Yesterday a new article about the acclaimed painter and sculptor Kuno Vollet appeared in the German art magazine MUNDUS (1/16).
You can download the PDF version here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxflUqnixj48SkFlNzFNODBacG8/view
Primal Symbol of Life
New Works by Kuno Vollet
Author: LENA NAUMANN
“Even if your circle is unremarkable, narrow and small, fill it with your entire being, strive to be a good person,” wrote the Greek poet Homer in the 8th century BC. This passage is the oldest record in the history of Western literature of representing the circle as a space within which the individual life takes its course. Even today, the concept of the circle of life remains proverbial. Indian philosophy knows a very distinctive symbol for this: the mandala. At birth, the human being emerges from the center of the circle, moves toward its outer edge — which symbolically stands for the flower of life — and is then once again submerged in the center at death.
The circle and its center are among the primal symbols of life. The circle can be thought of as a point that inflates itself, permits the dimensions of time and space to flow into it and then subsequently withdraws back into itself. The form of the mandala is to be found in atomic physics, in the electrons’ dance around a nucleus, and it is also to be found in the cell, the fundamental building block of organic life, which receives all of the information for its diverse structures and functions from the nucleus resting within it. We are confronted with this primal pattern of the universe in every solar system and spiral galaxy — and also in the calyxes of flowers, in whirlpools, snails’ shells and hurricanes.
Nothing and Everything
It is these considerations that have inspired the painter and sculptor Kuno Vollet in developing his new works, particularly the new series Creatio continua (Continuous creation). These pieces consist of ceramic plates around 12 in. (30 cm) in diameter, which the artist has deliberately composed as symbols of Creation: The visible textures are relatively coarse in the outer area and become more and more refined towards the middle, until they end in a gold-leaf ring. The color of this golden border has been chosen deliberately by the artist, because the significance of “emptiness” is to be emphasized through it. This can be understood in terms of quantum physics or also Taoism, entirely in the sense of Section 11 of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: “Thirty spokes converge upon a single hub; it is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges. Shape clay into a vessel; it is the space within that makes it useful. Carve fine doors and windows, but the room is useful in its emptiness. The usefulness of what is depends on what is not. Thus, according to the artist’s understanding, what is found inside the golden border is … nothing — and therefore everything! His ceramic sculptures are equally symbols of cosmic processes and of human life. However, they are compelling not only on account of their inherent significance, but also through their great aesthetic beauty.
The Alchemist among Glazes
Kuno Vollet received his education as an artist — among other places — at the Kunsthochschule Kassel, where he was a student of Professor Werner Gnegel. Gnegel is an internationally prominent specialist in the mastering of crystal glazes, which are the most elite discipline of porcelain and ceramic glazing: very delicate to handle, difficult to develop and even more difficult to master. This type of glaze — enriched with pigments, copper powder and other chemicals — is applied after the greenware’s initial, bisque firing. The characteristic optical effects emerge during the second firing, which is carried out at around 2240°F (1280°C): According to the thickness and composition of the glaze, they are reminiscent of ice crystals and appear at some points to be of a seemingly almost infinite depth and transparency. These effects are unique and invest objects featuring a crystal glaze with that sense of the noble and archaic which is also the essence of the secret behind their irresistible beauty. This is also the reason why there is such great demand for the objects from Vollet’s series Creatio continua: His most recent works can be seen and purchased at the three art fairs ARTe Sindelfingen (January 14–17, 2016), ART Innsbruck (January 28–31, 2016) and the artexpo NEW YORK (April 14–17, 2016) as well as at the Galerie Vera Lindbeck Isernhagen (until December 20, 2015) and, simultaneously with the ART BASEL Miami Beach, at the One Art Nation Wynwood Gallery in Miami (December 1–31, 2015).
Object: Creatio continua #12, 2015, ceramic with crystal glaze and gold leaf on iron stand, 15 in. (38 cm) – Kuno Vollet
Object: Creatio continua #41, 2015, ceramic with crystal glaze and gold leaf on iron stand, 11 1/2 in. (29 cm) – Kuno Vollet
Painting: Creatio continua #3, 2015, gold leaf, mixed media/copper, oxidized iron on wooden panel, 23 1/2 in. x 23 1/2 in. (60 x 60 cm). – Kuno Vollet
Close-up of the effects of crystal glaze
Interested in buying Kuno Vollet’s artworks?
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