Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to announce Norbert Prangenberg: Figuren, an exhibition of paintings and sculptures at 545 West 20th Street. Opening on Thursday, March 2, 2017, the exhibition features five of the artist’s large-scale ceramics and five paintings. It is the first time that any of these works have been shown in a gallery outside of Europe.
Prangenberg’s monumental ceramics, begun in the 1980s, are often simple geometric forms—usually ovals—with surfaces punctuated by finger marks, holes, and added cylindrical or circular elements. They are bulbous and hollow, lying on their sides like imaginary archaeological fragments, with glazes crawling and crazing both inside and out. They are reminiscent of traditional pottery only in their shape; otherwise, the artist has freed them of their utilitarian purpose.
Figur (1998) was made following two residencies at the Europees Keramisch Werkcentrum in Hertogenbosch. Traces of the artist’s hand are even more pronounced here than in previous works. Playful funnel-shaped protrusions and plant-like swellings join the characteristic holes, notches, and fingerprints of Prangenberg’s surfaces. Nevertheless, the artist’s respect for clay’s directness and flexibility is always evident, as well as its ability to transform, once glazed, from open-pored raw material into objects of luminous beauty.
“Everything he did was rooted in materiality, ranging from the tangible to the ethereal, and in the transformational progression of his materials,” writes critic John Yau. “He loved working with stuff that invited his direct physical engagement…that could be shaped, pushed around, spread, spontaneously dispersed, and incised.”
Born in Rommerskirchen-Nettesheim, Germany in 1949, Norbert Prangenberg apprenticed as a gold- and silversmith before turning to fine art. From 1993 to 2012, he held a professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. Since 1981, his work has been exhibited extensively in Europe, including sixteen solo- exhibitions at Galerie Karsten Greve (Cologne and Paris); eight at Galerie Barbara Gross (Munich); and five at Produzentengalerie (Hamburg), among others. Most recently, his work was the subject of retrospective exhibitions at the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum (2004–2005, Krefeld, Germany); the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe (2005, Germany); and the Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen (2008, Magdeburg, Germany). Prangenberg’s work is featured in the collections of major museums around Europe.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent the Estate of Norbert Prangenberg.
Norbert Prangenberg: Figuren will be on view at Garth Greenan Gallery, 545 West 20th Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), through Saturday, April 8, 2017. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. For more information, please contact Garth Greenan at (212) 929-1351, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.