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Shattered History: The Artistic Alchemy of Bouke de Vries

Explore the striking deconstructed ceramic objects of Dutch artist Bouke de Vries with Adrian Sassoon

TEFAF Meet the Experts

MONDAY, MAY 13, 2024

3:00PM - 3:30PM EDT

Registration is recommended to stay informed about the talks and free to TEFAF New York ticket holders. Seats are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. 


TEFAF’s Meet the Experts programs celebrate the expertise of our world-renowned exhibitors, spotlighting exceptional objects and the stories they tell. Explore the striking deconstructed ceramic objects of Bouke de Vries in this Meet the Experts talk with Adrian Sassoon.

After several years of practice as a ceramic restorer, artist Bouke de Vries (b. 1960) began to repurpose his collection of fundamentally damaged but fine antique ceramics, transforming them into striking, thought-provoking sculptural works of art. Describing this as “the beauty of destruction,” De Vries reclaims broken pots and ceramics after their accidental trauma and deconstructs—not reconstructs—them. Shards are reborn, cracks exaggerated, and new life is breathed into objects otherwise destined to be discarded. Questioning a sense of worth and relishing the opportunity to deconstruct the artistic narrative of historical artefacts, the artist emphasizes the object’s new status instead of hiding the evidence of their destruction, instilling them with new virtues, new values, and moves their stories forward. This includes De Vries’s Guan Yin with a Diagonal Cloud (2023), an 18th-century Chinese blanc de chine porcelain figure with 18th and 19th-century Chinese porcelain fragments. “The Guan Yin, goddess of mercy and compassion has been a recurring theme in my work. This equates to the mercy and compassion I feel for the broken pieces and their former splendour revealed in my new creations,” De Vries shares on this work, on view during TEFAF New York 2024.

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Adrian Sassoon Founder of Adrian Sassoon, London


Adrian Sassoon has been studying, collecting, curating and selling works of art for more than 40 years. In the last 30 years he has become the leading UK dealer in contemporary works of art – ceramics, glass, silver, lacquer & hardstone objects. His other professional field is French 18th century works of art: primarily Vincennes and Sèvres. Adrian began his career as a junior curator at the Getty Museum and is an advisor to collectors, museums and designers.

Location & Access

Programming will take place on the exhibitor’s stand at TEFAF New York. Please note that TEFAF Programming is free with a valid ticket to TEFAF New York. Registration is recommended to stay informed about the talks and free to TEFAF New York ticket holders.

If you have not bought your ticket for TEFAF New York: click here to purchase your ticket.

For questions about registration contact:
[email protected]

Image: Bouke de Vries, Guan Yin with a Diagonal Cloud, 2023. Photo courtesy of Sylvain Deleu.