Clémence van Lunen exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong
Clémence van Lunen exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong October 5 - November 18, 2012
Opening: Thursday, October 4, from 6 pm.
"Sculpture, polyglot, curious and on the alert, fascinated by the countries which she has discovered, cultures and languages which she practises and likes, Clémence Van Lunen is a renaissance woman. She develops multiple works which could be defined as high curiosity in the same sense we sometimes describe ancient amateurs cabinet, but in her case it is in an eclectic and knowledgable way. The art critic and exhibition curator Frédéric Bodet wrote about her work, "rare forms are expressed with an indecisive act, dedicated to the enjoyment as much as to the dismay that she constantly tries to disturb us, her sculptures evoke a sort of sympathy which makes you stop and hesitate." Her invitation to Sèvres in 2007 - that allowed me to get to know her better - stood out as an evidence, as a necessary stage for her after her travels a round the world and her research in ceramics.
On her return from one of her regular travels to China, she proposed at Cité de la céramique a universe of porcelain dragons (she chose on purpose the most symbolic animal of China), with the determination to produce them all herself with an never before used experimental mixture of porcelain pastas from our mill.
Compositions of a series of porcelain elements turned, deformed then wrapped up, gathered in an experimental way and delicately assembled, the monumental sculptures required the traditional techniques of production but, however, adapted in a personal and creative way. She then imagined an centre piece , consisting of several elements of biscuit which was built up of a small «archipelago» on a table, like so many islands with strange plants; it was an invitation to a new journey!
Her experience at la Cité de la céramique illustrates perfectly its capacity to create a gateway, to imagine formal round trips, cultural and aesthetic juxtapositions, which are her trademark and her talent.”
David Caméo, Director of Sèvres, Cité de la Ceramique France
Opening Reception: Friday, September 14, 5:30 - 8:30 pm.
Art on the Avenue Gallery, at 3808 Lancaster Avenue, is pleased to present Arina Ailincăi: IN-SCRIPTED BODY, a solo sculpture exhibition featuring recent works in clay of this noteworthy international artist.
Arina Ailincăi is a truly international artist. Raised and educated in Romania, she began her artistic career in Eastern Europe. In the 1980s she crossed the Atlantic and settled in Canada, where she was soon acknowledged as one of its most talented artists working in clay. At that time she also exhibited and lectured in the United States. Over the last several years, she has been invited to work, exhibit and lecture at major ceramic art centers and international events throughout Europe, including Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Turkey. Most recently she has held residencies in China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
Arina Ailincăi’s art focuses on the human figure, with the body cast using real bodies - often her own. The closeresemblance of the ceramic sculpture to the actual body is only a starting point for her deeper exploration of the universal human condition as an embodied self. Ailincai’s sculptures in clay are philosophically and metaphorically charged. The markings on the outer surface and the mysterious inscriptions in the hollow interior of the body transform the replica of a particular individual into an archetypal human vessel, holding the traces of inner life, time, place and history.
"My desire is to “write” a three dimensional poem to both the fragile physical body and the intangible world of our inner existence. I translate this desire into ceramic sculpture through the use of faithfully replicated, life-size clay body-casts and fragments. I press the clay into the plaster mold to create ”the shell," a hollowed out body shape: an empty vessel containing the inner self, with its personal and universal history. The scripts imprinted on the interior walls of the shell, acquire symbolic and metaphoric dimensions, becoming a palimpsest of the entire human existence. While most of my works are made in clay, I make use of other materials and techniques, often combining drawing and photography in my installations. I want to synthesize two-dimensional and three-dimensional vocabularies into a visual language charged with meaning, which directs the viewers to sense their location, both within and without.” Arina Ailincăi
Contemporary Clay Invitational / j fergeson gallery, Farmville, VA
Contemporary Clay Invitational / j fergeson gallery, Farmville, VA October 5 - December 15, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 13, 5:00 pm.
The latest show at the j fergeson gallery in Farmville, VA, explores the diverse possibilities of what can be done with clay. This show, the gallery’s largest of the year, features works from 30 national artists. Here one will find both sculptural and functional pieces, but perhaps most interesting is the way the artists have settled somewhere in between.
The show is an extraordinary collection of ceramic work by artists working at the top of their field. Co-curators Andréa Keys Connell, lead professor in clay at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Adam Paulek, lead professor in clay at Longwood University, chose the artists for their commitment to fine craft, progressive thought, sensitivity to material and humor.
Artist A. Blair Clemo, inspired by the ornate history of European Decorative Arts, creates vessels that are functional, but also ridiculously opulent, as if ready to serve royalty. John Oliver Lewis presents two sculptures inspired equally by architecture, natural land formations, cartoons, and candy - think Monument Valley out of salt water taffy. And then there’s Darrin Ekern’s “potasaurus”: a sculpture of a T-Rex in a studio throwing a pot.
Featured artists: A. Blair Clemo, Kurt Anderson, Tom Bartel, Jason Hackett, Hiroe Hanazono, Mike Jabbur, Bethany Krull, John Oliver Lewis, Richard Nickel, Nathan Prouty, Debbie Quick, Dave Smith, Mikey Walsh, Trent Berning, Kelly Berning, Jeff Campana, Sam Chung, David Eichelberger, Darrin Ekern, Misty Gamble, Meredith Host Kowalski, Nicole Aquillano, Frank Martin, Dan Molyneux, Chris Picket, Adrian Sandstrom, Amy Santafararo, Shawn Spangler, Kendra Sparks, Adero Willard.
This variety of work isn’t often seen in small galleries, and the curators are excited to present it to an audience that may be unfamiliar with just how adventurous contemporary clay has become.
Erskine, Hall & Coe are pleased to announce the exhibition of the celebrated contemporary sculptor, Ruth Duckworth.
The exhibition includes 22 artworks in bronze, porcelain and stoneware. The earliest dates from 1965 but the majority of pieces are from the period of late 1980s through to work completed in the final year of Duckworth’s life. The gallery has been working closely with Thea Burger, who represents the Duckworth Estate.
Writing in her essay to accompany the exhibition Thea Burger states: “Duckworth was a modernist sculptor who loved form. She was not about colour, but was about the subtle shape of her pieces. Her forms are typically created in porcelain, stoneware, or bronze. Much admired, she has art works in most of the world’s most prestigious museums, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Los Angeles Country Museum, the Victoria and Albert, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Tokyo Museum of Art.”
In Ruth Duckworth, Modernist Sculptor written by Jo Lauria and Tony Birks, Duckworth talks of her process of creating a sculpture: Ruth Duckworth Porcelain.
“Play is the essence of creativity. Creative play and gut reaction, instinct. When I work on a piece, I play. I have a whole huge section of the studio where I have an inventory of sculptural forms, simple, abstract, non-specific shapes that I find beautiful and enjoy making. Then I start building these shapes together. And when I find myself smiling, I say “hello!” I think I’ve got something. The process is intuitive, not intellectual. You have to learn to be spontaneous and trust yourself.”
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is delighted to present works by Bharti Kher in her first solo exhibition held in a public art institution in London. The exhibition is composed of a selection of works from the recent past, with an emphasis on the artist’s sculptural works.
