Bending the Walls
Hardcover / 46 pages / Published by Hostler Burrows / October 2018
Babs Haenen (Dutch, b. 1948) is an internationally renowned ceramic artist based in Amsterdam whose expressive and idiosyncratic sculptures equally emphasize color, line and form. Influenced by 20th-century abstract painting as well as elements from the natural world, Haenen’s distinctive technique starts with creating richly pigmented and painterly compositions on slabs of porcelain. These compositions are then cut, folded, and built into three-dimensional sculptures resulting in objects that resemble vessels or geological forms. Vibrant, organic, and quirky, Haenen’s work hovers between art and craft, and are always imbued with a dynamic inner choreography.
Haenen was a professional dancer before attending the Gerrit Rietvleld Academy. She later returned to teach at the Academy for 19 years. Her work has been exhibited widely, both domestically and internationally, and resides in prestigious collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art in Shigaraki, Japan, the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, and the Carnegie Institute Museum of Art in Pittsburgh as well as in her home country including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Boijmans Museum van Beuningen in Rotterdam, and the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem.