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Chimney vessel

Robert Sturm - 1960's

20 x 20 x 6 cm

The work of Robert Sturm (1935–1994) elevated ceramics to a new level of abstraction. Initially trained as a painter and a sculptor, beginning around 1967 the artist began to focus almost exclusively on ceramics. His work emerged at a time when ceramics was claiming a renewed role in the wake of a re-engagement with the principles of arts and craft practices of the Bauhaus. After World War II the unifying curriculum of the Bauhaus, where drawing, painting, and drafting had been taught alongside pottery, textile design and photography was adopted by avant-garde institutions such as Black Mountain College in North Carolina but also by German art schools. Thus Robert Sturm beginning in 1956 studied at the Werkakademie in Kassel, which in 1947 re-opened specifically with this mandate. Ceramics were an integral part of the curriculum and with Robert Sturm’s teacher Walter Popp the university had one of the most influential teachers. Composed from basic geometric shapes, Robert Sturm’s ceramic works from the 1960s and early 1970s draw on the language of constructivist abstraction. Their formal logic is both simple and complex: the clay planes, for example, seem set in clear relationships, yet, as the spectator moves around the sculptures, new lines and forms appear to emerge. At the same time, Robert Sturm’s works never feel assembled, referential or graphic but are perceived as a unit. In the early 1980s Robert Sturm increasingly became engaged with what he considered a fraught political situation and began a series of works addressing these anxieties.

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Modernshapes - Chimney vessel
The work of Robert Sturm (1935–1994) elevated ceramics to a new level of abstraction. Initially trained as a painter and a sculptor, beginning around 1967 the artist began to focus almost exclusively on ceramics. His work emerged at a time when cera