Known for her extensive use of everyday, found objects and imaginatively transforming their identity, Kher empowers her often otherworldly creations to present themselves unabashedly as if they were a natural part of our culture and environment. Kher’s work often explores the notion of the self as a multiple, open to interpretation and shape-shifting. Her art practice is intimately intertwined with her life, not only because she borrows motifs and artifacts for her work, but also because she has an inquisitive mind and a strong desire to understand sociological issues. Such characteristics endow Kher’s work with a narrative quality and fascinating interiority of things that frequently contradict her practice of addressing more global and collective concerns. This tension is precisely what leads us more deeply into Kher’s work and world and prompts us to reposition our own relationship to her individual pieces.
Kher is perhaps best known for her elaborate and stunning bindi dot paintings: abstract, swirling constellations of colourful bindis glued to flat surfaces that create unique imagery somewhere between being illusory and hyper-realistic. But in recent years her artistic creations have become increasingly bold and unrestrained, several examples of which are on show in the exhibition. The phenomenal, life-size elephant that is The skin speaks a language not its own, 2006, made of fibreglass and covered with serpent - or sperm-shaped white bindis, bears a symbolism that leaves viewers uncertain about the animal’s condition. The title of the work, always an important component of Kher’s works, suggests that physical appearance and inner values are often in conflict.
Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos / NEW MUSEUM, New York
Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos / NEW MUSEUM, New York October 24, 2012 - January 13, 2013
Co-curated by Rosemarie Trockel and Lynne Cooke for the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, “Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos”—encompassing all three main gallery floors of the New Museum building on the Bowery—will present a world shaped by Trockel’s ideas, interests, and affinities. Instead of a traditional retrospective, this exhibition takes the form of an artistic self-portrait in which Trockel’s work shares space with objects that have influenced her thinking and her practice. Spanning different eras and cultures, “A Cosmos” brings together objects from disparate fields to compose a cartography of Trockel’s influences.
Since the early 1970s, Rosemarie Trockel has produced an impressive body of work that includes drawing, collage, installation, “knit paintings,” ceramics, videos, furniture, clothing, and books. She brings together a range of associations and references from art history, philosophy, theology, and the natural sciences. For “A Cosmos,” the dense field of Trockel’s influences will be articulated in installations that illuminate the intellectual and formal connections between her practice and that of a range of historical figures including self-taught artists James Castle and Morton Bartlett, and the botanist/mathematician José Celestino Mutis. Objects whose impetus was primarily aesthetic will be juxtaposed with pieces that more conventionally belong to the realm of science. Trockel’s roughhewn glazed ceramics from the past several years will be displayed in conjunction with Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka’s delicate glass models of sea creatures created in the nineteenth century. A selection of new drawings by Trockel can be examined along with watercolors by the seventeenth-century artist Maria Sybilla Merian, whose impeccably precise yet beautiful renderings of flora and fauna proved invaluable to scientific study.
Trockel’s well-known disregard for the conventional hierarchies in the visual arts, together with her longstanding appreciation of media and materials once categorized as crafts or vernacular art forms, is demonstrated throughout the exhibition. She has adopted a fluid and radical approach to gender, combining activities typically considered feminine in terms of production with aggressive mechanical and industrial forms. This facet of her practice is emphasized through the inclusion of Judith Scott’s obsessively wrapped yarn sculptures alongside Ruth Francken’s plastic and metal assemblages from the 1970s. In addition, Trockel’s celebrated “knit paintings” will be integrated into the exhibition, along with new works made of glass.
Rosemarie Trockel was born in 1952 in Schwerte, Germany. She studied at the Kölner Werkschulen in Cologne, Germany. Since 1998, she has been a professor at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. She lives and works in Cologne.
Opening reception: Thursday, September 13, 18.00 pm.
The modern reality evokes more and more catastrophic visions, not as much of the end of the world perhaps, but rather of the decline of the world as we know it. Last century’s escalating occurrence of natural disasters and the worryingly fast degradation of the environment are food for thought, resulting in the eco trends on the one hand, and growing speculation crowned with the prophecies of the demise of civilization on the other. In this situation, we are more thorough in creating architecture which is resistant to the most severe disasters, buying insurance policies which will hypothetically safeguard our future. We assume optimistically that we will somehow survive and manage to preserve our civilization.
In his latest project entitled “Seeds – the art of survival”, Marek Cecuła goes a step further, envisaging the annihilation of humankind in his vision of the future. However, he assumes that it is possible to preserve the material which enables Rebirth, as well as substances and tools needed for further functioning. All which is needed to that end is finding a form, a capsule made of an ultra-resistant material guaranteeing the preservation of the survival substance. The nature suggests a solution – the “seeds” are based on actual plant seeds, while their outer texture brings to mind the exceptionally durable diamond. The material used by the artist to generate his “seeds” is ceramics, whose durability is proved by archaeological excavations, which allow us to track down the development of civilization from the prehistoric times, through antiquity, to the modern era.
The exhibition in Wrocław’s BWA Glass and Ceramics Gallery blends art and science. Building terror and suspense, Cecuła shows the viewers real materials from the sites of natural disasters, statistics and scientific data presenting the real picture of what we are threatened with, a detailed description of the material used in building the seeds, and finally the main hero, together with the contents guaranteeing – according to the artist – the survival of substances ensuring Rebirth. There is no space left for any valuable objects representing our culture or development of civilization, there are no technological gizmos. Cecuła refers to the sources of life, only intending to preserve the existence of live matter which would allow an evolutionary revival of the civilization. The exhibition presents twenty large and twenty small “seeds”. Each is composed of two airtight elements. In its final version, the project is planned to contain a hundred such forms to be distributed all over the planet in order to secure the ultimate survival. The design of the “seeds”, their aesthetic form, is supposed to evoke a sense of security and hope for Rebirth.
Scandinavian Design, drawn from the MFAH collection of decorative arts, showcases furniture, glass, ceramics, metalwork, and lighting from the 1920s to the 1970s. The MFAH first acquired examples of modern Finnish glass in 1954, and in recent years the museum has built on this history by acquiring outstanding objects by architects, designers and manufacturers such as Georg Jensen, Orrefors, Alvar Aalto, Bruno Mathsson, Kaj Franck, Timo Sarpaneva, Tapio Wirkkala, Poul Henningsen, Finn Juhl and Verner Panton.
The objects created by designers active in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway during the 20th century embody a distinctive aesthetic typified by an emphasis on high-quality design distributed widely through mass production. Often Minimalist, and characterized by clean lines, the Scandinavian design movement originated with a 1950s design show that traveled to the United States and Canada to showcase Nordic designers and the “Scandinavian way of living.” Scandinavian design influenced the development of Modernism in North America and Europe, and it continues to shape decorative arts today.
This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Generous funding is provided by Dr. Marjorie G. Horning.
Entrance to this exhibition is included with the museum admission. MFAH Members receive free general admission.
Ellen Schön: Vessel Variations (x3) / Vessels Gallery, Boston
Ellen Schön: Vessel Variations (x3) / Vessels Gallery, Boston September 7 - October 7, 2012
Opening Reception: September 7, 5.30 - 8.30 pm.
