false ruins and lost innocence 1
104 x 80,5 x 122 cm (41 x 31 3/4 x 48 1/8 in) (work)
50 x 160 x 110 cm (19 3/4 x 63 x 43 1/4 in) (plinth)
The large-scale ceramic takes as point of departure the so-called Cuckoo Coffee House in Da Nang, Vietnam, an airy building from 2019 designed by a young Vietnamese architectural firm called Tropical Space. Inside the multiple nestled shapes overlooking an enclosed courtyard, a small forest of trees appears to thrive, their trunks richly glazed.
The work exemplifies the increasing presence of organic elements in Melsheimer’s ceramic works. Reinforced by the artist’s 2017 residency on Fogo Islands which brought out an engagement with nature that has always been present but has gained urgency, perhaps as a consequence of ecological debates.
The new sculpture is one of the artist’s largest and technically complex ceramics to date. Similar to her idiosyncratic use of concrete, Melsheimer who began to work with the material in 2013, has pushed the boundaries of this craft in scale and technique, making the medium completely her own.