"Most objects are somehow vessels or pots, containers for our habits and rituals. What else are they? My interest is in examining the concept of the vessel, in exploring the improvised and provisional. Objects are finished only in that the porcelain is glazed and fired. I deconstruct the vessel and reassemble its components in ways that are thought provoking and challenge ceramic conventions.”
Nagel is known for unique pieces that blur the lines between functional pottery and works of art. His work is described as intensely sculptural, visually arresting and powerful.
The artist brings into play a variety of making techniques such as throwing, hand building and sand-casting, an instinctive technique that leaves much up to chance. Nagel uses his hands to determine final forms; stacking components, carving and gouging, leaving fissures and unpainted elements. His work juxtaposes smooth and brittle textures and angular and smooth forms, he introduces gaps between components and intentionally disrupts areas of glazing. For Nagel all this serves to explore the evolution of things and enables him to expose the making process, “it is not the perfection of the ultimate expression that is my intention but to verbalize a concept of the evolution of things.”
Nagel served as an apprentice to noted Japan born, Canada based potter Kinya Ishikawa and studied fine arts and ceramics at the University of Art & Design Burg Giebichenstein in Halle, Germany. During 2005-2006 he was artist-in-residence at the Shigaraki Ceramics Cultural Park Shigaraki, Japan.
Since 2012 Nagel has been assistant professor at the University of Art & Design Burg Giebichenstein in Halle.
The artist works from his own studio and lives in Halle.