Vessels Gallery is pleased to announce Vessel Variations (x3), an exhibit of the most recent ceramic explorations of Ellen Schön. This clay artist and teacher does not see vessels as mere shapes, but rather as metaphors for the human form –the suggestions of “a neck, a shoulder, a belly, a foot”, “the evocation of a human gesture here or stance there”.
Wellspring or Womb, Schön’s first collection, evokes the contours of the womb – both fertile and barren, alive and fading.
Her second group of vessels conjures up the long, sinewy necks of the Greek Cycladic Idols and the shallow patterned cuts of the African Yoruba head sculptures. No simple Bottlesthese, but once again, shapes and designs which reference the human form.
And finally her third collection: The Planet Series, is a group of broad-bellied forms with a spinning sense of movement.
The clay directs me as I direct it. We are in a reciprocal relationship. Ellen Schön
Ellen Schön is an adjunct faculty member at the Art Institute of Boston. She has participated in art symposia throughout the world, and has been an active member in ceramic residencies in Malaysia, Germany, Finland, Croatia and most recently in Hungary. Her passionate interest in international artistic collaboration has led to her participation in the “Transcultural Exchange Tile Project” through which her students have created ceramic tiles, which have been included in wall installations in China and India.
Contemporary Ceramics / Stremmel Gallery, Reno, Nevada September 20 – October 20, 2012
Opening reception: Thursday, September 20, 5.30 – 7.30 pm.
Stremmel Gallery will host an opening reception for “Contemporary Ceramics,” an exhibition of work by 18 contemporary ceramic artists hailing from the western United States, Thursday, September 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This eclectic and wide-ranging group represents a dynamic and diverse approach to the tradition of functional and non-functional ceramics.
Montana ceramicist Rudy Autio is best known for his figurative ceramic vessels. He was a founding resident artist of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana.
Reno-based artist Rebekah Bogard employs fictional animals in her artwork as a means of exploring the narrative and history of her life. She has received numerous awards, including being named an “Emerging Artist” by both the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and Ceramics Monthly Magazine.
A familiar face to Stremmel Gallery, Robert Brady’s unique style and imagery represents the morphing of a personal lexicon of graphic symbols with color, revealing a whimsical sense of humor, energetic process and primitive mixture of materials. His work has been featured in galleries and museums across the country.
Josh DeWeese’s inspiration stems from how pots can be used as a means of bringing art into our lives. His pottery serves a multitude of purposes: comfortable to use, enjoyable to look at, and interesting to think about.
An artist whose history with clay spans more than 30 years, Robert Harrison creates birdhouses with Oriental elements. Focusing on architectural concepts, his pieces are more intimate, allowing for an intensified level of exploration.
Susie Ketchum creates detailed, hand-painted ceramics illustrated with iconic and abstract designs. Like Mexican folk art, her images are playful, with underlying themes of life and death.
Montana-based artist Steven Young Lee’s work investigates the process of recognition - how as individuals, we draw realities based on experiences and our environment. He plays on preconceptions related to numbers, superstitions, symbolism, and identity that are universal, yet particular to specific cultures.
Ceramics Now Association has the pleasure to invite you to the group exhibition of Ceramics Now Magazine team. With this occasion, the courageous members of the team will exhibit together for the first time contemporary ceramics and glass works. The six exhibiting artists, five members of the team and one special guest, were bringed together by Vasi Hîrdo, founding editor of Ceramics Now.
Exhibiting artists: Andra Baban, Vasi Hîrdo, Alexandra Mureşan, Cora Pojaru, Anca Sânpetrean, Bogdan Teodorescu. Curator: Vasi Hîrdo
After the success of the first two editions of Ceramics Now Exhibition organized in Cluj-Napoca (The Paintbrush Factory) and Bucharest (Galateea Gallery), this exhibition is prefacing the third edition of the international contemporary ceramics exhibition that will took place at the end of the year in Bucharest.
Ceramics Now Magazine is a comprehensive and innovative quarterly publication (online and print) specialized in contemporary ceramics. Founded in 2011, the magazine features interviews, articles, reviews and works of emerging and world-renowned ceramic artists. It is distributed all over the world in a network of libraries, galleries, museums and institutions.
Europe Gallery is administrated by the Romanian Fine Arts Union - Braşov Branch, and it’s located on 1 Mureşenilor street. The gallery is opened Monday to Saturday, between 12-19 pm. The exhibition can also be visited on Sunday, September the 2nd, between 12-19 pm.
Organized by Ceramics Now Association and the Romanian Fine Arts Union - Braşov Branch.
Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen: Setting the Stage / Copenhagen Ceramics
Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen: Setting the Stage / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark 30 August - 22 September 2012
Opening reception: Thursday, 30 August, 5 – 8 pm. Artist talk with Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen: Saturday, 1 September, 2 pm.
For their upcoming exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics – Setting the Stage – Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen are each showing their variant of a contemporary version of the figurative ceramic tradition. They both share an interest in visually expressing the psychological aspects of life and their wish to reflect the inner life of humans in figurative works with elements of animal and human being.
From children’s books and fairy tales we are used to projecting human characteristics on to animals and so we likewise identify with the drama that takes place in the ceramic scenes of Jungersen and Hindsgavl.
The ceramic expression of Louise Hindsgavl and Gitte Jungersen differ widely. But each have, in their own way, revived the figurative tradition and renewed its relevance. The porcelain figure is a starting point for both, but the kitschy and banal references, that are normally attached to this genre, are replaced and transformed into underlying, more disquieting messages. The figure or the figurine – which plays an ever important rôle in the history of ceramics – often contains wit and humour and is of lesser scale than that of sculpture, is well suited for both artists’ commenting accounts on big and small dramas of life.
For the exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics Gitte Jungersen has taken a new step. She has in recent years been transforming the stories of found, industrially produced, porcelain animals by inserting them through firing into new landscape-like ’scenes’. This feature of the earlier works is now to a large degree substituted by abstract structures made up of squared shapes. However, these otherwise stable forms are falling in, collapsing and broken at times. The dissolution is further emphasized by masses of glaze, that overflow the shapes as big blobs, partially erasing them. The scenes evoke a sensation of the uncontrollable and catastrophic, while the ceramic appear sensually specious and beautiful.
Glazes play a very special rôle in the works of Gitte Jungersen. She is known for her heavily sensual surfaces of great textural complexity. The bubbly surfaces of her pieces result from the glazes ’boiling’ at top temperature of the ceramic kiln and the subsequent rapid solidifying in the cooling-process. Thus the handling itself of the materials contributes to emphasizing the thematic content. Whether it’s a nearing dissolution awaiting or rather a new narrative in the making, is left open for you to decide.
Louise Hindsgavl’s contribution to the exhibition circles around the loss of innocence, the confusion and the transformation, that happens in the transition from childhood to becoming an adult. For this show, Hindsgavl has chosen to work with a totally different expression than her well-known porcelain-figures and their absurdist accounts about the darker recesses of the human mind. In recent years she has also experimented with including other materials and ready-mades in her porcelain tableaus. Now the pieces are bigger, of a coarser nature and with quite a different volume than she has mainly been using, but her works still invite to our ongoing discussion about pure and impure.
