Jason Hess: New Work / Plinth Gallery, Denver, CO, USA
Jason Hess: New Work / Plinth Gallery, Denver, CO, USA April 6 - 28, 2012
Opening reception: Friday, April 6th, 6-9 pm.
Jason Hess is a professional ceramic artist and professor who lives in Arizona and instructs at Northern Arizona University. As an “avid wood firer”, his research for over 15 years has focused on the alchemy of the process — how the clay color, wood type, kiln design, and ash dispersion at high temperatures work together to “render a surface that is unattainable in other ways.”
A desire to have objects that fulfill specific purposes inspires him to make functional pots. The infinite and elusive variety of texture and color attainable through the various making and firing processes has generated an interest in the notion of presentation. Some of his work is presented so that a viewer might notice and appreciate subtle diversities in form and surface. By grouping similar forms of differing size and color the compositions create a visually dynamic display, which invites the viewer to enjoy the tactile nature of each individual piece and how they relate to one another.
His ceramic art has been featured in over 125 exhibitions worldwide. Jason has participated in residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation, in Montana, and at The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. He has also received numerous research grants from Northern Arizona University to research his medium and for the construction of the kilns. Jason’s work is either utilitarian or refers to utility in form while the presentation is more like characters relating to one another. He holds an MFA degree from Utah State University.
Gallery Hours: Thursday - Saturday, 12-5 pm, and by appointment.
Nicolae Moldovan: The minimal form / Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
Nicolae Moldovan: The minimal form / Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, Romania March 29 - April 16, 2012
Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, presents a new ceramic exhibition by Nicolae Moldovan, comprising a series of minimal objects. The show runs from March 29 through April 16, 2012, with the Opening Reception on Thursday, March 29, from 6pm to 9pm.
"The Minimal Form" exhibition brings together works that live through their clean shapes and through the essentialized force given by the form. From time to time, the ‘original form’ interacts with elements from other materialities, starting a conflict and aggressing the original.
Nicolae Moldovan graduated in Ceramics at the National University of Arts, Bucharest (1998), being one of Alexie Lazăr Florian and Doru Marian’s pupils. In the last twenty years, he participated in group exhibitions in Romania, Germany, South Korea and Bulgaria.
Reopened in 2011 at the initiative of the Romanian Fine Arts Union, Galateea Gallery is the first contemporary ceramics gallery in Romania, located on 132 Victory Avenue.
Saint's Sculptures between the XIX and the XX century / Casa Vestita, Grottaglie, Italy
Saint’s Sculptures between the XIX and the XX century / Casa Vestita, Grottaglie, Taranto, Italy March 29 – April 15, 2012
Opening reception: Thursday, March 29th, 18.30 pm.
For the first time ever, there will be exhibited over 95 votive terracotta figurines representing some of the saints venerated in Puglia, a tangible sign of the widespread devotion to Southern home.
Fifteen photos by photographer Ciro Quaranta will open the exhibition, who in the last thirty years has been conducting a thorough research on the popular faith in Puglia, managing to put together a file that describes moments of faith and devotion that are cyclically repeated during the centuries.
The exhibition “Sacralità domestica”, maintained by the archaeologist Simone Mirto and ceramist Mimmo Vestita will open in Via Crispi 63/A on the 29th of March, and runs until 15 April, enriching the range of cultural offerings in regional during the Easter season when many tourists reach the Salento to enjoy the balmy spring temperatures or to attend the renowned Holy Week Rites in Taranto.
The votive statues accompanied by the photographs tell the intimate relationship between man and the sacred, an extraordinary exhibition which takes visitors through different eras of environments, all enclosed in the picturesque setting of Casa Vestita in the heart of the “City of ceramics”. Grottaglie is thus prepared to the first exhibition that puts a spotlight on an aspect of popular devotion, at a specific time such as Easter, in which the mystery of faith is particularly felt by the community.
