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Germ of Doubt by Ruan Hoffman

Germ of Doubt by Ruan Hoffman

This piece is an altered circular plate, glazed white with hints of blue. The edges and the folds are matt textured black. In the middle there is an applied addition of clay in the form of a human head.


South African born, Ruan Hoffmann originally studied art at the University of Pretoria before embarking on his artistic career. Using ceramic earthenware as his preferred medium, he chooses familiar objects such as plates, containers and tiles as his canvases, however the resulting works are not presented as homely pieces emanating from the domestic sphere but as willful, irregular and misshapen forms on which the artist’s unedited observations on life’s experiences flow in constant, noisy glimpses of thought.


Ruan Hoffmann’s imagery ranges from classical engineering and Roman lettering, nature and self-portraiture to abstraction and phallic forms. The mood can shift dramatically from anger, rage and provocation to humour, introspection and even vulnerability.


The intent is to comment, confront and provoke. Hoffmann adorns the surfaces of his plates with a vast array of images and text that can be unapologetic, politically confrontational, improper and even sometimes rude. It is work that fuses the contemporary criticality of art with the wantonly sensual aesthetics of making. It is unashamedly loud, uncompromising and exhilarating. 


Born in South Africa, Ruan Hoffmann lives and works in The Netherlands.


His work has been exhibited in South Africa, Europe and the US and is in a number of collections including the South African National Gallery, The Frans Masereel Centrum, Belgium and the Museo De Arte Moderno, Dominican Republic..


Ruan Hoffman says "My career in ceramics happened by default. You could say I was sidetracked by the possibilities. I’m really curious and impatient with ceramics; you never know what to expect. The medium responds well to me and I enjoy playing with clay."

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