Keramik und Grafik
Susan Boutwell Gallery
Munich, Theresienstrasse 48
Resembling coral reefs or corporeal body parts, Mira Makai’s abstract ceramics have a sense of organic vitality, pulsing with moulded forms merging together. Makai is a Hungarian artist who intuitively explores the boundaries between life and decay through printmaking, painting, sculpture, and ceramics. She has studied in Germany at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München and has an MA in Printmaking from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. Additionally, she has been featured in Forbes Hungary’s Top 30 under 30 and has exhibited throughout Europe, most recently at MODEM Modern and Contemporary Arts Centre, Art + Text Budapest Gallery.
Femme Art Review is pleased to feature a digital experience of Mira Makai’s exhibition Keramik und Grafik at Susan Boutwell Gallery since it has been closed off to the public due to COVID-19. Viewing art online may be a different experience than seeing the show in person, however, we hope to spotlight artists to bring their work to viewers. Although these past few weeks have been uncertain, the power of the arts community coming together to offer their support has been tremendous. In these disheartening circumstances, new avenues of collaborating and experiencing art can occur. Below is an artist’s statement and video of Mira Makai’s exhibition Keramik und Grafik.
Mira Makai. Keramik und Grafik at Susan Boutwell Gallery. Video by Max Draper.
Mira Makai / Artist Statement
While making [these] ceramic objects I was reminded of a childhood scene. When I was young and we went to the River Tisza on holiday, my favourite game was to fool around with the wet sand of the riverbank. I liked to watch the watery silt first losing its sheen in my hand, then go dry, and finally display another quality in it’s cracked and whitened form. This is a basic experience to me, which has determined the roots of my attitude toward painting and sculpture. I like to imagine that in the prehistoric age the process was the same during the birth of the first works of art. This is the feel I am looking for in my work in general.
In my university years, after making a lot of graphic prints and studies, I formulated a need for a kind of creation/possession of objects. This was the main motivation behind my moving to Munich to work on ceramics. I wanted to have something that had value in itself, without being furnished with the amount and locked behind a frame. I immediately warmed up to ceramics, where works are enduring but really mouldable in all respects. First I planned to realize five or six designs, and their building was preceded by a long preparation. After being confronted with the characteristics of the material, getting to know its nature, several options opened up for me. I was liberated from my fear of making errors and at once felt the product to be my own.
The forms used in my sculptures are based on a simple observation of nature. Therein reappear the treasures of natural museums, loved and visited by me, such as the structure of minerals and rock, the details of prepared displays under glass and the transparent innards of amphibians in formaldehyde. I strive to create a sort of personal Wunderkammer. What I deem important in these works is the duality manifested on the borderline between inviting, vibrant proliferation and revolting yet natural decomposition. It is in this frontier zone that I imagine these works, and pair up formal elements with colours and surfaces accordingly.
Additionally, I think that the atmosphere and the mood of the works can awake an inviting and repulsive feeling [for the viewer]. This observation is interesting to me. This is the border between the full of life prurience and the deadly rot. I find my works interesting if I can balance in this border with them. I build up my works for that ambivalent aesthetic, and I search for those values in other artworks.