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The "Saalfeld Group" was formed by three artists:inside who made clay and glaze their preferred medium and found in it a seemingly inexhaustible inspiration. The group of artists, which included Gerda Körting and Karl Jüttner in addition to Gerhard Dölz, was one of the most important representatives of ceramic art - both in the GDR and in an international context, for example at the ceramic symposia held in Römhild from 1975. Together with other artists, they contributed from the 1960s onwards to the development of fired, glazed clay from the craft tradition of utilitarian ceramics into a medium for pictorial, sculptural, artistic ideas.

Abbildung: Keramiken von Karl Jüttner, Gerhard Dölz und Gerda Körting (vlnr)
Abbildung: Keramiken von Karl Jüttner, Gerhard Dölz und Gerda Körting (vlnr) © Fotograf: Julian Hemelberg / courtesy: KVOST, Berlin
Gerhard Dölz was the most productive of the group: he produced hundreds of individual pieces during his creative period, a selection of which is now on display at KVOST. For the first time since 2006 - when an exhibition was dedicated to him in Saalfeld on the occasion of his 80th birthday - so many of his works can be seen in one place. The more than 60 pieces on display offer a unique opportunity to view the work of the three artists in context.
Numerous vases, bottles, plates and other vessels show the range of this guild on the border between craft and fine art. Abstract landscapes, organic structures and textures, delicate color gradients or rhythmic patterns are created on the surfaces of these supposedly everyday objects, all of which capture our attention and inspire an encounter with the object.
In this exhibition of works by three members of the Saalfeld Group, the similarities and differences in their approach become visible. What they have in common is a fundamental engagement with form that results in great clarity. Here the tradition of craftsmanship becomes perceptible, the free turning on the potter's wheel, which gives rise to tall slender vases as well as compact, self-contained round vessels.

Gerhard Dölz was born in Thuringia in 1926 and died in Saalfeld in 2007. He originally devoted himself to graphics and painting - during an apprenticeship as a lithographer and later by attending graphics and painting courses during his war captivity in the USA. After studying in Saalfeld an der Saale, he became a member of the Association of Visual Artists of the GDR in 1951, initially as a painter. Around 1956 he began training in ceramics with Gerda Körting (1911 to 2000), which resulted in a studio partnership between the two. Together with Karl Jüttner (1921 to 2006), who was also trained as a painter, the ceramists founded the Saalfeld Artists' Group.
Through the exhibition, the diversity, joy of experimentation and craftsmanship of the Saalfeld group becomes visible. Beyond their simple beauty of form, these works testify to a lively community of three GDR artists, still inspiring today, who have tried again and again to create something new from something old.
The exhibition is made possible by loans from the collections of Andreas Sternweiler, the Studio Galerie Berlin and the Keramik-Museum Berlin.
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