"A recious and rare exhibition" - Simone Mirto, curator of the exhibition. Sacralità domestica is the first exhibition in Italy that traces the lower production of votive terracotta figurines made in Grottaglie.
“My work is strongly political and inspired by the invention of Japanese tentacle pornography.
It all began when I typed in ‘tentacle’ to Google Images. 90% of the images that showed up consisted of violent tentacle porn. Tentacle porn has been around for centuries, but only became hugely popular in 1980, when a Japanese animator named Maeda wanted to make an erotic anime called Urotsuki. However, at the time, Japanese law forbade anatomically explicit pornographic drawings. Illustrators were always looking for ways to get around the law, so, instead of depicting an erect penis, Maeda depicted brutal tentacles.
Moreover, it was illegal to show couples taking part in sex where the man penetrates the woman with his penis for mutual pleasure, but it was perfectly legal to show tentacle rape. This contradiction of censorship fascinated me. The restrictions on the latter substantially caused the former: the return of the repressed as huge, aggressive tentacles…and this is what I found to be most fascinating.
Thus, the tentacles in my work symbolize sexual repression. I am very worried about contemporary sexuality, with women still derogated for acting sexual and mainstream pornography becoming more and more brutal. I pay a lot of attention to the media, which further influences my work. I use casts of my own body parts to express how this state of deformed sexuality is affecting me.” Ruth Power
The Adolfo Dominguez Foundation presents the plastic artist and ceramic sculptor David Gómez Blaya in Madrid, Spain.
The Adolfo Dominguez Foundation will present the ceramic work of David Gómez Blaya, a plastic artist from Madrid between March 26 and March 30 in the B4ZAAR CREATIVE MARKET. The Foundation headquarters are located at calle Serrano, number fifth, next to Puerta de Alcala, subway station of Retiro in Madrid.
The B4ZAAR CREATIVE MARKET of the Adolfo Domínguez Foundation is dedicated to the promotion of emergent artists and designers. During the last week of March, David Gómez Blaya, a creator born in Madrid, will show his concept of sculptural pottery throughout his work. The visitors will have the opportunity to contemplate his ceramic pieces, as well as to meet personally with this versatile craft maker, and also to acquire his art that will be for sale.
David is a master potter and has a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts from Universidad Complutense of Madrid. He began his career in the art world through painting to later work mostly in artistic ceramics. He brings a renewed vision of the ancient potter skills which have been developed through humankind history and applied them to art creation. Departing from the intrinsic functionality of a wonderful tool, the pottery wheel, he reinvents his use as an artist instrument to elaborate very complex technically sculptures. Nonetheless, his artwork has great simplicity and visual impact. In addition, his neat drawing, with explicit lines and full of details, is an elaborate exercise of descriptive plastic images. Therefore, the decoration of his pottery becomes a visual surprise of rich and luminous colors for the human eye that projects his vision of the world.
Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday, 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Mary Fischer and Patricia Sannit / Obsidian Gallery, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Mary Fischer and Patricia Sannit / Obsidian Gallery, Tucson, Arizona, USA March 17 - May 12, 2012
Obsidian Gallery presents a two person exhibition of non-figurative ceramic sculpture by Mary Fischer and Patricia Sannit. The show runs from March 17th through May 12, 2012, with the Artist’s Reception on Saturday, March 24, 2012 from 6pm to 9pm.
The focus of Mary Fischer’s work is architecture, both in the wild and in books. The images “get jumbled” in Mary’s head and later sorted out by her hands. The timelessness of indigenous architecture is an influence, as is the use of concrete by contemporary architects. Surface treatments and forms change over time as different structures capture her interest.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Patricia Sannit received her BA in Ceramics, Art History and Norwegian from the University of Minnesota and her MFA from the California College of Arts. She now lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Sannit’s work is influenced by her experiences excavating in the Near East and Ethiopia. Sannit’s most recent project is a large-scale ceramic installation, Citadel, based on an archeological site in Iraq. Patricia Sannit’s work draws from humanity’s relationship with both its natural and man-made surroundings. She uses both found and repurposed clay to refer to historical art forms as well as the stratigraphy of the Earth. “I am interested in the story of the earth, our species, and pots. History is manifest in the scarred and worn surface of our planet and in a pot well made and well used.”