The work ’Luckys & Bunnys’ refers to the tale of Alice in Wonderland, where the child meets change in the shape of an unknown magical world and where the rabbit is the central element, pulling the child through its development.
Both artists have over many years been frequent exhibitors in Denmark and internationally.
Jean and Jacqueline Lerat Tribute / Galerie Capazza, Nançay, Paris
Jean and Jacqueline Lerat Tribute / Galerie Capazza, Nançay, Paris September 29 - December 2, 2012
Openning reception: Saturday, September 29th, 5-8 pm.
To welcome today the artworks of Jean and Jacqueline Lerat is an honor, a recognition. We are proud and moved to have published this book, and we will do our best to present «their treasures», which let us hope to deserve the confidence granted by François and Claire Lerat, their children. Gérard Capazza
Is it pretentious to consider the artwork as an haiku, a so marginal poem. This is no about ceramics but creation. I am not interested in the enamels skills. Skills, technique, are situated before creation. The structure maybe? As for the skeleton, you have to add something. Questions have been asked in a dense way. Somehow, life has imposed. Then, you could go from the “object situation” to the “creation situation”. Jacqueline Lerat, May 5th, 1993
It is fundamental that beauty and meaning depend on the person who look at the piece as much as the quality of the work. The artist has the right to be misunderstood, privilege that «the official artist» refuses by his will to set up in advance the way people will per- ceive his work. Modestly assuming their function, but always overflowing when they are admired, the ceramics of Jean and Jacqueline Lerat oppose the demanding nature of relationship to the whims of actuality… Bernard Noël, extract of the book Jean et Jacqueline Lerat, éditions Galerie Capazza
Jean (1913-1992) and Jacqueline (1920-2009) LERAT Biography Jean Lerat’s family is an old family from Berry (French province), where you can find farmers, cabinet makers, horse breeders, Antique dealers. Jean starts at the Fine Arts school in Bourges to learn wood sculpture. Then, he concentrates on sculpture, drawing and landscapes painting. The encounter with François Guillaume will change his life. Dealer, designer and crockery editor in Bourges since the 30’s, he has a lot of contacts with the ceramics and glass factories which realize his models for the French restaurants. He asks Jean Lerat to work in La Borne in 1941, to “renew the pottery tradition fo the village”. He rents a workshop and asks Armand Bedu to supply Jean with the needed materials and to fire the pieces that will be sold in the shop.
In December 1942, Jean Favière, who works at the Berry Museum, and Henri Malvaux, new director of the Fine Arts school in Bourges, start showing interest to the craft productions of la Borne. The village is already renowned by Parisian institutions (Museum of the Decorative Arts, Ceramics Museum of Sèvres) for its authenticity.
Henri Malvaux asks Jacqueline Bouvet to come to La Borne in July 1943. She is allowed to stay until May 1944 thanks to an agreement with François Guillaume. Jean and Jacqueline get married on February 3rd of 1945. They will work in the same place, but they will follow a personal path. But they share clay, enamels and firing.
In 1955 they moved to Bourges, building a new wood-firing kiln and beginning to create more sculptural and abstracted works. While an attentive observation should lead the collector to distinguish their style, they adopt a mutual signature JLERAT from 1945 to 1948, then JLERAT from 1948 to Jean’s death. After 1992, Jacqueline starts again to sign JLERAT.
Their collaboration in ceramics is considered to be among the most important in post- war France. Their teaching at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Bourges has influen- ced new generations of potters.
Gustaf Nordenskiöld exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong
Gustaf Nordenskiöld exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong August 24 - September 29, 2012
Opening: Thursday, August 23, from 6 pm.
Gustaf Nordenskiölds ceramic work deals with issues about functionality, primitivism, natural forces, and perceptible method. He is exploring the field between design, crafts, arts and industrial production.
The exhibition consists of new museum collections, post production, the assembly of pre-existing and newly manufactured items, and works transformed to form new en-sembles. The exhibition presents ambivalent ceramic works, virgin archaeological objects of unknown origin that expresses beauty in the making, or in disrepair.
"My intention is to create works in which the methods are a prerequisite for the final result, where traces of the process remains in the finished work. To freeze a moment for posterity. To preserve and display an action. What is worth preserving? Methods where the finished objects conveys trace of effort, different movement patterns or natural deformation/formation.” Traces, as a memory of its creation, Gustaf Nordenskiöld, 2012.
In partnership with the Consulate General of Sweden, Hong Kong.
Gallery Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 am - 8 pm. Sunday, 1 - 6 pm.
Selections and Installation by Jeffry Mitchell Curated by Jeffry Mitchell and Namita Gupta Wiggers
Erik Gronborg employs archetypes of functional ceramic traditions as conceptual vehicles to explore contemporary culture. Combining a 1,000-year-old-continuum of ceramic history with silk-screening, comics, china paint, and commercial glazes, Gronborg’s provocative “crafty” and non-precious approach is a precursor to the “sloppy craft” that is as challenging today as it was in the late 1960s. Working with Seattle-based artist Jeffry Mitchell, selections of Gronborg’s work will be drawn from local public and private collections. Through dialogue and conversation throughout the process with Namita Gupta Wiggers, and an installation designed by Mitchell, the exhibition will explore Gronborg’s use of craft as a tool for social commentary and political satire, and how the work relates to Mitchell’s own explorations of ceramics as a contemporary medium.
Location: Collection Gallery
Opening August 7, 2012 and running through February 16, 2013, this exhibition is part of a series of ongoing explorations in which the Museum invites fresh perspectives on the collection and archive by partnering with artists, creative people, and designers to create public exhibitions. Director and Chief Curator Namita Gupta Wiggers invited ceramic artist Jeffry Mitchell to make selections of Gronborg’s work as a way of fostering a dialogue between the work of these two artists of different generations and as a way of creating conversation around Gronborg’s work.
The Museum is recording conversations between Wiggers and Mitchell about Mitchell’s selections and groupings of the senior artist’s work. These conversations center on the use of craft as a tool for social commentary and political satire, and how Gronborg’s work relates to Mitchell’s own explorations of ceramics as a contemporary sculptural medium. Reflecting on Erik Gronborg, co-curated by Mitchell and Wiggers, features work from the Museum’s collection and from private collections in Portland. The more than 85 works by Gronborg include ceramic, wood, and miniature bronze sculptures.
Erik Gronborg, who moved to the United States from Denmark in 1959, almost immediately began making what he considers functional ceramic works that explore contemporary culture. Combining the 1,000-year-old-continuum of ceramic history with silk-screening, comics, china paint, and commercial glazes, Gronborg’s provocative “crafty” and non-precious approach is a precursor to the “sloppy craft” that is as challenging today as it was in the late 1960s. Gronborg, whose last kiln firing was in 1996, won The City of Paris Award at The Paris Bienale in 1963. Gronborg has spent most of his life as an artist and educator at various institutions in California and also taught at Reed College from 1965-69.
A retrospective of Mitchell’s work, Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell, opens at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle in October 2012. Mitchell was awarded a Joan Mitchell Grant in 2009 and was a finalist for the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards at the Portland Art Museum in 2008. His work was included in the ICA’s 2009 exhibition, Dirt on Delight: Impulses that Form Clay. Mitchell is represented by Ambach & Rice in Los Angeles.
