Born in Jena in 1979, lives and works in Halle, Germany.
He learned the potter’s craft from Kinya Ishikawa in Canada, and he studied art with Antje Scharfe, Karl Fulle and Martin Neubert in Halle, where Johannes Nagel has had a workshop since 2008. He currently teaches ceramics at Burg Giebichenstein.
Johannes Nagel is known for unique pieces that blur the lines between functional pottery and works of art. His work is described as intensely sculptural, visually arresting and powerful.
There is a sense of provisionality about the works of ceramicist Johannes Nagel – we know they are finished because they are glazed, fired, and presented, but they allow for continued questioning of the concept of the vessel – what it signifies, what memories of other objects it evokes, the deep conventions of the ceramic discipline. Nagel has the agility to work in accretive and reductive ways: his vessels may be thrown, built, collaged, or cast in moulds excavated in sand.
His collaged works are made up of components which are often recognisably wheel-thrown, and which have been stacked or assembled, sometimes in discordant ways. Volume meets neck; neck meets lip; lip may hang under its own weight. They comment on the qualities of clay – to be brittle and angular, soft and pliant, smooth in places but in others harshly gritty with grogged additions. He makes and then breaks the profile of the vessel, the very principle upon which it depends. There may be a gap left between components, rendering invalid any semblance of function. Imagery or colour is deliberately superficial, applied like paint as an on-glaze, disrupting and re-establishing the lines of the work and the way it is articulated and read.
SOLO AND GROUP EXHIBITIONS (selection)
I hardly ever Thought of flowers, Brutto Gusto, Berlin
Modern Classics Fokus Gefäß/Focus Vessel, Keramikmuseum Westerwald
Sphären, Sammlung Jörg Johnen, Berlin
Johannes Nagel“, Keramion, Frechen
Vessels, perhaps, New Arts Centre, Roche Court, UK
I hardly ever thought of flowers, Gallery Fumi, London, UK
Geformt und gebaut, Galerie Handwerk, München
Kaleidoscope, Brutto Gusto, Berlin
Fokus Junge Kunst, Kunstmuseum Kloster unser lieben Frauen, Magdeburg
Kaleidoskop, Galerie Kunstforum Solothurn, Solothurn, Schweiz
Design Show – Johannes Nagel, Daniel Naudé, Joseph Walsh, New Art Centre, Roche Court, UK
Space between, Galerie Idelmann, Gelsenkirchen
Raw/tech, Valcucine/Spotti Milano, Italy
German Contemporary Arts & Crafts Cheongju International Craft Biennale 2013, Korea
Silver – 25 years, 25 artists, Brutto Gusto, Berlin
Trouble in mind, Galerie der Kunststiftung des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle
Kunstpreis »junger westen 2011«, Kunsthalle Recklinghausen
In Form gegossen, Galerie Handwerk, München
Transformation, Galerie für Angewandte Kunst des BKV, München
Craft & Scenography, Depot Basel, Schweiz
Improvisorium, Kunstforum Solothurn, Solothurn, Schweiz
Dauerbrenner II – Freisspiel, geh8, Dresden
Studio Ware, Gallery Fumi, London, UK
Materials Revisited, 10. Triennale für Form und Inhalte 2011, Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt
die IDEE, das DING, das BILD, die REDE, Forum Gestaltung, Magdeburg
Causing Chaos , Fife Contemporary Art & Craft, St Andrews Museum , Schotland
Das Voynich-Manuskript – eine Künstlersicht, Grauer Hof, Aschersleben
Frechener Keramikpreis 2009, Keramion, Frechen
The vessel – the object, Kunstforum Solthurn, Schweiz
Ausstellung zum Kunstpreis der Stiftung der Sparkasse Halle, Kunstforum, Halle
Keramikmuseum Westerwald, Höhr-Grenzhausen
Museum Ariana, Genf, Schweiz
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, GB