Keramik Gruppe Grenhausen

San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts

Accession no: 2006.1.12 A-J Type of work: Ceramic
Artist/creator: Keramik Gruppe Grenhausen
Susanne Altweig, Monika Debus, Martin Goerg, Emil Heger, Fritz Rossman
Born: Susanne Altzweig, 1959; Monika Debus, 1961; Martin Goerg, 1962; Fritz Rossman, 1958

Artist biography: “Ceramic group Grenzhausen is a model for a number of principles. Camaraderie in a speciality medium, smart use of resources, marketing savvy and the encouragement to each hold each others feet to the fire of high aesthetic standards. I have long argued at conferences and other events that the collaborative pottery is the way of the future. Ceramics is such a kind, that to establish an arduous discipline in its complexity of material, its sophistication of equipment, its long and vulnerable process from mud to fired all of this infrastructure, gather all tools and machines for just one maker is poor use of capital (human and fiscal) and is energy inefficient and ecologically unsound. When we look back twenty years from now at the luxury of the one potter/one studio approach, we will remember the path blazed by this group of five artists who have worked together, shared a working space and common kilns, survived romances and aesthetic disputes of for X years now and are still amongst Germany's most innovative ceramists. This direction is not without precedent. Collaborative pottery in medieval times was common. Admittedly, then the motivation was different. The so-called "cuppers' for instance rallied together in groups to make green glazed cups that we fired in common kiln. The cups or chalices were for the London guilds who were then replacing wooden drinking vessels with ceramic ones causing a massive demand. In order to make enough cups, and at the right price, collaboration was essential to keep down production costs and speed up production. Of course ceramic group Grenzhausen is not a production facility churning thousand of cups a week (even though their home is in the history-rich environment of one of the oldest and most productive early salt-glazed pottery centres in Europe). But they do work in a tough marketplace, the market for ceramic art while growing has not been buoyant for over a decade now. So they can keep down their costs and stay productive when some others cannot. However, it is my guess that while the economics of collaboration are attractive, what holds this group together is not anything as objective or simple as efficiency and economy but it is the succor of like minded artists trying to move the agenda of ceramics into the 21st century, tilting against the odds of marginalization and winning.” -----Garth Clark

Title of work: Set of 5 Demi-Tasses
Date of item: 2004
Signed: no

Dimensions: 1. cup – 2 ¼” h x 2 ¾” w x 1 7/8” d; saucer – ¼” h x 3 5/8” diameter (5.7 x 7 x 4.8 cm; 0.6 x 9.2 cm)
2. cup – 2´h x 3 ¼” w x 2 3/8” d; saucer – 3/8” h x 3 7/8” diameter (5.1 X 8.3 X 6.4 CM; 1.6 X 11.1 cm)
3. cup – 1 ¾” x 3 ¼” w x 2 3/8” d; saucer – 1/8” h x 3 7/8” diameter (4.4 x 8.3 x 6.0 cm; .95 x 9.8 cm)
4. cup – 2 1/8” h x 3 7/8” w x 3 ¼” d; saucer – 5/8” h x 4” diameter (5.4 x 9.8 x 8.3 cm; 1.6 x 10.2 cm)
5. cup – 2” h x 3 3/8” w x 2 5/8” d; saucer – ½” h x 4 ¼” diameter (5.1 x 8.6 x 6.7 cm; 1.3 x 10.8 cm)

Description: The piece consists of five individual cup and saucer sets by 5 different artists all who belong to a ceramic cooperative called Keramik Gruppe Grenhausen. The 5 sets vary in color and style. None are signed. Set 1 is brown with black accents and the smallest of the five. The saucer is flat, the cup is cylindrical with a small spiral-bound handle. Set 2 is blue and white. The round cup has a handle, is white on the snide and . way down on the exterior. The rest of the exterior is a bright blue which is the same color as the saucer, which is not entirely flat, but slightly concave. Set 3 is entirely black, cup and saucer. The saucer is small and nearly flat in shape. The cup has a squarish shape with straight sides and a handle. Set 4 is turquoise and white. The rounded, traditionally shaped cup is the largest of the five. It is white on the inside with a geometric white and turquoise design on the outside. The small saucer is turquoise and rimmed ion the outside edge in white. It has a small depression where the cup sits which is also ringed in white. Set 5 is a rust brown color. The cup has a handle and the sides angle downward to the small base. Gray-greenish glaze drips over the side of the rim. The saucer is rust brown in color with a depressed area where the cup sits.
Material: earthenware, porcelain, stoneware
Medium: ceramic

Country of origin: Germany
Condition: Very Good condition from Condition Report dated Dec. 19, 2012
Provenance: Gift
Donor information: Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio, Garth Clark Gallery, New York
History of object: Received at San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts as a gift from Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio of Garth Clark Gallery, New York, in December 2005. Accessioned March 23, 2006.
Restrictions: Credit Line: Gift from the Collection of Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio

Cataloger name: K. Zimmerly
Date: Dec. 19, 2012
Sources used: artist file;