Chris Antemann returns to Bellevue Arts Museum with lavish exhibition Forbidden Fruit

December 01, 2015
Images: Chris Antemann in collaboration with MEISSEN®, Taste of Paradise, 2013; Ambrosia (detail), 2014; Covet (detail), 2013. © Chris Antemann and MEISSEN Couture®

December 1, 2015
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Bellevue, WA—Sculptor Chris Antemann returns to Bellevue Arts Museum with Forbidden Fruit: Chris Antemann at MEISSEN, opening February 26, 2016. Employing her signature wit and formal references to classic Baroque MEISSEN figurines, Chris Antemann has invented a new narrative on contemporary morality through her one-of-a-kind porcelain figures in a setting that recalls the decadence of Boucher and Watteau. Themes from the classics and the romantics are given a contemporary edge; elaborate dinner parties, picnic luncheons, and ornamental gardens set the stage for Antemann’s twisted tales to unfold.

In 2011, Antemann was invited to partake in the Art Studio program of the legendary MEISSEN Porcelain Manufactory in Meissen, Germany. While there she collaborated with MEISSEN master artisans on a series of limited edition sculptures, resulting in a grand installation that reinvents and invigorates the great porcelain figurative tradition, for which MEISSEN is renowned.

Using the Garden of Eden as her metaphor, Antemann created a contemporary celebration of the 18th-century banqueting craze. Inspired by MEISSEN’s great historical model of Johann Joachim Kändler’s monumental Love Temple (1750), Antemann created her own 5-foot version. Stripping the original design back to its basic forms, she added her own figures, ornamentation, and flowers, as well as a special finial with three musicians to herald the guests to the banquet below.

Accompanying the lavish and overflowing banquet table is a collection of smaller sculptures whose intimate vignettes entertain with playful scenes of dalliance and seduction. A massive 9-light porcelain chandelier will complete the lush atmosphere of the elaborate tableau, evoking the tradition of palatial porcelain rooms.

Antemann earned her M.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Minnesota and her B.F.A. in ceramics & painting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has exhibited extensively in the United States and China. Her work can be found in many private and public collections, including the Museum of Arts and Design, The 21 C. Hotel Museum, The KAMM Teapot Foundation, The Archie Bray Foundation, and the Foshan Ceramic Museum in China.

Forbidden Fruit: Chris Antemann at MEISSEN is organized by Chris Antemann in collaboration with MEISSEN®.

Bellevue Arts Museum is a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest to experience art, craft, and design. BAM engages the community through exhibitions, programs, and publications, featuring regional, national, and international artists.