Ruan Hoffmann



RUAN HOFFMANN is an internationally recognized ceramic artist who specializes in forms with attitude. The South African native currently resides in The Netherlands. His mis-shaped, irregular pieces reference numerous historical art movements, from the oriental ceramics of the seventeenth century, to neo-classical works, to the paintings of Francis Bacon. Themes of surprise and control are in constant opposition within his vases and deconstructed forms.


HOFFMANN sees his ceramic vessels as spherical canvases on which he memorializes passing moments. The surfaces capture his existence, the highs and lows of the everyday. The plates and vessels function as a diary of impressions, operating in a state of constant flux.

The writing and passages painted on HOFFMANN's works are brutally frank, rude and politically confrontational. Frequently he fuses the critique of contemporary art into his own aesthetic. HOFFMANN studied art at the University of Pretonia in South Africa, where he began working with clay as a medium. HOFFMANN found himself ‘side-tracked’ by the possibilities of ceramics, “you never know exactly what to expect”.

Every plate and vessel is made completely by hand. Pieces begin with a ball of clay that is thrown at an angle onto a canvas. The clay is applied and spread until it is thin and relatively even. At this point the fabric like sheet of clay is draped over a plaster mold. After drying the mold is removed and the remaining form is fired to bisque temperatures, allowing HOFFMANN to begin painting the piece. The work is re-fired and then, in its final stage, ornamented with decals.

These vessels and plates which have been described as ‘cheeky’, ‘dark’ and full of personality, are highly regarded. HOFFMANN has exhibited internationally, and his works are included in permanent collections across the globe. Politics, literature and the expressions of rage, love, and sex, all find themselves in HOFFMANN’s world of works. The consistency of palette, the ever-changing mood, and the fragility of the medium and life, are all encompassed in the forms created by RUAN HOFFMANN.


2019 Gallerie with Tjalling, Groningen, Netherlands
2018 Maison de la Céramique du Pays, Dieulefit, France
2018 Taste Contemporary, Geneva, Switzerland
2017 Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2017 Artgenève, Geneva, Switzerland
2017 Farmleigh Gallery at Farmleigh House, Dublin, Ireland
2016 CLAY/GROUND, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2016 South African Art, Kasteel de Wittenburg, Wassenaar, Netherlands
2016 Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams, Massachusetts

2020 Jeff Lincoln Art & Design, Southampton, New York
2020 Foundation Thalie, Brussels, Belgium
2018 Maison de la Céramique du Pays, Dieulefit, France
2015 The Clay Studio, Harrison Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2013 Galerie a Rebours, Paris, France
2012 The Gallery at 139 King’s Road, London, United Kingdom
2011 iArt Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2011 Anthropologie Gallery, New York, New York
2011 iArt Gallery Wemberly Square, Cape Town, South Africa
2016 New York Ceramics & Glass Fair, New York, New York
2015 XII Bienal Internacional de Cerámica de Manises, Valencia, Spain
2015 Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2015 Warren Editions, Cape Town, South Africa
2013 AFROVIBES, MC Theater-Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2013 Casa Labia Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2013 Warren Editions Projects, Cape Town South Africa
2012 Contemporary South African Art, Queen St. Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2012 Outsider, The Media Mill, Johannesburg, South Africa
2012 Southern Guild Design Collection, Johannesburg, South Africa
2012 Southern Guild ReCollect, Cape Town, South Africa
2011 Casa Labia Cultural Center Muizenberg/Cape Town, South Africa
2011 Centre for Contemporary Arts, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Shop ARTISAN: Ruan Hoffmann

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