Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen: Tentacular Thinking
Staple New York gallery Hostler Burrows opens its kunsthalle-style outpost with an exhibition of Danish ceramicist Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen’s transcendent sculptures.
381 Broadway, NY 10013
12th May – 18th June 2022
HAVING ESTABLISHED ITSELF as New York’s leading purveyor of historical and contemporary Scandinavian design, Hostler Burrows has been a mainstay of the city’s ever-evolving gallery scene since 1998. Extolling the virtues of craftsmanship, experimentation and material integrity, the gallery – founded and run by Kim Hostler and Juliet Burrows – has fostered a strong roster of international designers. Many of the represented talents are women who don’t garner as much exposure as they deserve outside their home countries.
With its latest venture, HB381, an outpost located in New York’s burgeoning Tribeca neighbourhood, the gallerists hope to establish a platform for emerging creatives eager to transcend disciplinary boundaries. On the heels of the opening of its inaugural solo show celebrating the irreverent yet expressive sculptures of up-and-coming Danish ceramicist Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen, Juliet Burrows spoke to The Design Edit about her vision behind the new outpost.
The Design Edit (TDE): How will HB381 exhibitions differ from Hostler Burrows’s regular programme?
Juliet Burrows: The idea for opening HB381 grew out of the pandemic when I organised several exhibitions in concert with Copenhagen Ceramics and the Danish Arts Foundation. As we mounted the ‘Bend, Bubble and Shine’ and ‘Matter at Hand’ exhibitions in our 10th street space [in New York] last year, it became clear that some of the more conceptual works would benefit from being shown in a separate context, pulled out from the environment of the ‘design gallery’.
The conversation around what constitutes art, design, and craft seems less and less relevant. As these hierarchies fall away, I’m excited to present a dedicated platform for what I’ve always considered to be ‘art’. The main gallery is a fantastic destination for architects and designers, but I’m keen to introduce a few of our more artistically-inclined talents to a broader audience.
TDE: Why is it important to differentiate between collectible design and fine art, especially as disciplinary definitions continue to blur?
Juliet Burrows: It’s imperative to make this distinction in order for us to build a new identity for the gallery. Our clients have come to expect that we will display a mix of design and art. We’re known for creating environments that demonstrate how various works can co-exist and how people can live with sculpture in their homes. However, it’s become challenging to mount presentations of esoteric work within this framework. HB381 provides us with the freedom to operate without rules and create fully-realised solo and group exhibitions that will lead to a deeper understanding of an artist’s practice. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying to put the work out there in such a ‘naked’ manner.
TDE: How does the inaugural Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen exhibition at HB381 align with this approach?
Juliet Burrows: Pernille’s work has a strong narrative inspired by the work of ecofeminist writer Donna Haraway, but even [for anyone] without any knowledge of these concepts, the pieces are incredibly compelling and stand alone without further explanation. It’s interesting to see how different people respond to the work and how the ideology around it informs their reactions. First and foremost, she sees herself as an artist who expresses her identity and ideas through clay. Still, Pernille’s ceramic technique is formidable, and the intuitive way she sculpts is exceptional.
TDE: What’s the significance of returning to Tribeca and being part of its cultural renaissance?
Juliet Burrows: HB381 brings us full circle back to the neighbourhood where Kim and I opened our first space at 104 Franklin Street in 1998. Tribeca has gone through tremendous changes over the past few years and there is a palpable energy that is only building with so many new and established galleries setting up shop.
The neighbourhood still feels like home (we’ve had our warehouse in Tribeca for 25 years), and I’m retracing my old routes each day now that I can walk to work again. To have a space in an area where there is such a concentration of art galleries is fantastic; there is a real sense of community.
TDE: What do you have planned for HB381 down the line?
Juliet Burrows: We will be running a formal exhibition programme with new shows mounted approximately every six weeks. The first year will see an emphasis on Nordic sculpture in ceramics, glass, metal and textile. Our fall 2022 exhibition will feature Finnish designer Sakari Kannosto, whose work centres on an apocalyptic vision of the future after a great flood. Many of the Scandinavian artists we represent are influenced by their deep appreciation of nature and concern about the urgency of climate change.
I also envision collaborations that might bring other art forms into the space, such as dance and music. We’re already in conversation with several independent curators to discuss shows that will bring an outside perspective to the work, and new artists into the fold.
‘Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen: Tentacular Thinking’ at HB381 gallery.