Biography

Chris Dagradi was born in Brooklyn New York, U.S.A. August 21 1954 and since 1978 lived and worked in the Netherlands. Dagradi studied at the prestigious Cooper Union for the advancement of Science and Art in New York City where he earned a B.F.A. in 1976. At that time his work was influenced by abstract expressionism, minimal art and graffiti.
On his travels through Europe he wanted to see the town immortalized by Vermeer with his own eyes.
Since 1977 Delft has been his home. In the Netherlands, Dagradi continued his studies at the Art Academy of Rotterdam and later Ateliers 63 in Haarlem where he had contact with Toon Verhoef and Jan Dibbets.
In 1984 Dagradi started taking lessons with Andy Weber, a western painter of Tibetan thangkas in the Menri tradition.
He also to studied briefly with Gega Lama ( 1931-1996) a Tibetan master painter in the Gadri tradition.
A thangka is a traditional roll painting done according to strict rules and intended to transmit the essence of the Buddhist doctrine.
During many years of work experience as a painter of traditional Delft blue and polychrome earthenware at ‘De Delftse Pauw’ and later in the production process at ‘De Porceleyne Fles’, Royal Delft factory In Delft, Dagradi discovered new possibilities of utilizing clay in his autonomous work. With traditional working methods as a basis, he began experimenting and improvising.
He made use of diverse decoration techniques such as under glaze, on-glaze, transfers and photo transfers.
His ceramic work varies in form and size from plates, individual tiles, handmade relief tiles, to monumental tile tableaus and sculptures.
During his stay at the Royal Delft factory he taught Delfts blue workshops and gave courses in modern day painting techniques on ceramics at a trade school in Gouda.
Inspired by travels in Italy, the birthplace of his grandparents, Dagradi began to study Roman and Byzantine mosaic techniques. He now uses glass, stone, ceramic tiles and Delft pottery shards to create mosaics in the form of autonomous work and for commissions. Dagradi now gives lessons mosaics at the ‘VAK center for the arts’ in Delft.
In 2007 Dagradi completed a large commission for the town of Delft in the form of a monumental sculpture.
This work represents an enormous V (14 feet tall) for the Voorhof neighborhood.
The work is covered with hand painted on-glaze ceramic tiles, mosaics and terrazzo.
Residents of the neighborhood painted tiles during workshops led by Dagradi which were also incorporated in the decoration of the sculpture.
Large 12 x 12 inch tiles with cultural and religious symbols from all over the world are an integral part of this piece.
Dagradi has carried out a wide range of works in various two and three dimensional media and has worked as a designer for a variety of contexts.
These range in size from a monumental wall painting to a bicycle bell. He has designed and decorated an entire hotel room, as well as a mosaic wall in a private home.
He sees his acrylic, oil paintings and his drawings as the root of his oeuvre. It is the beginning of everything, unbound by the demands of commissioned work.
His paintings are abstract and inspired by nature. He works with a small number of themes and recurring elements.
He considers his calligraphic play of line as a metaphor for the endlessness of life. Dagradis paintings and ceramics are included in many private and public collections including the Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft and The Dutch Tile Museum, Otterlo. In the Netherlands, public artworks are to be seen in Delft, The Hague and Amsterdam.

Studies

  • 2011
    Arte del Masaico Ravenna, Italy, Certified

  • 2009
    BIK Beroepskunstenaars in de Klas (Artists in the Classroom), Certified

  • 2000-01
    Vakkennis Keramische Industrie ( VKI)
    (Professional Knowledge Ceramic Industries)

  • 1997-98
    Praktijkopleiding Fijn Keramiek (POF)
    (Practical Studies Ceramic Industries)

  • 1979-81
    Ateliers 63, Haarlem/Amsterdam

  • 1978-79
    Art School Rotterdam

  • 1974-79
    The Cooper Union, New York City, U.S.A.

