Gertrud Vasegaard at Galerie Besson
An exhibition of ceramics by Danish potter Gertrud Vasegaard is currently showing at London’s Galerie Besson (until 24 February)
Gertrud Vasegaard (1913-2007) was one of the biggest names in Danish ceramics in the 20th century. Sadly her work is little known in the UK so this, her first ever solo show outside Denmark, is a great opportunity for British audiences to get to grips with it. Her ceramics have been compared to those by greats such as Lucie Rie and Hans Coper and are characterised by great subtlety, restraint and serenity.
Most of the pieces at Galerie Besson are functional, domestic forms – lidded boxes, bowls, vases – made out of gently coloured stoneware decorated with simple geometric patterns. Stripes and checks are a reoccurring motif, as are repeating decorations like the interlocking woven basket patterns or carefully drawn rows of stepped lines, whatever the pattern it’s always beautifully restrained and never overwhelms the form. Although the show is about her studio ceramics, Vasegaard also worked as a designer for the Danish ceramics firms of Bing + Grøndahl and Royal Copenhagen using traditional craft methods to produce prototypes for her mass-produced designs.