Obsidian Gallery has presented the best in contemporary craft to Tucson residents and visitors for twenty-five years. There is an emphasis on the traditional craft media of clay, fiber, metal, glass and wood. Contemporary fine art, and works in mixed media complement the selection.
First retrospective of work by important Northwest Artist Curated by Namita Gupta Wiggers
The capstone exhibition of Museum of Contemporary Craft’s 75th Anniversary Year, Generations: Betty Feves is a comprehensive retrospective of work by this important Northwest Modernist ceramic artist. Opened in March 15, 2012, the exhibition includes work from every period of her 40-year career which began with studies under Clyfford Still and Alexander Archipenko, included studies in New York City during World War II, and later, decades in Pendleton, Oregon.
Feves was nationally engaged and regionally focused. She spoke at the first conference of the American Craftsmen’s Council (now the American Craft Council) at Asilomar, California in 1957 along with Peter Voulkos and Marguerite Wildenhain. At the same time she was deeply inspired by the Oregon landscape; rounded stone and basalt slab forms repeatedly found their way into her pieces. And Feves relentlessly experimented with materials and processes. She dug her own clays from locations like Oregon’s Dead Man’s Pass, sometimes mixing them with brick clay from LaGrande. And she created all of her own glazes from local sources such as grasses and the leaves of locust trees in her own backyard. “Decayed basalt, as she called it, became a routine ingredient in the clay mixture she used for sculpture, giving a texture and quality of color quite unlike any other,” says American raku pioneer Hal Reigger who collaborated with Feves beginning in the 1950s. “I believe one could look at just a small section of the surface of one of her things and know right off who made it.” With Reigger, Feves explored what they called primitive techniques including bonfire firings. Reigger was among those who praised Feves for her structural innovations in her large-scale Modernist sculptures.
Additionally, Feves was an important catalyst in her community, quietly mentoring and guiding scores of individual artists and musicians while she publicly advocated for the arts as a longtime member of the Pendleton School Board and while serving on the state’s Board of Higher Education. Feves helped to bring the Suzuki violin method to Oregon and to the Pendleton schools and gave private lessons to generations of young musicians. She took on a number of apprentices, but also reached out to younger artists like well-known Northwest painter James Lavadour, introducing him and his work to collectors and dealers. “Betty illustrated to me what an artist’s role is in a community, what an artist does,” Lavadour says. “An artist doesn’t just make art. An artist serves a community in many different ways.” Lavadour went on to found Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts in Pendleton.
Opening reception with Garth Clark, New York-based critic, writer and gallerist: Thursday, March 29, 5–8 pm. Artist Talk with Turi Heisselberg Pedersen: Saturday, March 31 at 2 pm.
"I love my garden, its plants and vigorous growths. Its potency of growth that within one season can produce an enormous plant from a tiny seed. It contains such a wealth of amazing and strange shapes, textures and colours. Furthermore it is a curious mix of nature and cultivation, of something dirty or beautiful, of poetry and ugliness. Certain things bloom and grow, some go wrong, unsuccessfully. It is a world of controlled nature, which is shaped, trimmed and reworked, not unlike the world of clay" Turi Heisselberg Pedersen explains on the inspiration for her show. Her garden can be experienced at Copenhagen Ceramics from 29 March through 21 April 2012.
For the exhibition My Garden Turi Hesisselberg Pedersen has created a new series of works inspired by the patterns, textures and structures in her garden. In the process of transforming this into ceramics works, two overall themes have emerged:
Vases inspired by buds and growths On one hand you find a group of precise, simple and cultivated shapes. For example vases inspired by the tautness of swelling flower buds – formal expressions that may seem almost vulgar. Or abstract, simple vase-shapes miming the upward, rhythmic patterns of plant-growth. Both act as ceramic equivalents to the trimmed and cultivated nature of gardens and an interpretation of the underlying order.
