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LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 Exhibition
Design Museum, London

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LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 Exhibition
Design Museum, London

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LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 Exhibition
Design Museum, London

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LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 Exhibition
Design Museum, London

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LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 Exhibition
Design Museum, London

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LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 Exhibition
Design Museum, London

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LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 Exhibition
Design Museum, London

30 shortlisted artists for the 2018 edition of the LOEWE Craft Prize. Each of the finalists’ work was exhibited at The Design Museum, London from 4 May – 17 June 2018.

For the 2018 edition, a panel of 11 experts convened in Madrid for two days to review all presented works and select the shortlist. In their deliberations, the panel sought to identify the most outstanding works in terms of technical accomplishment, innovation and artistic vision.

Regarding the selection process, Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, Executive Secretary of the LOEWE Craft Prize Experts Panel, stated: ‘This year the judging was harder than prior years, with the standard of applicants impressively high across every category. Our chosen works reflect an almost alchemical manipulation of each medium’s possibilities and reward those who have mastered traditional skills in order to transform them for the contemporary age. The selected finalists —who range in age from 27 to 76— are a multigenerational snapshot of the utmost excellence in craft today.’

LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 winner Jennifer Lee invites us into her London studio to give us a glimpse into the handmade processes that go into creating her ceramic vessels.

Over the last forty years, following ceramics and tapestry studies at Edinburgh College of Art and a Masters at the Royal College of Art in London, Lee has been honing her unique artistic process. Using basic core materials – clay, water, oxides – and classical pinching and coiling techniques, she has achieved such elegance in her creations people are often surprised that they were not formed on a potter´s wheel.

Time and evolution are central concerns of Lee´s practice. Famously she maintains an archive of pre-coloured clays, the properties of which change over the years – the clay she used for her winning Craft Prize entry was itself 30 years old. Her resulting ceramics become breathtaking manifestations of the natural elements, landscapes and geological processes that forged them.

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Jennifer Lee, United Kingdom
Pale, Shadowed Speckled Traces, Fading Ellipse, Bronze Specks, Tilted Shelf, 2017
Stoneware clay plus natural oxides mixed into the clay

 

Present in over forty public collections around the globe, this Scottish ceramist studied at both the Edinburgh and Royal College of Art. A preference for traditional techniques elaborated by hand, Lee developed her own method of colouring by mixing metallic oxides into clay.

This hand-coiled vessel utilises planetary bands of oxidised pigments – some coloured decades prior to creation – to capture a sense of frozen time within its delicately poised proportions. Using ancient techniques of pinching and coiling, a eeting sense of discovery is intertwined into the surface, evident in the bands, haloes, and ellipses that circumnavigate the vessel with varying intensity. Lee wants to remind us of nature’s intractable march of change, yet by preserving this particular concoction of colour and clay in the res of her kiln, she creates a lasting image of a moment already passed.

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Simone Pheulpin, France
Croissance XL (XL Growth), 2017
Cotton fabric and pins

 

A self-taught textile sculptor, Pheulpin uses unbleached cotton to create forms inspired by the natural landscape. Her captivating use of countless folds within her patterns has seen her work exhibited across Europe and the United States, winning her accolades including the 2015 Laureate for the Fondation d’Ateliers d’Art’s Le Créateur prize.

Sourcing densely wrapped cotton strips from reclaimed Vosges car tires, this impressive sculptural piece transforms humble cloth into something akin to prehistoric geology. Using strips of non-bleached muslin, Pheulpin evenly shapes, densely stacks, and seamlessly solidifies her material into a symbol of natural strength. Emulating crevices of rock and time-worn sediment, the large, compact piece conveys ideas about the enormity of the Earth’s past, prompting us to consider the fragility of our own existence.

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Takuro Kuwata, Japan
Tea Bowl, 2017
Porcelain, glaze, pigment, platinum and steel

 

Kuwata’s reputation as a radical potter is born from his penchant for experimental procedures as he pushes the potential of materials. Known for his saturated and intense colour combinations, an underlying respect for his predecessors is evident in references to traditional forms and functionality.

An exploration of ideas conceived and developed during his handling of porcelain, platinum and steel, this container brims with the possibilities of chance. A preference for experimentation means Kuwata often adds elements such as stones or needles to the kiln or clay in order to puncture or perforate his vessels. The melted metal covering this tea bowl creates an initial impression of dysfunction, but this is merely an indication of Kuwata’s joyful approach to creation. Beneath the playful patina is an elegant vessel grounded in timeless tradition.

Pale, Shadowed Speckled Traces, Fading Ellipse, Bronze Specks, Tilted Shelf (2017) by Jennifer Lee was chosen as the winning entry.

The selection was made by a distinguished jury composed of leading figures from the worlds of design, architecture, journalism, criticism and museum curatorship, including Ernst Gamperl, winner of the 2017 edition of the Prize. Jonathan Anderson, LOEWE creative director, commented: ‘Jennifer Lee for me is a landmark in form’. The jury commended the work for its classicism, the means by which it rooted the entire exhibition, and its timelessness.

The Jury also agreed upon giving two special mentions. One has been given to French textile artist, Simone Pheulpin, for her work Croissance XL (XL Growth) (2017). The jury commented: ‘She is redefining what we think of as textiles. She has elevated humble recycled materials into something truly remarkable.’

Another was given to Japanese potter Takuro Kuwata for his work Tea Bowl (2017). The jury admired the energy and self-expression of his work, saying: ‘He transgresses the typical tradition of ceramics while pointing a new way forward.’

The Finalists of the LOEWE Craft Prize 2018

30 works have been selected as finalists by the Experts Panel out of more than 1,900 participants.

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Jury / Experts Panel 2018

Jury:

 - Jonathan Anderson, LOEWE Creative Director.
 - Ernst Gamperl, Winner of the LOEWE Craft Prize first edition.
 - Rosy Greenlees, President of the World Crafts Council.
 - Hong-Nam Kim, former Director of the National Museum of Korea.
 - Toshiyuki Kita, furniture and product designer.
 - Enrique Loewe, LOEWE FOUNDATION Honorary President.
 - Deyan Sudjic, essayist and Director of Design Museum, London.
 - Benedetta Tagliabue, architect and Pritzker Prize jury member.
 - Patricia Urquiola, architect and industrial designer.
 - Anatxu Zabalbeascoa (Chair), architecture and design correspondent for El País.

Experts Panel:

- Paula Aza, LOEWE Head of Architecture
- Antonia Boström, Keeper at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
- Sara Flynn, ceramist.
- Ori Kleiner, media artist, educator.
- Yoshiaki Kojiro, glass artist.
- Axel Kufus, furniture designer.
- Krzysztof Lukasik, LOEWE accessories designer.
- Ramón Puig Cuyàs, jewellery artist.
- Helena Schepens, metal artist.
- Anatxu Zabalbeascoa (Executive Secretary), architecture and design correspondent for El País.
- Tina Zickler, curator.