east meets west in the modern mesopotamian ceramics of kotan

Turkish born and Geneva based, Ipek Kotan (b.1977) is a breath of fresh air in the world of contemporary ceramics.  Her elegant creations are a tactile expression of her love of the material – having originally studied photography, she soon gravitated to the potter’s wheel where she could touch, kneel and smell her medium and bring life and vision to clay.

The results are beautiful Limoges porcelain and stoneware bowls and vessels that have rich textured interiors glazed in copper and earthy tones and whose forms are drawn from traditional Mesopotamian pottery.  This contrasts beautifully with the unglazed exteriors of both her Limoges pieces which are silky smooth and of her stoneware pieces that have a rough, unfinished, and slightly rustic feel to them.  Her objects remind me of elegant Chinese Song Dynasty (960-1276) pottery in their Zen “spirit” … great design is indeed timeless.  I especially love the flat turned vessel that could easily hold court on its own (or with a single gardenia flower) while sitting on a simple console table.
Kotan has shown extensively with galleries across Europe and the USA while also creating works for Barney’s New York.  Last year the Museum of Decorative Arts in Dresden added a piece by Kotan to their permanent collection.  What a coup for this young artist! So if it’s good enough for one of the world’s leading decorative arts museums in the world, then what more convincing do we need, right?

Ipek has two exciting upcoming exhibitions this year.  From 26 April – 2 June she will be exhibiting alongside 20 world renown ceramicists at the Bavarian State Archeological Museum in Munich (Archäologische Staatssammlung) and in October, an exciting solo exhibition at the Beaux Arts Bath Gallery in the U.K.  Good luck!!!

image credits: Frigesch Lampelmayer for  Ipek Kotan, Geneva