The Third Annual Ceramics of America 2012: Exhibition and Art Fair at Fort Mason, San Francisco
The Third Annual Ceramics of America 2012: Exhibition and Art Fair at Fort Mason, San Francisco, California, USA 14-16 September, 2012
Opening Reception and Preview Party: September 13, 2012, 5:30 – 9 pm
Witness A Unique Experience: Ceramic Sculpture from Around the World
The Ceramics Annual of America (CAA) is an ambitious exhibition and art fair spotlighting the quality and diversity of contemporary ceramics from around the world including works from China, Korea, Mexico, Australia and Italy. It is the only event of its kind in the United States and the goal is to encourage the education and enrichment of the public, cultivate a fertile art market, and foster dialog between collectors and makers of ceramic sculpture.
Part of California’s continuing legacy of excellence and innovation in ceramics, the CAA is the largest exhibition and art fair that is entirely focused on ceramic art in America and is modeled after the Ceramic Biennials held in Europe, Korea, Japan and China. It provides a venue for the top regional and international artists from working in the clay medium to show their work to a broader audience of collectors.
The CAA is organized by the California Ceramics Cooperative, a group of invested regional ceramic artists, and will feature panel discussions, lectures, tours as well as daily interactive art demonstrations from 4-5 that will provide a greater understanding of the artistic process for students and educators alike. Schools located in the Bay Area will have free admission all day Friday and should contact the Ceramics Annual for Reservations. Featured artist and instructor Kevin Nierman, author of “The Kids ‘N’ Clay Ceramics Book,” will provide “Artistic childcare” on Saturday and Sunday from 11-3.
The exhibition will be held in the 50,000 square ft. Festival Hall at Ft. Mason, capable of accommodating as many as 10,000 people. A popular attraction for countless national and international visitors to the city, Ft. Mason still resonates with the presence of the California Funk movement of the sixties and seventies that inspired ceramic greats living in San Francisco today. Its close proximity to nature, unique architecture and nostalgic atmosphere contribute a breathtaking backdrop for an impressive array of Ceramic Sculptures.
Last years event was a huge success with over 7,000 people in attendance. The museum quality exhibition included educational lectures by curators such as Peter Selz and Phil Linhares and renowned artists such as Jim Melchert. “The size and scale of such an exhibition and the education opportunities, all under one roof, were extraordinary.” — Art Historian, Peter Selz.
Made By Hand project & Darien Johnson / The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, USA
Made By Hand project & Darien Johnson exhibition / The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, USA 17 August - September 30, 2012
Over the next few months, The Clay Studio will produce a multi part project, titled MADE BY HAND, exploring the relevance of handmade tableware in the 21st century. Two exhibitions are produced in support of this:
Derek Au Derek Au, is American born of Chinese descent. Educated in the USA he currently lives in Jingdezhen China known for its rich history in ceramic art. Au’s work is a mixture of Eastern and Western cultures, true for the entire field of American Ceramics, and a mix of historic ceramic tradition and contemporary design. His work is inspired by origami, Song Dynasty Qingbai ware and tinware using the forms and methods of its production so prevalent in Jingdezhen. His materials of choice, a porcelain clay body covered by a celadon glaze, are rooted in centuries old tradition, the perfect foil for his minimal and contemporary forms.
Post At Rest Pots at Rest engages eight ceramists as curators and exhibiting artists: Kari Radasch, Elizabeth Robinson, Lorna Meaden, Ingrid Bathe, Brian Jones, Munemitsu Taguchi, Matthew Hyleck, and Joseph Pintz. All are nationally recognized mid-career makers of tableware selected for the strength of his/her work: the conceptual content, formal qualities and his/her personal aesthetic. As a group they represent a broad range of material use, varied form and the primary processes of making and surfacing. All bring with them an extensive knowledge of the field, professional contacts, and buyers for their work. Each Artist/Curator was assigned a piece of equipment or furniture, typical to most kitchens, where pots when not in use, live or rest. Each selected functional wares for these spaces made by ceramicists from across North America whose work they admire and respect and share their reasons why they believe handmade tableware remains relevant in the 21st century.
An exhibition featuring works by Darien Johnson will be on view at the Banovitz Space:
"How does absorbing information through digital media define a person’s notion of reality? Current technologies facilitate the instantaneous acquisition, manipulation, and subsequent redistribution of perceptual experiences. This recording and transfer of ideas enables people to have a shallow understanding of something without having truly experienced it. How does this affect our interpretation of “real?”
Stemming from an awareness of continually altered states of perceptual consciousness, my work represents the entanglement of human cognition and digital processing. By acquiring and manipulating visual information, I act as the human element while directly engaging in this process I question. The digital compositions are then china painted onto the porcelain forms, which I create as manifestations of the seemingly fluid movement of human cognition.” Darien Johnson
Change, an innovative title that wants to send a strong message about the communicative potential of ceramics in contemporary art world. The objective is clear: it is Castellamonte, the city of stoves, together with the furnace Pagliero, the oldest factory in the suburb wisely restored by owner Daniel Chechi, now a center avant-garde cultural production and to send a new message on the potential and the language of contemporary ceramics. A spirit of continuity with the past, but also breaking, where twelve artists invited to exhibit created specific works of great communicative power, which are fully included in the Olympus of contemporary art.
The artists, selected as the most important names in art pottery, have identified a specific site within the architectural splendor of the furnace, creating the appropriate specific interventions designed for the site.
A separate section is devoted to the potter Savona Sandro Lorenzini, the author appreciated not only in Europe, which has made almost all the works shown in the Furnace Pagliero, invited by Daniele Chechi as an “artist in residence”.
The show joins “The metaphysical dream” by Giorgio de Chirico and Lisa Sotilis and “Figures of fire” by Bernard Aubertin, Elio Torrieri, Lilian Rita Callegari, and Umberto Mastroianni. A complex work, supported by the critical point of view by the Director of the International Museum of Applied Arts Today MIAAO, Enzo Biffi Gentili.
“I understand the world in an evocative fashion and view my artworks as both physical and philosophical memorials to ‘Closeness’. During the construction of new works in series, I commonly consider ideas such as the value of community and family, the honesty of both gross and tedious labor, and the mysteriousness of the metaphysical.
I primarily construct pieces using my hands and molding methods while also using found manufactured ceramics. Captured materials, images and forms; of man and of machine; from immediate and distant pasts are merged in commemorative context where contemplation defines their functional nature. Individually they are cups, plaques, and cultural icons made in clay. Collectively, they express proximity and distance, material and immaterial, and both the tangible and intangible.” Jason Hackett
Artists: Sebastian Blackie, Claudi Casanovas, Peter Collingwood, Tanya Gomez, Matthew Harris, Deirdre Hawthorne, Steven Heinemann, Shozo Michikawa, Gustavo Pérez, Tim Rowan, Anna Vannotti
Erskine, Hall & Coe specialise in 20th Century and Contemporary ceramics. The gallery is in central Mayfair, off Bond Street, at 15 Royal Arcade.
The gallery carries an extensive stock of ceramics, often including works by, Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, Jennifer Lee, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Shozo Michikawa and Sara Flynn. Its ten annual exhibitions feature the work of British and international artists, in some cases exploring the interplay between ceramics, sculptures and paintings.
Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday: 10 am - 6 pm, Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm (during exhibitions only).
Wouter Dam exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong 28 June - 18 August, 2012
"The ceramic sculptures I make, do steadily develop along a clear line, this last group of sculptures here on show are slightly larger and with more unbroken circles incorporated into the sculpture, in this way slowly revealing more of its origins, the vase and bowl shape.
The sculptures are closed and curled on to itself and in this way, keeping more of it’s secret, enticing you to explore the almost hidden inside of the sculpture. They are covered with a coloured engobe, the latest colours I have introduced are the soft pink, a light porcelain blue, and a grey tone. All these colours are specifically chosen to enhance the shape and to give a good contrast in between light and shade.
The sculptures are built up of elements made on the potterswheel, assembled when leatherhard, every one of them becoming a unique sculpture, although clearly belonging to the same family of shapes.
The sculptures are like drawing lines in space, making the clay seem weightless. The edges are refined and cut through the air in contrast to the soft voluminous exterior surfaces that bask in the light.” Wouter Dam, 2012
Gallery Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 am - 8 pm. Sunday 1 pm - 6 pm.
Thank you all for your messages and emails, and please accept our apologies for the inactivity you’ve witnessed in the last weeks. We haven’t been able to update the website or to answer your emails in the last month because we got incredibly busy with exams, finals and projects - all of them due to finish at the end of July.
As you may know, the makers of this amazing project are either students or very young artists, including me. For this reason, we ask you to be patient and wait for our answer. All the emails will be promptly answered as soon as we finish with all this turmoil. For immediate answer, please call +40 748 311 663 (10 AM - 10 PM, CET).
Again, please accept our apologies and stay close! We’ll be back soon with Issue Two, new artists, interviews, reviews and much, much more time to do them all. In the meantime, read our great past interviews and have a look at our featured artists’ work.
Yours, Vasi Hîrdo
Editor and founder of Ceramics Now Magazine 20.06.2012
Ceramics Now Magazine: Do you remember your first encounter with ceramics? What made you choose this particular way of expressing yourself?
Kimberly Cook: My first encounter with ceramics was when I was a child. During my family’s summer holiday, my parents would take my sister and I on a very long drive from Texas to Ohio, to visit my father’s family. I remember being so excited when we arrived in Ohio, because it meant that I was going to be able to visit my aunt Coby’s ceramic studio. She had an incredible ceramic studio set up in her basement, where she taught workshops. I remember loving the smell of the wet clay, being surrounded by an endless array of colorful glazes, china paints, gold, silver, and pearl lusters, and tools that enabled her students to create anything they wanted out of this wondrous natural material that was easy to form and smelled sweetly of the earth. I was enthralled with the medium, and wanted to learn the techniques of creating both my own sculptural and functional forms.
Another vivid childhood memory of being exposed to ceramics was seeing the traveling King Tut exhibit. I was drawn to the ceramic Bes deity pots and their use in the home as a protector of women and children. For the first time, even in mynaiveté, I realized that there could exist a “conceptual” aspect to creating these forms. What also intrigued me were the marl ceramics of the second Naqada period, which were decorated with reddish-brown drawings that developed from the early geometric forms to less abstract images. Among some of my favorite are those that depicted oared boats transporting what has been interpreted as deities, and the decorations that included people and animals.
Working in clay has become a cathartic way of expressing myself, and because of this, I will never stop using it as my primary mode of self-expression. From these early childhood memories and tangible encounters, I found a palpable love of ceramic materials, which sustain me to this day.
Trophy, 2011, Ceramic, mason stain, gold luster, 35” x 23” x 20” - View her works
Your works are figurative and often have a narrative quality. But trying to convey a certain message without using words can be difficult for an artist. Do you sometimes fear that people will fail to understand the meaning of your works? How outspoken should a work of art be?
I use to be concerned that viewers would fail to understand my work, but not anymore. After your work has been censored and removed from a gallery, you start to understand that that is actually a compliment. You have struck a nerve; a message got across to a viewer, understood or misunderstood, doesn’t matter. What created that shift in thought for me was the fact that I realized that everyone is going to have their own experience viewing my work, their own perception, and their own opinions. I am okay with that – to me that is what good art is about. If it moves someone, great; if it disturbs someone, great – I want my work to encourage people to go inside of themselves and ponder and reflect before reaching any hard and fast conclusions. […]
You have been working at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum for over ten years. What are the main responsibilities and attributes of being the Chief Curator of Collections & Research?
Jill Beute Koverman: As Chief Curator of Collections and Research, my responsibilities include overseeing the research and care for the permanent collections. The permanent collections include natural science collections (rocks, minerals, fossils, meteorites and shells) and material culture collections which include fine art, furniture, textiles (clothing, quilts, other domestic textiles, baskets, shoes, accessories), ceramics, glass, metal objects, political materials, silver and objects relating to the history of the University of South Carolina. I guide and implement the collecting activities of the museum in terms of new acquisitions and research, identify long-term care needs of the collections in terms of conservation and storage, and work with my colleagues on various exhibition projects. My research focus is on Southern pottery but I’m knowledgeable about traditional basket traditions of the South, South Carolina history and politics, and University history. In a mid-size institution like McKissick Museum, and particularly at a University, it is important to constantly learn about the various types of museum collections.
/ Read the press release of the exhibition. Walter Stephen was born in Nebraska in 1876. His family moved to 100 acres of land in Shelby County, Tennessee in 1897. It was on this property where he discovered layers of pink, white and yellow clay. His intellectual and creative curiosity was fostered by his mother. Nellie Stephen was an amateur artist who taught blackboard art and painting. Walter did not begin working with clay until he was twenty-seven years old (1903). Together, Walter and his mother began experimenting with the clay and the decorating process. It is also possible that the two had seen George Ohr, “the Mad Potter of Biloxi,” demonstrating his pottery skills at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. Originally named, “Stephen and Son,” they renamed their pottery “Nonconnah” after the local creek. The forms were typical decorative vases and pitchers of the period. The decoration was different as Mrs. Stephen’s painted layers of porcelain slip onto the wares, often adding colored oxides for leaves and branches. This paste on paste, or cameo, technique was similar to the original method employed by Josiah Wedgwood for his Jasperwares. In 1910, Walter’s parents died and he continued to operate the Nonconnah pottery in Tennessee until 1912. A year later, he moved to the Skyland community of North Carolina, south of Asheville, and established the Nonconnah Pottery in partnership with Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Pine Ryman. At this iteration of the Nonconnah Pottery, Stephen continued to work at the potter’s wheel, creating matte glazed cameo wares until 1916. The Ryman’s operated the Nonconnah until 1918, producing molded and slab constructed wares with simple blue and brown glazes.
Walter B. Stephen, Three stoneware vases with crackle glaze. Courtesy McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina.
It would be almost a decade after Stephen’s departure from Nonconnah before he established the Pisgah Forest Pottery. During this period, he became closely associated with Oscar L. Bachelder of the Omar Khayyam Pottery. Walter worked for a short time with Bachelder but did not want to make utilitarian pottery. It was also during the early 1920s, that he was experimenting with local clay,glazes and firing techniques. Fragments from his Arden home indicate his interest in the Chinese celadon and red glazes.
