Trinkwalder pottery gives you a turbulent glimpse of yourself

Austrian Elmar Trenkwalder (1959) does impressive work in an impressive way: he composes his often massive pottery sculptures from units he fired in his studio kiln in Innsbruck. At the destination they are connected and stacked. Trinkwalder himself also sees the work for the first time in its final form.

He now has his first solo exhibition in the Netherlands at the Beelden aan Zee Museum in Scheveningen. The museum asked him to create a new work for an exhibition with the subject Garden of earthly delights. this work , WVZ 360-S (Trinkwader does not give any other nicknames to his works other than the numbered “Werkverzeichnis” ), logically in the middle as soon as you enter the large Beelden aan Zee room. However, it is interesting to turn to the right and look at the older work first.

then acquaintance WVZ 233-S (2010, 14 vols.), A tower of creamy white angels with soft red wings, somehow captured by Trinkwalder so they could never use those wings to escape. Here you can see how the artist puts his pieces together. It does not force its ceramics into very narrow shapes, so that the modules fit into large seams. In other works, this is more accurate, but the different parts always remain visible. This confirms his skill: Trinkwalder works only on his sculptures. He first makes detailed drawings and models – two of which can be seen beautifully in Scheveningen – and gradually develops them into the final work.

Wondrous world

Trinquilder draws from religious images around the world, with many iterations and motifs. But lust, too, is never far from him. The museum describes his work as “a mixture of eroticism with architecture” and “penis” – but this is considered a relief as he often works in vertical forms. Trinkwalder himself sees his work as “cosmic”, in which the viewer can discover his own fantasies. Due to the endless amount of detail, your eyes will inevitably get lost in his wonderful world.

WVZ 360-S: faience and glaze, 330 x 600 x 600 cm, 49 pcs.

Photo studio Gerrit Schrewers

The most phallic action in Beelden aan Zee is WVZ 183-S (2006, 69 vols.), Man-sized white finger set pointing straight to the sky, wrapped in pink sheaths. At the same time, this is the softest picture in the gallery: the pink baby makes him almost cute, the small human figures pour between the high fingers jugs of pink ice, or closely intertwine.

Where the penis and vagina appear in his work, there is often excrement under it: you can think of nothing more earthy and less exciting than defecation in people. As a result, the actions radiate an innocent, friendly physicality.

His most recent work is a distinct difference in style with the other sculptures in the gallery. WVZ 360-S (2021 -22, 49 parts) is darker and therefore better to watch last. The choice of color makes the work really dark, as the gray-blue-violet glaze is combined with the marsh green above it. This gives the whole a dripping, almost sloppy look, as if it was centuries old and the moss had eaten itself in it. WVZ 360-S It is also a much more organic form than the previous columns, it rotates into each other, making arcs to the different parts where all kinds of incomplete figures meet and look at each other, from the horse who wants to become a griffin to the strangely crowned clowns, wiggling and climbing acrobatic;

baby dolls

Especially stand out many children or baby dolls. They have areolas, round bellies, buttocks and cheeks, and their legs and arms are out of proportion. Are they laughing with those open mouths in the circus around them or crying? The other faces in the many grooves and grooves of the work are staring and screaming with wide eyes and mouths. At first they are reminiscent of yawning, but they are caged, narrow faces. And if you step aside, they’re gone.

WVZ 183-S (2006, 69 vols.).

Photo studio Gerrit Schrewers

With every light, every look, every distance, details can change drastically – which works especially well in Beelden aan Zee’s room, which constantly distorts the bright glazing with daylight from different sides. The longer you look, the more details you see and the more serious the matter WVZ 360-S Become.

Once again a crooked face appears, but a closer step reveals a wrinkle with a hollow in the middle that was once a horrifyingly staring eye. Trinkwalder draws me into his wonderful world, but with this work I wonder more than others: What does he want to say? Is this how he sees the real world, like a circus full of chaos that has been grinding the innocent for centuries? Or is this a peek at myself, am I turning it into a circus of anxiety due to crises, war, and turmoil right now? I take a step back, and the concave curl undergoes another transformation. My eyes are constantly getting lost.

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