The 101 Artists


The 101 Artists 2023/2024 - Referencebook

By Tom Jørgensen, art critic at the daily Danish newspaper "Jyllands Posten" and editor of the monthly art newspaper "Kunstavisen".

For finding the art historical collocutors for Vivi Terkildsen's ceramic works, you have to go back in time. Back to sculptors such as the French Auguste Rodin, the Danes Rudolph Tegner and Stephan Sinding and then the remarkably experimental ceramics created by Paul Gauguin. Artists who used their craft to express intense human emotions such as grief, anger, powerlessness, fertility and love. 

In the same way, Vivi Terkildsen revolves around the big questions in life in her ceramics. Also the things and circumstances that we don't really want to talk about. Things like suicide and pain. For example "He! Did it! When suicide becomes family history." The human figure at the top of the figure holds his arms down at his sides with all the signs of despair and helplessness. The long twisting body seems to be on the verge of growing together with the brown tree-like shape it leans upon. Life is about to disappear and become one with what it is rounded from. A work that makes you shudder. Precise and unbearable at the same time.

Or how about "Pain"? A blue-glazed figure whose massiveness seems to restrain and block the life that ls within the hard form.  Pain can be understood as both physical and inner psychic pain. The feeling of being held in a straitjacket, not being able to break free.

More complicated is "Adam and Eve". We meet them after the Fall sitting in some kind of vase or basket. A barrier separates the two lovers, their innocence fatally compromised.  Yet they are still together in their confinement and isolation. Their destinies are united. Like all people's.

A completely different atmosphere seems to dominate in "The Egg". It is not the traditional oval egg that Vivi Terkildsen shows us. Rather, a figure that seems to grasp itself in an eternal circular motion. 
Perhaps referring to both the self-regulating nature and the circular time concept of Hinduism and Buddhism. If this is the case, it goes again in "Organic amoeba", where nature is again shown as resting in itself, free from the often harmful intervention of man.

Vivi Terkildsen is almost fabulating in the blue-and-white ceramic plate "The Princess and the Pea", where we are presented to a whole tableau of fairytale mood and fantasy.

With her both precise and empathetic ability to show human emotions, from intense grief and desperation to love, imagination and energy, Vivi Terkildsen goes straight for us. These are works that you will have to deal with. Works that will not just be nice, but will want to make a difference. And a difference they do.