HIDDE VAN SEGGELEN is proud to announce a solo exhibition of London based artist Nadav Drukker, opening 2 November 2023.

Nadav Drukker is a ceramic artist and Professor of Theoretical Physics at King’s College London, making stoneware and porcelain works to represent his scientific research. The designs of his pieces feature varied aspects of his research, and they are decorated with formulas that he derives and studies. Nadav’s research interests are focused on string theory, supersymmetric field theories and exactly soluble models. 

As a theoretical physicist Drukker teaches and researches the deepest mysteries of the universe. As an artist he creates sculptural pieces with forms closely resembling traditional pottery whose purpose is to mirror the creativity of scientific pursuit in art. His creations represent specific research projects with the shapes and designs inspired by the research, within the topic of string theory, the most fundamental hypothetical theory of nature. 

The formulas written on the pots are at times rough calculations and at others refined results of his research and collaborations with colleagues across the globe. The artistic language serves to exemplify this by varying the material from coarse stoneware to pure white porcelain and the decoration techniques span incision, inlay, cutting, oxides, glazing and gilding.

String theory and supersymmetric field theory are very abstract topics studied by only a handful of academics. Nadav’s art enables him to overcome the isolation of working in such a specialized and technical field and convey the beauty he sees in science. The viewers do not need to decipher the formulas, rather they can approach them as cuneiforms or hieroglyphs. In his art he aspires to present the language of mathematics as beautiful and holding knowledge encouraging further exploration. 

His science builds on historic work, from the geometry of the Greeks through the math’s of the Arabs to Newton, Planck, Einstein, Heisenberg, Feynman and so many more. Likewise, his artistic practice relies on the layers of ceramic tradition in East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan. His practice follows Hamada and Leach with various other influences including Lucy Rie, Edmund de Waal, Grayson Perry, Lucio Fontana, and others.  

‘From an early age, growing up in Jerusalem I had a strong affinity with ceramics; the Japanese vessels that my grandfather collected and the abundant shards of pots from local archeology. Originally ceramics were a way for me to focus on something other than research, but recently I have felt compelled to combine my two passions. As I started transcribing my calculations onto clay, I realized that the process itself was not a mere reflection of my research but was influencing it.’ Nadav Drukker 

Nadav who recently returned from a ceramic residency in Jingdezhen, China, studied mathematics and physics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and got his PhD from Princeton University under the supervision of Nobel laureate Professor David J. Gross. In 2010 Nadav was awarded an STFC advanced fellowship and spent the first year of it at Imperial College London before moving to King’s College London in October 2011. Since 2020 Drukker is the head of the Theoretical Physics Group in the Mathematics Department at Kings College, which is one of the largest research groups in his specialty in the world.

Nadav Drukker works closely with scientists from the Universität Hamburg and the research centre DESY whom have both joined this exhibition as cooperative partners. Organized in the Cluster of Excellence “Quantum Universe”, both institutions share research goals of unravelling the deepest mysteries of the Universe. The boundaries between science and art have been a core topic of the Cluster of Excellence since its conception.

Nadav Drukker’s works have been exhibited in various private and public galleries and institutions, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Influenced by his research and collaborations with his colleagues at DESY, the exhibition in Hamburg will highlight a selection of recent ceramic black and white panels and different types of vessels.

The exhibition is on view from 3 November until 23 December 2023.  

The exhibition will be complimented by a series of artists’ breakfast talks in the gallery (on Sunday 26 November and 3 December 2023). Please contact us by email if you would like to attend one of the talks.

This exhibition is partly made possible with support by DESY, Cluster of Excellence Quantum Universe/Universität Hamburg and Kings College, London.

For further information and images, please contact mail@hiddevanseggelen.com