Tora Urup — Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees


Ceramic, design

Tora Urup
Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees

Past: April 11 → May 31, 2014

The exhibition entitled Seeing is forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees (inspired by the eponymous book by Lawrence Weschler on the American perception artist Robert Irwin) is focusing on Danish artist Tora Urup’s circular sculptures in solid blown and cast glass from the period 2001 to 2014. The show, which is the first of it’s kind in France, is highlighting the artist’s investigation into the specific role played by color and material in our perception of form.

Tora urup sans titre 2013 medium
Tora Urup, Sans titre, 2013 Clear cylinder with floating jade green bowl — H.12 × w. 22,5 cm — one piece Courtesy of the artist & Galerie Maria Wettergren, Paris

The selection of approximately twenty unique pieces in vibrant colors of thin opaque and thick transparent glass reveals the artist’s interest in altering simple classical types like the glass bowl into dreamlike objects. By combining subtle colors and making them interplay with each other by varying the thickness, Tora Urup enables new spatial perceptions which reverse our conventional understanding of the traditional glass bowl. The interior volumes of these trompe l’oeil sculptures seem to float independently of their exterior, and by the careful juxtaposition and treatment of cut and polished surfaces, Tora Urup is creating a genuine illusion of a seemingly infinite and liquid space inside a physically restraint volume. The visual impact of these highly poetical pieces is considerable and, as with all good art based on perception, they stimulate and sharpen our senses, making us question what we are actually looking at. What we thought was solid is void whereas what looks hollow is actually massive. In other words, to paraphrase Magritte : Ceci n’est pas un bol.

Considered as one of the most significant contemporary Scandinavian glass artists, Tora Urup started her career working with ceramic art in Tokoname, Japan in 1982-83, after which she studied glass and ceramics at the School of Applied Arts in Denmark. In 1994, Tora Urup graduated from the Royal College of Art in London and subsequently returned to Danmark to collabarate with Holmegaard glassworks and Royal Copenhagen porcelain. Tora Urup’s work has been exhibited worldwide including London, New York, Tokyo and Paris.

06 St Germain Zoom in 06 St Germain Zoom out

18, rue Guénégaud

75006 Paris

T. 01 43 29 19 60


Opening hours

Thursday – Saturday, 11 AM – 5 PM

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The artist

  • Tora Urup