerie b 15, Munich, Germany
              Garth Clark Gallery, New York, USA
              Galerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2002      Puls Contemporary Ceramics, Brussels, Belgium
              Galerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2001      Garth Clark Gallery, New York, USA
2000      Galerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
              Galerie Nørby, Copenhagen, Denmark
1998      Galerie Besson, London
              Garth Clark Gallery, New York, USA
              Galerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1995      Nederlands Keramiekmuseum, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands 
              Garth Clark Gallery, New York, USA
1984      Lidköpings Konstall, Lidköping, Sweden
              Facet, Bing & Grøndahl, Copenhagen
1971      Maison du Danemark, Paris, France
2014    Adrian Sassoon, COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery, London
2013    Adrian Sassoon, COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery, London
2012    Adrian Sassoon, Masterpiece London, The Royal Hospital Chelsea,
            Clare Beck at Adrian Sassoon, COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery, London
            Cuts and Interventions, Copenhagen Ceramics, Frederiksberg, Denmark
2011    Puls Contemporary Ceramics, Brussels, Belgium
            Garth Clark, SOFA Fair, Sante Fe, USA
2010    Gudjhem Museum, Bornholm, Denmark 
            Galerie Helen Poiree, Paris, France
            Carla Koch, PAN Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2009    Keramiske Veje, Sophienholm, Copenhagen
2008    Design Museum, Denmark
2007    The 4th World Ceramic Biennale, Korea 
            Ceramics from Denmark, Bayerischer Kunstgewerbe-Verein,
                 Munich, Germany
            Transparenz und Masse, Museum Eckernf örde, Germany
2005    Transformations: The Language of Crafts, National Gallery of Australia,
            The 7th International Ceramics Competition, Mino, Japan
            The 3rd World Ceramic Biennale, Korea
            Biennale Européenne de Céramique Contemporaine, Troyes, France

2004    4th Ceramic Triennial, Trapholt, Denmark
            Keramiske Veje, Den Frie, Copenhagen, Denmark 
            Galerie Pierre, Paris, France
            Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
            From the Kilns of Denmark, touring USA
2003    The International Invitational Exhibition, Korea 
            Crafts Now, Kanazawa, Japan
            Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu, Japan
            2nd World Ceramic Biennale, Korea
2002    Galerie Pagter, Kolding, Denmark
            From the Kilns of Denmark, touring Paris, Berlin & USA 
            Campio-Masterpieces, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, Italy 
            The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto, Canada
            Biennale de la Céramique, Andenne, Belgium
            The 6th International Ceramics Competition, Mino, Japan
2001    Galerie le Vieux-Bourg, Switzerland
            Sigtuna Museum, Sigtuna, Sweden
            Poetics of Clay, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, USA
            Pakhuset, Nykøbing, Denmark
2000    The Danish Wave, China 
            Form and Glasur, Hoechst, Germany
            The Sixth Taiwan Golden Ceramic Award Exhibition, Taiwan
1999    Living Design – Dialogue, touring Klaipeda, Riga, Tallin
            (UN) Limited, Craft Council, London
            Artist from the World, Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, Faenza, Italy
            Form-Transformation 1966-99, Kunst Industri Museet, Copenhagen,
            Keramik aus Dänemark, Galerie Handwerk, Munich, Germany    
1998    Triennale de Porcelaine, Nyon, Switzerland
            Galerie für Englische Keramik, Marianne Heller, Germany
            Sybaris Gallery, Oaklahoma, USA
1997    Museum voor Sierkunst, Gent, Belgium
1996    Yufuku Gallery of Fine Arts, Tokyo, Japan
            Bewegung Europäische Keramik 96, Keramion, Germany
            Form und Glasur, Hoechst, Tyskland, Denmark
            Das Andere Gefäss, Saarländisches Künstlerhaus, Saarbrücken, Denmark
1995    Edinburgh City Art Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland
            Gallery Nørby, Copenhagen, Denmark
1994    1st Ceramic Triennial, Trapholt, Denmark
            Tapei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
1993    Keramik Europas, Keramikmuseum, Westerwald, Germany
1992    Kunstindustrimuseet, Helsinki, Finland
            Triennale de Porcelaine, Nyon, Switzerland
1991    Museum Het Princessehof, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands    
1990    Gallery Amphora & Singer Museum, Oosterbeek, The Netherlands
1989    Scandinavian Ceramics and Glass, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
            Röhsska Museet, Gothenberg, Sweden
1987    Boymans van Beuningen Stichtung Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
            The Seibu Art Forum, Tokyo, Japan    
1981    Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University, USA
1980    Galerie de Proen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1977    The Danish Museum of Decorative Art, Copenhagen
1970    Städtlisches Museum, Wiesbaden, Germany
1969    Den Permanente, Copenhagen, Denmark
1966    Mexico City, Mexico

Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Danish Museum of Art & Design, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish Arts Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark
The New Carlsberg Foundation, Denmark
The Trapholt Museum of Danish Visual Art, Arts & Crafts & Furniture Design,
     Kolding, Denmark

Röhsska Konstslöjdmuseet, Gothenberg, Sweden
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden
Musée de Sèvres, France
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, France
Kunstindustrimuseet, Helsinki, Finland
Neue Pinakothek, Munich, Germany
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Sammlung Rudolf Strasser, Museum der Stadt, Landshut, Germany
Keramikmuseum Westerwald, Höhr-Grenzjausen, Germany
Museum Keramion, Frechen, Germany
Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Museum Het Princessehof, Leewarden, The Netherlands
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Montreal, Canada
The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto, Canada
Palmer Museum of Art, University Park, PA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX
Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY
The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Charlotte, NC
Spencer Museum, Lawrence, KS
Hallmark Collection, Kansas City, MO
Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan, USA
The Museum of Ceramic Art, Gifu, Japan
World Craft Forum, Tokyo, Japan
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan

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