Kneaded Knowledge

The Language of Ceramics

24.09.2016-19.02.2017 10:00-17:00

Opening: 24th of September 2016, 12 pm noon
Curated by: Peter Pakesch


This exhibition continues

"Kneaded knowledge" will be continued in the National Gallery of Prague.
The opening will take place on 16.03.2017. 

Duration: 17.03.-27.08.2017 

The artist Ai Weiwei was present at the opening.


Together with artists Ai Weiwei and Edmund de Waal, the Kunsthaus focuses on a material long attributed to the realm of handicraft: ceramics. Unjustly so, as this material is founded upon millennia of knowledge and a history of art that was constantly recontextualised by contemporaries.


Some of the earliest artworks were ceramics. The modern age in Europe was characterised by an insatiable desire for Chinese porcelain, that would fetch top prices. Be they containers for everyday use or artworks – from time immemorial ceramics would travel the globe, uniting civilisations that knew only little of each other. Long regarded the world over as high art, this traditional medium had a tough time in the modern age, with ceramic art being put in second place as handicraft.


Today, we are increasingly being confronted with this material as the focus falls on recent Asian art and as artistic practice continues to open up. The exhibition Kneaded knowledge in Space01 at Kunsthaus Graz takes a special look at the changes of a technologically conditioned medium that has challenged our ideas for long periods, from olden times to the modern age.



Two of the outstanding artists who devote great attention to this material, Ai Weiwei and Edmund de Waal, act as curatorial and artistic partners for the show. ForKneaded knowledge they are joining Peter Pakesch to engage in a dialogue on the handling of ceramics across times and cultures. Their own works also feature at the exhibition, of course – alongside prominent references and important historical material.


Works by Ai Weiwei, Edmund de Waal, Lynda Benglis, Alison Britton, Hans Coper, Lucio Fontana, Asger Jorn, Kazimir Malevich, Fausto Melotti, Joan Miró, Isamu Noguchi, Pablo Picasso, Lucie Rie, Marit Tingleff, Peter Voulkos



Press reviews

Britain and China meet in Austria as Edmund de Waal and Ai Weiwei team up to curate an exhibition featuring 5000 years of ceramics, which will be on display at Kunsthaus Graz until February 19, 2017.

Ai Weiwei and Edmund de Waal Speak ‘The Language of Ceramics’ in Austria
BlouinArtinfo, Samuel Spencer, 27.09.2016

...generally regarded as a lower, applied art for much of the 20th century. A new exhibition at the Kunsthaus Graz in Austria, overseen by two of the world’s most prominent fine artists and ceramicists seeks to redress this position.
Ai Weiwei and Edmund de Waal’s ceramics show
Phaidon, 28.9.2016


> More about steirischer herbst: Co-operation with Kunsthaus Graz and Neue Galerie Graz  

Interview with Edmund de Waal

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24th/25th December 2023

Kneaded Knowledge. The Language of Ceramics