Edmund de Waal

library of exile (group show)
Japanisches Palais, Dresden
29 November 2019 – 16 February 2020

Installation view: Edmund de Waal,
Installation view: Edmund de Waal, "library of exile", Ateneo Veneto, Venice, 2019. © Edmund de Waal. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Fulvio Orsenigo

The exhibition is named after Edmund de Waal’s library of exile installation, now on display in Dresden following its first stop in Venice. The library holds over 2,000 books, often in translation, by authors from ancient times until the present day, who were exiled from their homes. It reflects ideas of migration, exile and of conversation in many different languages.

In the exhibition, library of exile is accompanied by two other extensive installations and the hand-crafted Damascus Room. They look at different aspects of the fundamental questions of home, homelessness and memory, life between cultures and hospitality.

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden


Edmund de Waal

im Goldhaus
Porcelain Collection, Zwinger, Dresden
28 September 2019 – January 2020

Edmund de Waal, im Goldhaus, 2019. © Edmund de Waal. Photo: Mike Bruce
Edmund de Waal, im Goldhaus, 2019. © Edmund de Waal. Photo: Mike Bruce

On 28th September, de Waal unveiled a new installation made especially for the Porcelain Collection of the SKD Museums in Dresden.

"im Goldhaus" (2019) was commissioned by the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD) for their permanent collection to mark 300 years since the death of the German alchemist, Johann Friedrich Böttger.

Titled after the laboratory of Augustus II the Strong, the Goldhaus am Zwinger was a place of alchemy; a testing-ground for research into minerals and ores, where Böttger and E. W. von Tschirnhaus conducted their experiments leading to the invention of European porcelain. "I have an image of a laboratory bench in the Goldhaus," de Waal writes, "a place of enquiry and possibility... It is a vitrine which allows me to think through philosophy, optics, burnished mirrors, white porcelain, honed marble, gold and light…a floating installation through which you can see through towards Böttger or the menagerie or a Meissen dinner service. It is a sculpture of beginnings."

"im Goldhaus" will be on display in the Porcelain Collection until Jan 2020 when it will be relocated elsewhere in the SKD museums.

Edmund de Waal Studio