Chris Antemann is an American artist known for her contemporary parodies of 18th Century porcelain figurines. Since 2011, she has worked in collaboration with the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory traveling back and forth between Germany and her home in the mountains of Eastern Oregon. During the pandemic, Chris stayed in her US studio using the technical skills she learned over the years at MEISSEN to build the largest, most complex sculpture to date.
Chris holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Ceramics and Painting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has exhibited extensively in the United States, Europe, Russia and Asia. In 2019 her large scale installation made with MEISSEN, Forbidden Fruit: Porcelain Sculptor Chris Antemann was shown at the State Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia after traveling for four years in Germany and across the US. Her work can be found in many private and public collections, including the Museum of Arts and Design, the 21 C. Hotel Museum, the KAMM Teapot Foundation and the Portland Art Museum. Her artist residencies include the Archie Bray Foundation, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.
A decade of collaboration between Antemann and MEISSEN will be celebrated in an exhibition at the Meissen Porcelain Museum in Meissen, Germany from July 15, 2022 – February 26, 2023.
My name is Chris Antemann, I make figurative sculpture drawing inspiration from 18th Century dining culture with a focus on the decorative figure known as the figurine. Made to replace disposable pressed sugar figures, her place was on the banquet table, center stage, decorative and diminutive, formed for display, of little importance in the scale of Art, yet at the time of the porcelain craze, worth her weight in gold, highly sought after and voraciously collected. I build stage sets where this figure can step off of her pedestal and play the main part exploring parodies of social norms and taboos. Often the gender roles are reversed. Inviting glances and gestures reveal time worn themes of passion, power and jealousy. A view from a feminine perspective; a contemporary version of a porcelain archetype.
For my work to reflect the visual language and style of the 18th century, it is important that the sculptures be made in porcelain, used from its inception as a representational medium, to create tablewares and sculpture. The physical qualities, white, translucent and smooth, lend themselves to the delicate details necessary for the narratives. Reimagining the themes in early porcelain figures through the lens of my own life experiences, I twist them and camouflage the new versions in the rich history of this material.