Solo

  • 2013
    Delftse meesters van nu, Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft

  • 2009
    Galerie 59, Amsterdam

  • 2006
    DOK Kunstcentrum, Delft

  • 2005
    Galerie Meij en Meij, Delft

  • 2002
    Nederlandse Tegelmuseum

  • 1997
    Galerie Dijkzicht, Rotterdam

  • 1997
    Galerie Lutz, Delft

  • 1992
    Galerie Kaai, IJmuiden

  • 1992
    Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft

  • 1990
    Galerie Basket, Middelburg

  • 1987
    Galerie De Fiets, Delft

  • 1987
    Galerie Den Haag

  • 1982
    De Volle Maan, Delft

Group shows

  • 2014
    Inzicht,Delftse Meesters van Nu, Prinsenhof Museum, Delft

  • 2013
    The Blue Revolution, Djingezhen porcelain Museum, Jingdezhen, China

  • 2012
    The Blue revolution Prinsenhof Museum , Delft, The Netherlands

  • 2012
    Kunsten op straat, International Street Theater Festival Sandpaintings in Almelo, Zwolle and Hardenberg, The Netherlands

  • 2012
    Sanbao Ceramic Art Museum , Jingdezhen, China

  • 2012
    Jingdezhen International Ceramic Art Fair, Jingdezhen, China

  • 2012
    Upstairs met Erik van Katwijk en Aart Houtman Kadmium , Delft

  • 2012
    Boeddha’s in Beeld, Maitreya Instituut, Amsterdam

  • 2011
    Gebakken Beelden, Ceramics by seven artists from Delft DOK Delft

  • 2010
    15e Delftse Atelieroute

  • 2009
    Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, '4 Delft' 14de Delftse Atelierroute, Delft

  • 2008
    Pulchri Studio, Den Haag

  • 2007
    Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft ‘ Contour.
    Continuïteit’ Heden en Verleden met 111Hedendaagse Nederlandse kunstenaars in drie Delftse musea

  • 2004
    Artotheek, Den Haag ‘De Zwarte Doos van Galerie Den Haag’

  • 2003
    Galerie D.V.O, Brussel, België

  • 2000
    Galerie Phoebus, Rotterdam

  • 1999
    Galerie De Sigarenfabriek ‘Keramiek Millenium’ Delft

  • 1996
    Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof,‘In Gesprek met Vermeer’, Delft

  • 1995
    Galerie Lutz, Delft

  • 1995
    Grote Kerk, ‘Art and Image’ Den Haag

  • 1995
    Manifestatie ‘Reizen’ 26 kunstenaars op 20 locations, Delft

  • 1995
    Galerie Art Fundum, Enschede

  • 1993
    Galerie Maurits van der Laar, Den Haag

  • 1993
    Galerie Lutz, Delft

  • 1993
    Galerie Phoebus, Rotterdam

  • 1991
    Artotheek, Vlaardingen

  • 1989
    Galerie Den Haag

  • 1989
    Rijksmuseum Twente, ‘Rijksaankopen’ Enschede

  • 1988
    Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, '‘Kleine Schilderijen’ Delft

  • 1988
    Nieuwe Muziek Centrum, Middelburg

  • 1987
    Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, ‘Delftse Signalement’, Delft

  • 1985
    H.C.A.K. Haags Centrum voor Actuele Kunst

  • 1984
    Galerie Den Haag

  • 1978
    City Without Walls, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Work experience

  • 2014 - present
    Ceramic painter, Montagne Aardewerkfabriek Gouderak

  • 2012-2014
    Production worker, Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles ,Royal Delft

  • 2012
    Artist in residence Sanbao Ceramic Art Instituut, Jingdezhen China

  • 2006-2014
    Art Council, Community of Velsen, the Netherlands

  • 2006-present
    Mosaic instructor, The VAK center for the arts, Delft, the Netherlands

  • 2005-present
    Member of Art Commission, City of Velsen, the Netherlands

  • 2000-2001
    Ceramic painting techniques, SBB, Gouda, the Netherlands

  • 1997-2006
    Head of Tile department, Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles ,Royal Delft

  • 1991-1992
    Translator, Artscript, Amsterdam

  • 1990-1991
    Ceramic painter/designer, Firebird Tiles, Berkley Heights, N.J., U.S.A.

  • 1981-1990
    Ceramic painter, De Delftse Pauw, Delft, The Netherlands