The opposite theme renders visible the sprouting life under ground. Out of this, works in the shape of organic, bulbous forms and seed capsules emerge with coarse, expressive surfaces or fluted structures. Careless growths and root-like forms, testifying to the more unruly forces of the garden.
In her new exhibition, Turi Heisselberg Pedersen will be showing some all-new, expressive and asymmetric works, where she explores the inherent character and textural freshness of the clay. Other pieces are more typical of her and display her mastery of simplified sculptural vessels, where rhythm, lines and the interplay between forms are recurrent themes.
Richard Slee: Camp Futility / Studio Voltaire, London
Richard Slee: Camp Futility / Studio Voltaire, London April 25 – May 26, 2012
Opening reception: Tuesday, April 24, 7–9 pm
Studio Voltaire presents a new commission by Richard Slee, comprising of a series of objects and installations made specifically for the exhibition. Slee is an important figure within contemporary ceramics and the exhibition will be his first presentation in a public gallery since From Utility to Futility, a solo exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2010.
Central to Slee’s exhibition at Studio Voltaire is a number of works based on vernacular objects such as wood saws, hammers, pick axes and camping equipment. Inspired by a recent residency at Alfred University, in upstate New York, the works investigate particular myths and the symbolism of our ideas of America such as the great outdoors and the pioneer spirit. Lashed together workbenches that refer to old mining equipment, various scattered tools and an abandoned camp-fire can be read as an allegory to abandoned industries where whole communities move on to find employment elsewhere.
Ideas challenging the economy of productive labor are implicit in Slee’s combination of the hand-made and the found object. The uncanny hybrid of the de-skilled ready-made and the crafted object convey a subversive humourous vision that playfully investigates the limits of the ceramic tradition. Mass produced, everyday objects are meticulously realized with highly glazed, bright colors. These seductive surfaces recall a Pop or post-modern aesthetic that belies the more psychological, underlying cultural references of an object’s utility.
Slee (born 1946, Carlisle) works and lives in London. He studied Ceramics at Central School of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art. Until last year, he was a senior Professor at the University of the Arts in London. His work has been shown in London and internationally since the late 1970s and recent exhibitions include Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970 – 1990, V&A Museum, London (2011-12), The Peir Arts Centre, Stromness (Solo, 2004) and Tate St Ives (Solo, 2003). Slee is represented by Hales Gallery, London.
Sponsored by SIMONE. Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation.
Jenni Ward is a sculptor, art instructor and owner of Earth Art Studio in Aptos CA. In 2005, she opened Earth Art Studio; a sculpture studio offering clay and mixed media sculpture classes and workshops for children, teens and adults. Throughout her teaching career she has worked extensively with many youth and senior art programs. She is also the creative engine behind the humanitarian group; HOPE Art which brings art to the youth of Haiti. In addition to teaching, she has been creating, showing and selling her own sculptures since graduating from University of Hartford-Hartford Art School with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1998. She exhibits her sculptures locally and nationally.
“My work focuses on how organic forms interact and engage with the space they encompass. I create abstract arrangements reflecting the biological world of seeds, pollens, bones, shells and entomology.
My pieces explore the tensions of opposing forces with results that evoke contrary feelings of unshackled captivity, organized randomness and the density of negative space. At times I work in multiples; the forms are often configured in simple geometric compositions to counter their organic nature. Using clay as my primary medium, I develop these pieces with commonalities of shape, color, texture and movement. The results are a series of work that strive to achieve a sense of beauty in their asymmetrical balance.” Jenni Ward
Dimitrios Antonitsis: Sarmale with Ketchup / SABOT Gallery, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Dimitrios Antonitsis: Sarmale with Ketchup / SABOT Gallery, Cluj-Napoca, Romania March 21 – May 5, 2012
Sleek show fitting the sleek space of Sabot and breathing contemporary air into the Transylvanian folklore.
