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Dutch ceramic artist Wouter Dam (b. 1957) begins his undulating and abstract sculptures on the wheel, although this might not be apparent at first glance. To create his finely-wrought, monochromatic ribbons of clay, the artist first throws 10 to 12 cylinders, which he then cuts open and joins together, fabricating works that, according to Nesrin During of Ceramic Review, “twist and bend and flow, containing and enclosing space.”

The son of an architect in Utrecht, Netherlands, Dam was encouraged to explore form and beauty from a young age. In 1975, the artist entered the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, studying with Jan van der Vaart and beginning his explorations of shape and volume that would continue throughout his career.

Dam’s early works hint at the direction his oeuvre would take, although they maintained a functionality that his mature sculptures have abandoned. These vessel forms, beginning to break from the symmetry of the classical vases they were inspired by, still suggest a latent ability to contain. In contrast, David Pagel of The Los Angeles Times describes Dam’s later tabletop sculptures as “delightfully useless” forms that “articulate a radically different notion of beauty, in which oddness and exaggeration satisfy the needs once fulfilled by symmetry.”

Dam reveals that in his work, he strives to impart "just a vague memory of the real thing, just a hint. There should be enough room for the viewer to let his own imagination run free." His sculptures make subtle reference to the classical forms mentioned above, as well as Neolithic and iron-age pots, the human body, wooden boats and the crashing of the waves themselves. The result is a marvelous and minimal blend of his source materials, and elegant objects that obey their own idiosyncratic logic.

Wouter Dam’s work has been exhibited widely throughout the world, including Germany, Japan, France and his native Holland. His work is included in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Detroit Institute of Art, among others.


2001    Beierische Staats Preis, Meister der Moderne
1998    Mino Prize, International Ceramics Competition
1996    INAX Design Prize for Europeans, Tokoname, Japan


1975 -1980    Gerrit Rietveld Akademie (Academy of Fine Arts, Amsterdam)

Museum Collections

City of Amsterdam, Netherlands
City of Utrecht, Netherlands
Craft Gallery of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, Missouri
Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Michigan
Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands
Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Hetjens Museum, Dusseldorf, Germany
Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum, Ibaraki, Japan
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
Mino Museum, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
Musée des Arts Decoratif, Paris, France
Museum Boyans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Museum Frans Hals, Haarlem, Netherlands
Museum Het Prinsessehof, Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo, Gifu, Japan
Musuem of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tajimi City Cultural Hall, Tajimi, Japan
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2013     Puls Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2012     Tokyo One Man Show at the Tokyo Art Fair, Mitochu Koeki Co., Tokyo, Japan
            Gallery NeC, Paris, France
            Gallery NeC, Hong Kong
2011     Gallery NeC, Paris, France
2010     Gallerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2009     Recent Ceramic Sculpture, Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California
            Puls Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
            Gallerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, Holland
2008     Marianne Heller Gallery, Heidelberg, Germany
2007     Mitochu Koeki Co. Gallery, Tokyo Art Fair, Tokyo, Japan
            New Sculpture, Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California
            The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2006     The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom
            Eewal Gallery, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
            Garth Clark Gallery, New York
            Gallerie Pierre, Paris, France, France
2005     Gallerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2004     Ceramic Sculpture, Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California
            Gallerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2003     Frank Steyaert Gallery, Gent, Belgium
            Garth Clark Gallery, New York
2002     Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California
            Gallerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2001     Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California
            Gallery b15, Munich, Germany
            Gallerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2000     Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York
1999     De Brakkegrond, Flamisch Cultural Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
            Grafiker Gallery, Haarlem, The Netherlands
            Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York
1998     Gallerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
            Gallery D.M. Sarver, Paris, France
            Gallery Maas, Rotterdam,  The Netherlands
1997     Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands
            Gallery Eewal, Amersfoort, The Netherlands
            L&R International Ceramics, Deventer, The Netherlands
1996     Gallery D.M. Sarver, Paris, France
1995     Gallerie Carla Koch, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
            Gallery Maas, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
            Gallery Argille, Brussels, Belgium
1993     Gallery Eewal, Amersfoort, The Netherlands
1991     Gallery Eewal, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
1988     Singer Museum, Laren, The Netherlands