Margit is married with Christoph Strolz. They have 3 girls (twins aged at thirteen and 1 girl aged at nine). They live in Dornbirn, Vorarlberg in a beautiful house with a huge studio. Margit works at least 5 days a week and often spends 10 hours in her studio. Christoph is helping her to arrange the exhibitions and sales and is travelling in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Italy to promote her art. The business is quite brisk and the family can afford to fully concentrate on Margit`s art.
Born: 1964 in Dornbirn, Vorarlberg, Austria
1980: High School for Wood- and Stone Sculpture in Innsbruck, Austria
1984: University for APPLIED ART in Vienna, Master-Study for ceramics
and product design with Prof. Matteo Thun
1988: Industrial Seminar at the company Villeroy & Boch in Germany
1989: First exhibitions and study trip to China
1990: Diploma and Art Award from the Austrian Ministry for Science & Art
Establishment of her own studio in Vienna
1988: Exhibition at Villeroy & Boch and the 1st price for her design
1989: Gragl, Feldkirch, Vorarlberg: presentation of jewellery
1990: Gallery Slavik, Vienna, Austria - Cups
1991: Seibu Department Store, Tokyo, Japan
HippHalle, Gmunden, Austria
1992: Gallery Tiller, Vienna, Austria - Softtop & Superball
1993: Villeroy & Boch, FACES
BlauGelbeGalerie, Vienna, Austria, BAUBO
1994: Travelling show in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany
1995 – 2003: many exhibitions in Austria in Galleries, Department Stores, Museums,
Castles, Art Fairs
2004: INTIM – Exhibition in Museu Soares dos Reis, Porto, Portugal and Museu
Nacional do Azulego, Lissabon, Portugal
2005: WALL OF HEARTS at the Hotel Jagdhof, Meran, Italy
FOR LOVERS ONLY - EXHIBITION OF HEARTS in Hotel Stadthalle, Vienna
2006 – 2007: INTIM – Exhibition at museum GRIMMERHUS in Middelfart, Danmark and
Museu de Ceramica in Barcelona, Spain
Extracts of an interview with the magazine ARTCORE in Austria, 2007
MD (Margit Denz) AC (ArtCore)
AC: With the exception of the famous artist EDUARDO CHILLIDA, there are not many artists in the world who work with ceramics. Why did you choose this material ?
MD: For me, this decision started already at my tender age of 12. On my way to school I always saw a pottery factory and was so amazed about their works. How could someone make something so beautiful out of a piece of “dirt”? From that moment on I knew that I wanted to study this kind of art. Luckily I attended the High School for Wood & Stone Carving in Innsbruck, so I learned all the basics you need for working with ceramics.
AC: Ceramic is not so well recognized in the international art scene. Are there any centres for ceramics in the world ?
MD: Yes, for example in Japan or in China, artists who work with ceramics are well recognized. In Japan, those artists can even be awarded with the title: LIVING NATIONAL TREASURE OF JAPAN. In Japan there is a very long tradition for ceramics and generations of artists work on special styles or designs for centuries. In Europe, there are also famous hot spots for ceramics, especially in England, Holland, Danmark and Sweden.
Also Austria used the have a long tradition until world-war II, but it seems, after 1945 the official CERAMIC SCHOOLS have died down and now, at the University for Applied Art, the class for ceramics is even closed down. This is terrible, but on the other hand creates many opportunities for my work.
AC: In the art world, the term ceramic is often described as handicraft and not as art. Why ?
MD: If you work with ceramic, you have to learn the basics first, i.e. you have to be able to
to make a mold, to carve, to make a cast, to assemble and dissemble, to paint, to create surfaces etc. etc. Many people only think of pottery, when they hear the word ceramic. And many artists get stuck in the handicraft part of making ceramics. I try to create stories also with this material because for me, this material gives me the most freedom to express my ideas. I like to explore human feelings. Just for example a simple item like a heart can create so many different emotions in people. I love to work in series and with the hearts I have created an endless series of designs which express and create totally different emotions. It is wonderful for me to talk with visitors to my exhibitions and to get their reactions to my works. If my works can create new emotions then this is art for me.
AC: You are one of the very few Austrian artists which is recognized outside Austria. Are there any others ?
MD. Yes, for example Thomas Bohle, you just one a national art award in Bavaria. He has many exhibitions in China, Japan and Korea. But he is hardly known in Austria. This is a pity. In Austria there is no museum specialized in ceramics and we have no lobby in Austria. But my exhibitions in Portugal, Spain or Danmark prove, that ceramics from Austria is well recognized in countries where the art of creating ceramics has a very high standard.
AC: Thank you very much for this interview.