Anne Ausloos is an artist from Belgium, whose work is intriguing, as her main focus is the beauty of decline and decay. Her small and large scale works show that she has the acumen and experience to create functional pieces, but chooses not to. There is a rather large divide between art and craft, as well as between functional and conceptual art. In my experience, many people, who are not artists, prefer realistic and functional art objects, be it painting, sculpture, or photography. In other words, they want something they can easily relate to, something that does not challenge their reality. They want explicit details, factual products, useful items. This is fine, but limiting. To each his own.

Ausloss works in multiple ways, which places her outside mainstream ceramics. She was born in 1954 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts St. Joost in Breda, followed with post-graduate work at the Technical University Eindhoven. She never made pottery, but is known as a significant ceramic artist in Belgium and the Netherlands. She has taught at the Audio-Visual and Fine Arts Department of the Provincial College in Limburg, in addition to being a guest lecturer and government examiner at various academies. She admits to being most interested and comfortable, when working in that place where art and science are connected.

While exploring the boundary between fired and non-fired clay, she tried using an electron microscope, only to discover it wasn't the right research method. Later, at the European Ceramic Working Centre in Den Bosch, The Netherlands, she was able to record with photographs her ideas, while firing her work in their precise kilns.

My favorite project, Rain Sculptures, was made in 1996, using unfired industrial bricks, exposed to the elements for three months. After the unfired bricks had been rained upon, creating pieces that looked like miniature, abandoned ruins or decayed temples, Ausloss fired the results in her kiln. She exhibits them on wooden stands, sharing her fascination with the vulnerability of eventual decline and disintegration.

source: Ceramics: Art and Perception, No. 35, 1999
The Work of Anne Ausloos
Under the Spell of Decline
article by Liesbeth den Besten, art historian, critic, author, and art advisor to the Dutch government.

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