Jungersen, Gitte

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Gitte Jungersen was born in 1967 in Denmark and studied at the Danish School of Design in Copenhagen from 1988 - 1993. Since her student days at the Danish School of Design she has strongly opposed the established ideas of "good taste". In 1992, she founded the group "Junta" with two fellow students of ceramics, Michael Geertsen and Morten Løbner Espersen. The group challenged the emphasis on form and function and the Bauhaus tradition that prevailed at the college. "Junta" gave vent to the development of a new generation of ceramists, who were in opposition to the previous generation of grand ladies of Danish ceramic art. The issue of good taste continues to fascinate her today, "I am concerned with beauty and ugliness. I want to avoid a flat niceness and I believe that beauty has many layers that also include ugliness." And Gitte Jungersen's sculptural vessels, with their almost grotesque glaze work and heavy forms are certainly antithetical to much streamlined glossy ceramic design of today. More than anything though, it is the inherent qualities of the ceramic material and its formal and textural capabilities that she is fascinated by. The working process is clearly visible in her works.

Jungersen doesn't just go with the tide: she challenges the prevailing sense of aesthetics and she tests the limitations of her material by fully exploring its intrinsic qualities and capabilities. "I feel very ambivalent towards the inherent characteristics of the decorative arts. The importance of craftsmanship, functionality and aesthetics", says Gitte Jungersen.

"The works come into being in the process. I go on and on until I can control the process - the best pieces are actually the ones somewhere in the middle of this process - they are a little off-beat." Gitte Jungersen likes to explore something fully - it is in the process of testing her materials that the excitement and tension exist. "It is a game about controlling and not-controlling. There is so much resistance in the material. It becomes a battle between me and the material". At the point where she gains sufficient control, the process has ended and she is ready to move on to something else (text: Puls Contemporary Ceramics).

Images: Portrait Gitte Jungersen 2012 (source Copenhagen ceramics); object (source Puls Bruxelles).