A graduate of the New York Film Academy and a former fashion photographer, Antonitsis is keenly aware of the different ways reality can be manipulated or exaggerated. (Tina Sotiriadi | Art in America, April 2002)
The Folklore, as a term of Dimitrios Antonitsis’ personal vocabulary, is invariably concerned with the practice of handcrafts. Always manifesting a soft spot for the discarded and the rejected, the artist easily fell for the triviality of Romanian fleamarket-stands, where he purchased used ceramic pots and vessels, woven rugs and bedspreads, and even some coarse wood-crafted decorative objects. These forsaken, modest artifacts became the chosen ingredients for his challenging task of pursuing a juicy aesthetical discourse and transforming them into his own contemporary dish. The mundane titles “Sarmale with Ketchup” (for his solo show at Sabot), and “Panache de Papanași” (for the concomitant exhibition at the Museum of Art in Cluj-Napoca), should be therefore read as an act of resisting social formatting.
Antonitsis uses his latest sculptural work as a sharp metaphor for leisure, fun and luxurious consumption. Bonus, a giant canine treat in aluminum and Bunny Labyrinth, a kids game silk-screened on a woven rug comment on our complicated and troublesome relation with over-achievement, social power and reward. His aesthetic language stretches from an attractive and minimal object making to an overcharged and exaggerated folklore design, always responding to the goal of articulating the concepts as accurately as possible. After all, Antonitsis is an artist who feels responsible for bringing truth to his audience. He can be wrong or misunderstood, but he must struggle to reflect reality in a way that speaks out the truth, whether we comprehend it or not.
Artist and curator, Dimitrios Antonitsis is the founder of Hydra School Projects, a cutting edge international platform for the visual arts set up in an elementary school on the Greek island of Hydra.
SEATS 05: Sibylle Stoeckli, Christian Horisberger, Enzo Mari / Depot Basel, Switzerland
SEATS 05: Sibylle Stoeckli, Christian Horisberger, Enzo Mari / Depot Basel, Switzerland March 24 - May 6, 2012
On the 23rd March (17-20 pm), Depot Basel will opened its doors at their residence in Basel once again.
Depot Basel takes on the topic of SEATS for the prelude of the 2012 season. A regular chair consists of four legs and a backrest, however, according to demands, a chair can also have three legs, diverse dimensions, shapes and outlines. We will take a close look at the past, present and future – of how chairs take shape and how they have changed with time.
Sibylle Stoeckli and Christian Horisberger will re-interpret Enzo Mari’s “Do It Yourself” chairs from 1974. The workshop will be put into practice at Depot Basel together with the School of Design Basel – Renata Borer and Kuno Nussli.
The project “Take a seat” initiated by AEKAE for “Café Z am Park” shows Horgen Glarus’ Classic 1-380 chair re-designed by various designers. Additionally, we show the favourite chairs of people from Basel.
In co-operation with the Czech design collective OKOLO we will present an illustrated selection of unusual seating in the history of Modern Design in the form of a limited edition publication.
Last but not least, the initiators of “Leuchtturm Kreative Wirtschaft” will round off our programme with the first talk of their new lecture series titled “MILK – Design dialogue #1” starting at 8 pm on Saturday, March 23.
“The potential ability of the imagination has an important impact in our lives. Minds have visual images that we collect through our lives.
These inner-images that represent my works are examinations of my existence. However, in this bank of memories I cherish every possible emotion; happiness, growing pains, family loss, first love, motherhood, sexuality, multicultural experiences, frustration, social-political issues and most importantly the celebration of life.
As an artist I like to work with different mediums, especially ceramics and acrylic paintings. Lately I have been experimenting with ceramic installations and mixed media. The freedom of expanding my work in another dimension makes me feel more connected with the viewers. The process of my work mostly is very spontaneous. The rest comes along with what my subconscious has been saving in my bank of memories, throughout my life and the happening of the moment.” Liliana Folta