Barbara Nanning was born in 1957 in Den Haag and studied at the Rietveld academy in Amsterdam from 1974 -1979. She is both a ceramist and a glass artist and has had many solo and group exhibitions in The Netherlands and abroad. Her work is exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Museum of Fine Art (Boston), Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (Hamburg) and Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, (Shigaraki, Japan). Her monumental work can be seen in many places in The Netherlands.
The oeuvre of Barbara Nanning is organic in form and gives expression to the natural course of life. It can be seen as a continuum of objects that are classified into groups, as if species and families. Her new objects follow from the preceding ones. The series are always based on a theme.
At Puls Contemporary Ceramics she will be showing ceramic works from the Galaxy, Terra and Botanica series. Barbara Nanning describes Galaxy as follows: "Planetary whirls inspire me, they are related to the rotations of the planets, stars and molecules. The essence and simplicity of these have resulted in the series Galaxy: turning objects without beginning or end. They represent permanent movement, the origin of life on earth."
In the Terra series she creates bowls with strict geometrical shapes. Some only have a pattern of parallel lines, others have a more complex structure, combining rational forms with organic forms from nature, the static and the dynamic.
Botanica is a series inspired by flower buds and seed capsules. These abstracted forms are built up of geometrical circles and cones.
Barbara Nanning has developed a unique technique, where she does not use glazes and engobes, but pure paint pigment- a cold finish on cold material. She assembles stoneware components with epoxy resin. It is a laborious, but precise technique. A skin of lacquer, pigment and sand connects the world of the painter with that of the ceramist. Her colour pallet is limited to pure, unmixed pigments. Vivid colours such as clear red, intense yellow, deep blue and brilliant purple give an unexpected, almost unreal dimension to her work. Mixed with fine sand, the colour cocoons the object and softens its contours.
Thimo te Duits, curator at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, describes Nanning's work as follows: "Barbara Nanning combines tradition with innovation, Eastern opulence with Dutch austereness, freedom with structure and reason with emotion. Nanning's work is an interesting mix of unequal quantities without becoming complex; a fusion of carefully chosen and at times seemingly contradictory elements, which in the end look so self-evident that no one wonders about the unusual combination of ingredients. She unites classical artisan methods with an innovative use of materials to achieve an entirely unique language of form, one which often develops in the making process, the turning of clay on the wheel and the blowing of glass. At a later stage she processes those forms by cutting and assembling them. Her language does not comply with the existing one, but breaks new ground and forms a universe all of its own."