Ceramics Now Magazine: You have been working with ceramic jewelry and knobs for over 10 years. How did you discover the passion for beautifully crafted objects?
THJane: I suppose it comes from our childhood. We grew up surrounded by photographs, books, stamps and original objects. Some had been brought up from the place where we’re born, Angola, in Africa.
Our dad was an architect, and mum was a teacher of arts and crafts. They invested strongly in our education for the discovery and exploration of unique artistic sensibilities, and we always felt responsible for giving them a well deserved response. We studied piano for several years and used to go to classical music concerts every weekend. We also had the opportunity to learn and practice woodwork and woodcut, ceramics and basketry, weaving and dressmaking, bookbinding, painting and engraving, and so many other useful things.
Years later, we set up THJané project and, until today, we still live with the feeling of achievement that comes with creating things of beauty, you say, with our own hands.
060710, 2011, Ceramic and soutache, carved and hand-painted, H 4,5 x 2,4 x 2,4” - View their works
Working as a group has plenty of advantages, but sometimes it may be challenging. How do you divide your work? Who is responsible for what part of the constructing process?
After 10 years of intense activity, Teresa usually comes to be responsible by the development of ideas and by the exploration of painting techniques. Also drawing and sculpture. And I (Helena), by the choice of materials and techniques of production, studies of color and by the preparation and application of glazes. Sure it can bring some comfort. Yet, new works often requires us to change roles and also to work together. Breaking routines and try new things have always encouraged us. Therefore, any of us can accomplish any task at any time. Besides, it also reduces uncertainty about the capabilities of each other, allowing to have a greater respect for individuality and free expression. This is very important, specially when we seek the necessary consensus in our work.
Ceramics Now Magazine: Growing up near the ocean around natural diversity and continuous change, you have developed a very finite line of work. Do you visualize your work from the very beginning?
Debra Fleury: I spend a lot of time sketching and planning. My sketches can be very specific and architectural, or very loose and gestural. But ultimately, I am an intuitive thinker. I rely on feeling and instinct in my artwork. When I sit down with clay the careful preparation is put aside in favor of the moment. Once I have the clay in my hands, I am often swept away by the possibilities I encounter as the clay begins to express its properties.
Do you remember the first ceramic piece that you created? How did it look like and how do you feel about your evolution as a ceramic artist?
I remember the first piece I created that had an impact on me. It was a little pinch pot, a half sphere and nicely formed. It was so perfect, likely the best I had made to date. I wondered what would happen if I dropped it while it was still malleable. I decided to indulge this impulse and I let my little pinch pot fall. The perfectly round rim became this very interesting, offset elliptical shape in response to the force of the impact. After it was fired it retained the mark of that force. It looked plastic, but it was solid.
This experience helped me recognize the approach that I wanted to take with this medium — to enjoy the process and avoid feeling that the work is precious. The visual aspect of the work is compelling to me, but the process is the lure.
Tidal, 2011, Dark Stoneware, Porcelain and glass. Fired to cone 6, wall installation. Dimensions variable, average size per individual piece is approximately 10x10x8 cm - View her works
When constructing a new piece, you are using different materials such as clay, glass and glaze. What challenges you the most by combining these materials?
I love the unknown. I love being surprised by the materials and I love experimenting. Combining clay bodies with different shrink rates, adding glass, or using glaze in an unconventional way are a few of the methods I use when courting disaster or looking for insight. I push the materials toward something that I think will be interesting, but I never really know what will happen. Opening the kiln after a firing can be like meeting the work for the first time.
Ceramics Now Magazine: You are studying Industrial Design at the Holon Institute of Technology, Israel, and recently you underwent a research project on clay extrusion. What are its concepts? Tell us about the technical process.
Max Cheprack: The extruding clay project started in the third year of my studies, for B.design in industrial design, when I first met the manual extruder in ceramics course. After learning various techniques in the field of ceramic design, I was fascinated by the option to create clay objects using replication. The Semi-industrial process of extruding clay enables the creation of precise and complex objects easily and quickly. Extrusion allows me to design the inside of the object, something that the rest of the techniques do not allow. Extruding technology allows to produce a closed and complex object, and therefore very strong. This allows the expansion of production beyond the products we know today. In addition, this technology brings new aesthetic to the ceramic field.
As an Industrial designer who is interested in manufacturing technologies, I moved away from the dies that come with the manual extruder Kit, and I began to assemble a set of basic dies with complex shapes. Later, I have built an extruder which works on pneumatic piston, in order to free both of my hands. This allows me to make variety of manipulations on the objects like bending and cutting. In order to explore the limits of this technology, I decided to make a stool. The stool is a challenging product for extruding clay process because it is a relatively big product, which must be strong enough to bear persons weight, and should be able to connect with other materials.
My inspiration is taken from a local element of the Middle East - Mashrabiya. Though the project ended as part of my design studies, for me he is a starting point to new possibilities in ceramic design.
Max Cheprack, Chairs made with the extruding machine
What was the most difficult part in creating the necessary tools for the project? Did you get any help?
The hardest part in this project was to understand the size relation between the size of the die and the amount of power that needed to push the clay. First I played with the manual extruder that we have in our workshop and then I made different dies to check how complex things can be. After realizing clearly how things are working I wanted to make the next step towards an extruder that will free both my hands to make manipulations on the objects while it is being extruded. I consulted with an engineer who just gave me a headache with schemes numbers and stuff that I couldn’t understand, so I decided to use a pneumatic piston as my base for the machine and after many trails with different pistons and die sizes I made one small extruder and one big extruder.
Pisgah Forest and Nonconnah: The Potteries of Walter B. Stephen / McKissick Museum
Pisgah Forest and Nonconnah: The Potteries of Walter B. Stephen / University of South Carolina McKissick Museum, Columbia, SC, USA May 26 – July 27, 2012
Some of the most imaginative and beautiful ceramics of the 20th century will be on display in an exhibition of Walter B. Stephen’s pottery May 26 – July 27 at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum.
Titled “Pisgah Forest and Nonconnah: The Potteries of Walter B. Stephen,” the exhibition will feature 76 rare examples of Stephen’s works, from the first pots that he fired near Nonconnah Creek in Tennessee to crystalline vessels produced at Pisgah Forest near Asheville.
Stephen, born in 1876 in Clinton, Iowa, was heavily influenced by his mother, but he soon began exploring and developing his own creative talents. In 1904, he established the Nonconnah Pottery in Tennessee, where he and his mother produced “paste on paste” cameo wares similar to Wedgwood’s Jasperwares. In 1913, he moved to the Asheville area, where he produced a variety of pottery until his death in1961.
The early Nonconnah pieces are dominated by matte-green glazes with floral designs. The later works made at the Pisgah Forest Pottery range from small, brightly glazed teapots and cups to monumental baptismal fonts. Cameo depictions of the American West include covered wagons, Indians hunting Buffalo and portraits of Bill Cody. Stephen also used imagery of the South such as mountain cabins, fiddlers and Gen. Robert E. Lee. His forms and glazes, particularly the crystalline glaze, were inspired by Asian ceramics.
