Rik Vandewege

Rik Vandewege

Temporary Show - November-December 2020

Christophe Desvallées, Annouk Thys and Rik Vandewege 

Rik Vandewege (Gent, °1951)
Studied at ceramics at the Royal Academy Antwerp and the Sint Lucas School of Art. His work was selected at Faënza (It), Nagoya (Japan), Vallauris (Frankrijk), Tajimi (Japan) and Terra Brughensis. You find his work in several musea as Faenza, Designmuseum Gent, FuLe International Ceramic Art Museum te Fuping (China) and the GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst te Leipzig. His ceramics are represented in official and private collections.

After a breather from 1989 to 1991, Rik Vandewege took up his inborn passion for ceramics again.
As a matter of fact, the main features of his overall plastic vision strikingly come to the fore in his ceramics.
In the eighties, his approach was explicitly sculptural, and his ‘compositions’ were assembled of clay sheets that did not join seamlessly.
After 1992, the flawless pot in its quality as an ‘objet d’art’ or object gained the upper hand again. His pots are not turned on the potter’s wheel; they are assembled with clay sheets (sheeting technique). Rik Vandewege rolls out, kneads and moulds sheets of clay, then cuts them up and shapes them into a larger form. The processing of clay spontaneously gives rise to graphic expression, but he also adds new signs on the clay surfaces. He then resorts to a reverse plaster mould to obtain a positive clay model. He presses the scratched sheets of clay in the plaster mould.
Rik Vandewege clearly dissociates himself from functional ceramics by deliberately leaving the holes and cuts that occur in the clay sheets. The firing technique is based on the actual processing of clay. The muffled firing in a low-oxygen atmosphere make a spellbinding spectrum of subtle mud colours and shades appear on the rough surface of the pots, ranging from brownish to light grey and dark, black hues. On the sides, faint traces of musical signs or scores can be identified.
It is not without reason that he gives the name of “still life” to his ceramics’ compositions. In an ascetic of ethereal environment, his creations are conducive to meditation and contemplation. His archetypes, his primitive forms radiate originality and reflect a trend towards asceticism. In essence, this work thrives on its ethnic or primitive dimension, which echoes the authenticity of archaeological relics.

After Lieven Defour