Arnold Annen


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Arnold Annen is one of the most internationally renowned ceramic artists. Born in 1952 in Gstaad, Switzerland. He studied at the Bern Design School and completed his practical training in the workshops of Jean-Claude de Croussaz and Pierre Mestre. In 1989 he opened his own studio in Basel. 

Arnold Annen is famous above all for his works in Limoges porcelain. Over the years, he has refined his technique, which is an unmistakable hallmark of his work. He makes bowls as thin as paper, with a degree of transparency that is unparalleled in the world of ceramics. To reach this level of perfection, his procedures involve a very disciplined approach, along with sophisticated manual techniques.

The extremely thin walls of his bowls makes it impossible to correct errors. Even the smallest bubble would ruin a piece. Every operation has to be performed at exactly the right moment, and this requires absolute concentration throughout the entire process. The result is a very thin, translucent piece, like a screen for Chinese shadows. Some critics have defined his work as “white gold.

From 1993 on, Annen’s work has not been limited to small-scale pieces. He has begun to develop large porcelain objects, dedicating particular attention to space, volumes and interstitial spaces. After a number of years of study, he began crafting his earliest primitive fossil forms. He gave them names such as Stichtyomitra or Archaeodictyomitra, like the microscopic unicellular organisms that lived in the oceans millions of years ago. These objects reveal a different type of transparency: they are irregular, like skeletons, and their shapes create a complex system of shadows. The reduction firing at 1250°C burns the material, so that hollow parts are formed, openings, sometimes cracks and fissures, and the object looks as if it is about to shatter into pieces.

Arnold Annen Portrait 4




SOFA CHICAGO, Art Fair, Officine Saffi Gallery, Chicago, USA
Extreme Porcelain, Galerie Marianne Heller, Germany
Collect, Internatianal Art Fair, Officine Saffi Gallery, Londra, United Kingdom

SOFA CHICAGO, Art Fair, Officine Saffi Gallery, Chicago, USA
Contemporary Swiss Ceramics, Mendrisio Art Museum, Switzerland

Museum der Landschaft Saanen, exposition retrospective, Saanen, Switzerland
Kulturplatz gsteig, exposition retrospective, Gsteig/Gstaad, Switzerland
Matières à réflexion, Galerie Capazza, Nançay, France
In Form gegossen, Galerie Handwerk München, Germany
Céramiques Suisses d’aujour’hui, Musée royal de Mariemont, Belgium

Landart at the Tschäpperli near Aesch, Switzerland
Helvètes Vulcains, MUDAC, Lausanne, Switzerland
International Ceramic Art Days, Schloss Oldenburg, Germany
Translucencies, Gallery Officine Saffi, Milan, Italy
Special exhibition, Ariana Museum, Geneva, Switzerland
A fleur de peau, Galerie Capazza, Paris/Nançay, France

Porcelaines, exposition individuelle, Centre Céramique Contemporaine, La Borne, France
Galerie Metzger, Johannesburg/Frankfurt, Germany
Exempla, Keramik gestaltet die Erde, München, Germany
1001 bols, voyages d’argile. Expositions en Inde, Chine, Corée, France et Suisse

Adventures of the Fire, World Contemporary Ceramics, Icheon, Korea
Porzellan-weisses Gold, Musée Bellerive, Zürich
Retro-Perspective, Galerie de l’Hôtel de Ville, Yverdon-les-Bains

Le Printemps des Potiers, Bandol, France
Galerie Handwerk München, Germany

Céramique et Verre, Triennale Européenne, Mons, Belgium
Terres Extrêmes, Musée de la Céramique à Argentona, Barcelona, Spain
Terres Extrêmes, Maison de la Céramique à Giroussens, France
Transparenz und Masse, Musée Eckernförde, Germany
AR-T-GILLAE II, International Ceramic Art Exhibition, Koksijde, Belgium

AUS TON Kunst Raum Riehen/Basel, Switzerland
European Ceramic Context, Bornholm, Danmark
I’m Dreaming of..., Angela Mellor Gallery, Ely, England

Galerie Puls, Bruxelles, Belgium
7 Triennale de Céramique Contemporaine à Mino, Japan
Swiss Contemporary Ceramics, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, USA
Porzellan, eine Renaissance, Künstlerhaus Saarbrücken, Germany
Biennale européenne de céramique contemporaine, Troyes, France

Galerie Marianne Heller, Heidelberg, Germany
Musée Westerwald, Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany
Musée Bernard Palissy, St. Avit, France
1° The first Taiwan Ceramic Biennale, Taiwan
Faszination Porzellan, Galerie Handwerk, Munique, Germany

World Ceramic Biennale, Icheon, Korea
Galerie Metzger, Johannesburg/Frankfurt, Germany
Int. Keramikausstellung, Vichte, Belgium
Keramikmuseum Staufen/Freiburg, Germany

Fonction fiction, Biennale de l’ACS, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Céramique Suisse, exposition à Shigaraki et à Aichi, Japan
Musée d'art et d'histoire, Hüfingen, Germany
Galerie le Vieux-Bourg, Jeannine Lyon, Lonay, Switzerland

6° Trienniale internationale Porcelaine contemporaine Nyon, Switzerland
Centre culturel de la ville de Seto, Japan

Kunstforum Kirchberg, Suisse "petite sculpture", exposition internationale
Biennale de l’ACS, Lucerne, Switzerland "feu sacré"


Officine Saffi Gallery Translucencies


From 12 October 2011 to 25 November 2011