Two events are planned in connection with the exhibition:
On June 21, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. the museum will host a reception, a gallery talk and a book signing featuring Rodney Leftwich, author of “Pisgah Forest and Nonconnah: The Potteries of Walter B. Stephen.”
From 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday, June 22, McKissick will host a symposium, “The Art of Collecting Southern Pottery.” Leftwich, Karen Swager of Brunk Auctions, crystalline potter Frank Neef, Winton Eugene and Rosa Eugene of Pottery by Eugene, and Barbara S. Perry, who writes about American ceramics, will participate.
The symposium is $40 for museum members and $50 for non-members.
Museum Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30 am - 5 pm. Saturday: 11 am - 3 pm. Closed Sundays and all University and State holidays. Open to the public free of charge.
Former Marine and ceramist Ehren Tool exhibits war awareness work at CAFAM.
Opening reception: Saturday, May 26, 6 – 9 pm.
“The best way to destroy your enemy is to make him your friend.” – Abraham Lincoln
Coinciding with Memorial Day, the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) presents Ehren Tool: Production or Destruction, a solo exhibition of ceramist and former Marine, Ehren Tool. Emblazoned with the haunting imagery of armed conflict, Tool creates handmade ceramic cups as a medium to address war and the violent rhetoric and imagery used to perpetuate it. The exhibition will feature 1,000 handcrafted cups, video, installation, photographs, and printed materials.
Twenty years after his service in the first Gulf War, Tool’s firsthand contact with the reality of war is manifest in the thousands of cups he dutifully produces. The cups will be exhibited at CAFAM in “units” based on military formations of “squads” (13), “platoons” (55), and “companies” (225), serving as a visual reminder of each Marine within a military unit. Each cup is uniquely crafted, decorated with ceramic decals of soldiers’ photos, propaganda, war porn, and sculptural reliefs shaped like bombs, guns, or medals.
Recent events such as the Occupy movements and the incendiary language of current election campaigns figure strongly in his new work, as well as veteran suicides and stories of U.S. Marines desecrating bodies of the deceased. Other imagery alludes to the culpability of video games, toys, and pornography in desensitizing the public to the emotional toll of war.
Tool insists that his art is not anti-war, and prefers to characterize it as “war awareness” work. “It is not my intention to teach or preach. It is not possible to communicate the pain, waste, or intensity of war. My work deals with the uneasy collision, and collusion, between military and civilian cultures,” he says.
By putting people in contact with the imagery of war through an everyday household item, he hopes to make people think more often about war and it’s consequences in a meaningful way. “Letter to President Obama” (2009) is among the several letters he wrote to national and corporate heads urging them to consider the outcome of supporting continued war efforts. He also sent a cup to each of these leaders, which elicited responses from politicians such as Karl Rove.
Though the cups are functional drinking vessels, they are also memory objects that contain unspoken stories about fallen soldiers and wounded survivors. The installation “393” (2004) is a striking display of 393 shattered cups that represent the number of U.S. combat casualties during the first year of the second Gulf War. In the video “1.5 Second War Memorial,” a different cup is shot to pieces every 1.5 seconds, each signifying a soldier or civilian who has died in a war.
Tool will be on-site at CAFAM for an artist residency between June 1 and June 15, where he will set up a ceramic studio in the courtyard to encourage public conversations and share his work in progress. He will be giving away all the cups he makes at CAFAM.
Oh la la - Majolica… a Pottery Slam, by Peder Rasmussen and Michael Geertsen / Copenhagen Ceramics
Oh la la - Majolica … a Pottery Slam, by Peder Rasmussen and Michael Geertsen / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark May 24 - June 16, 2012
Artists talk: Saturday, 26 May at 2 pm.
With their common educational background in the now almost vanished pottery tradition, Danish ceramists Michael Geertsen and Peder Rasmussen are challenging themselves and each other in an exhibition-tour-de-force within a classic ceramics discipline, the Majolica – tradition. Not only have they produced their individual works – but occasionally they have left the decorating of their own pieces to the other.
Michael Geertsen and Peder Rasmussen both belong to the small group of contemporary ceramists, who also apprenticed as potters – in their certificates termed as free-hand-throwers. As young they found themselves in a world of age-old crafts and were thus among the last links in a very long chain.
Speaking of this, they say: ’We both share great love of classic pottery; of the idea of the vessel and the ceramic figure as artistic medium, even in a world being ever more technological, as far from our starting point as can be imagined. Does this show in our work? Is there any reminiscence of something archetypical still present in our otherwise highly contemporary expression? In our own opinion, yes! We actually insist that our education within a tradition-bound craft has imbued us with a deep respect for professionalism. It has also provided us with a reservoir of references – possibilities for ’professional quoting’. Anything goes. With the apprenticeship-certificate as baggage, we know that there are lots of unoccupied seats within the space of tradition’.
This time both ceramists work with Majolica, the age-old technique of white-glazed and decorated earthenware, known especially from the Italian renaissance. From the great artists of the Della Robbia dynasty or the Deruta-workshops. Hispano-Mauresque faience, too, has been in their view with its ornamentation, lustres and other metallic effects. The technique itself tempts with a richness of colour unequalled in other techniques, thus offering possibilities for new stories, stylistic approaches and quotes.
Crafts were prominent among the first works of art to enter the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art when it was founded in 1876, and the Museum has continued to collect and exhibit crafts. Today, thanks in large part to the Women’s Committee and gifts from individuals, the Museum is particularly well-known for its holdings of twentieth-and twenty-first-century American, European, and Asian craft.
With Craft Spoken Here, the Museum seizes the opportunity to experiment with its collection and to understand craft in an international context. Some forty contemporary works from 1960 to the present in ceramic, glass, metal, wood, lacquer, paper, and fiber—some by living, acclaimed artists and others by lesser-known creators—are on view. Representing the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe, the works highlight formal qualities that cross cultures, time, and media.
Craft Spoken Here features an array of engaging education programs and interpretive materials, including on-site artist demonstrations and hands-on craftmaking activities for the public.
The exhibition is divided into three sections. Essential Element looks at continuing importance of line—the graphic gesture—as an expressive and compositional element in the work of artists. Rebecca Medel’s The One (1985) uses a network of lines to form a dense cube of knotted cotton and linen threads, dark on its fringes and progressively lighter towards the center, which creates the illusion of a luminous sphere floating in an atmospheric haze. The second section, Shape Shifting, includes works in clay, glass, wood, metal, paper, and fiber materials that have been fashioned into sculptural forms. Motoko Maio’s Kotodama (2008) is a folding screen in silk and linen that can be adjusted to divide a room, provide privacy, or rest decoratively in a corner. The final section is Gesture, which includes works that offer visual and emotional cues, such as the chaotic, seemingly uncontrollable framework of Jessica Jane Julius’s Static (c. 2008), in which hundreds of black glass flameworked threads combine in a sculptural evocation of the artist’s reoccurring dream.
Curator Elisabeth Agro, The Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts
The exhibition is made possible by The Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation Fund for Modern and Contemporary Craft. Additional support is provided by the Windgate Charitable Foundation and the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In-kind support is provided courtesy of Lion Brand Yarn.