Picture by André Smits
Anni Mertens (1995) is a Luxembourgish artist currently living and working in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
She grew up in Luxembourg and pursued her studies later on at the HKU in Utrecht, Netherlands where she graduated in Fine Arts in July 2019. After doing a Premaster in Architecture at ArtEz and working in Utrecht she moved to Gent to deepen her practice by doing a Master of Fine Arts in the Ceramic and Glass department at LUCA School of Arts.
She works mainly with ceramics, steel, found objects and a healthy dose of humour.
Her intuitive way of working, the play with material, size and colour, allow her to enlarge her toolkit of shapes, material and visual effects. Once the individual sculptures are grouped together on diverse structures, they form a theatre of the absurd. The works can be site specific, relating to their environment while the artist herself, is looking for unexpected placements and connections in the space. Each set up is an ever evolving scene, as the sculptures seek new combinations with one another. At first, it seems like a rather static sculptural landscape but in fact Anni Mertens is looking for movement and dynamic within the installation. These movements find translation into twisted forms of ceramic objects by hanging, stretching, squeezing and leaning on the spatial construction.
Her sculptural work embraces both abstraction and disfiguration, same as precision and looseness. The viewer follows the trails of colour and a personally developed visual language inviting into an imaginary surrounding. Some pieces are left unglazed, exposing the earthy colours and textures of clay, while others are covered with vibrantly bright glazes.