Nymphenburg & Ruth Gurvich

August 22, 2016

260 years of manufacturing: Nymphenburg has been creating porcelain for over two centuries and a half, ever since “white gold” became a precious souvenir of the far-away China and began to represent a real status symbol for the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie alike, this last one being then in full social ascent and anxious to affirm itself.

The elegant, delicately refined character of porcelain has remained unchanged in time and the brand maintains an absolute respect for the material, so much so that today Nymphenburg is the only company that still produces every single piece completely by hand, pairing stylistic research with an obsessive technical attention that borders on perfection.

The brand’s long history is indissolubly bound with the affairs of the Wirrelsbach family, whose summer residence – the majestic, omonimous palace in Munich – remains to this day the head office for the production of porcelain. Ever since production began, at the heart of the Rococò period, the best artists of the time were hired to collaborate in the production of the most exclusive pieces, bringing the quality of Nymphenburg products, if possible, to an even higher level. In respect to the original vocation, today the brand still attracts important names in the panorama of international art, fashion and design: from Nick Knight to Kiki Smith, Olaf Nicolai, Vivien Westwood, Gareth Pugh, Valentino, Carsten Höller… each one has contributed to designing the brand’s unique profile – a sort of live museum of the sublime art of porcelain; a journey that repeats itself daily through the mystery of fire and the complexity of the different phases that precede the birth of a perfect piece.

Not only tableware, then, but figures born from an artistic background, from the taste and free fantasy of creative minds: absolutely worthy of note are the splendid animals, the chinoserie, the memento mori of the catalogue but also the creations inspired by Ruth Gurvich’s paper, to mention one of the most interesting names of the team of designers that collaborates with the brand. Unique and irreverent pieces, like the decorated skulls and sensual jewels, pop animals, votive objects, aristocratic tableware or furniture pieces of total stylistic pureness make up a vast catalogue in which it is a pleasure get lost in, maybe also taking the luxury of imagining the custom-made porcelain pieces that one could commission.

Extremely loved by collectors, Nynphemburg’s creations are today part of some of the most prestigious collections in the world, among which the MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Fondation Nationale in Paris, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien and the Neue Sammlung at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich – for this reason they couldn’t be missing in Gaggenau’s exhibition 333 Years in the Making, held in the rooms of the new BASE Milano.