Ceramics Now

Feb 03

Simon Fujiwara / Contemporary Art Society, London

Simon Fujiwara at Contemporary Art Society, London

Simon Fujiwara / Contemporary Art Society, London
January 29 - March 28, 2014

Simon Fujiwara’s Rebekkah was recently purchased for Leeds Art Gallery through the Contemporary Art Society Collections Committee. Established in 2012, the committee selects and buys works by early and mid-career artists to gift to regional museums across the UK.

Rebekkah is inspired by a 16 year old girl from Hackney, Rebekkah, who was one of the protagonists of the 2011 London Riots. Rebekkah was asked by Fujiwara to travel to China to take part in a unique social experiment, where her access to social media was restricted and she visited factories manufacturing the objects she aspired to own and took for granted (fashion clothing, mobile phones, flat-screen TVs). The trip culminated with a viewing of the Terracotta Army, after which Rebekkah was taken to a factory where casts were made of her body to be assembled into modern day versions of the warriors. Up to 100 figures were created in this assembly line technique, shifting Rebekkah to a new position: a representative of a new breed of British-born warrior and a soldier for social change. A selection of the figures will be on display at the Contemporary Art Society, with an accompanying video.

Established in 2012, the Contemporary Art Society Collections Committee selects and buys works by early and mid-career artists to gift to regional museums across the UK and is a vital part of our philanthropic work. The committee is chaired by Trustee and well-known collector, Cathy Wills. Leeds Art Gallery was selected to receive the work due to the museum’s extensive and important sculpture collection. Rebekkah feeds into existing narratives within the collections at Leeds and helps to chart the development of life-size figure sculpture and portrait sculpture from the 19th century.

Born in London in 1982, Simon Fujiwara spent his childhood between Japan, England, Spain and Africa. In January 2012, Tate St Ives hosted his first major solo survey exhibition, Since 1982, which was held in his hometown of St Ives and featured six of his key autobiographically charged installations. In 2011, Berlin’s Hebbel am Ufer theatre showed his first theatre work, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, which incorporated three of his acclaimed performances into a full three-act play which subsequently toured to New York’s Performa 11 Biennale and San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. His works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions around the world including Toronto’s Power Plant, New York’s MoMA, Artonje Centre, Seoul, and Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art and at the Venice Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennale and Shanghai Biennale. His installations are in museums and foundation collections including the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Prada Foundation, Milan and the Tate collection, London. In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Baloise-Art Prize at Art Basel and the Cartier Award at Frieze Art Fair. He has published two artist’s books, The Museum of Incest and 1982. (via)

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Feb 02

Sculpture 2014 / Brenda May Gallery, Sydney

Sculpture 2014 at Brenda May Gallery, Sydney

Sculpture 2014 / Brenda May Gallery, Sydney
January 29 - February 22, 2014

First held at Access Contemporary Art Gallery, Brenda May Gallery’s former incarnation, this annual exhibition features an engaging and eclectic collection of artworks, and continues to provide a significant platform for the ever-evolving medium of sculpture.

Brenda May Gallery accepts submissions throughout the year, from both Australia and New Zealand, for the Sculpture Series, aiming to present a curated exhibition of interesting and innovative contemporary sculpture that varies aesthetically from year to year.

This year includes works from Andrew Best, Walter Brecely, Marguerite Derricourt, Todd Fuller, Lisa Giles, Lorraine Guddemi, Emily McIntosh, Al Munro, Mylyn Nguyen, Leslie Oliver, Benjamin Storch, Greer Taylor, Lezlie Tilley, Peter Tilley and Jacek Wankowski.

Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11-6. Saturday, 10-6.

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Jan 31

Tim Rowan -

Tim Rowan Ceramics

Tim Rowan's profile on Ceramics Now - View works

Tim Rowan was born in 1967 in New York City and grew up in Connecticut, along the shore of Long Island Sound. His art education began during college, receiving a BFA from The State University of New York at New Paltz before journeying to Japan for 2 years to apprentice with ceramic artist Ryuichi Kakurezaki. Upon his return he worked briefly in studios in Massachusetts and New York before receiving his MFA from Pennsylvania State University.

He established his kiln and studio deep in the woods of the Hudson Valley in 2000, where he lives with his wife and son. His work has been represented in solo and group exhibitions internationally, most recently having solo shows at Yufuku Gallery in Tokyo, Japan and Cavin-Morris Gallery, in New York City. In September, 2013, Tim Rowans ceramic sculptures will be represented in a solo exhibition at Lacoste Gallery, in Concord, Massachusetts.

Rowans’ work is made, primarily, from native clay, direct from the earth and unprocessed. He works with geologists to locate local clay deposits and hand-digs selected sections of earth. The “impurities” in the clay are left to reveal themselves, upon sculpting and firing. The forms are slowly constructed from layers, built up over days and weeks, then hand-carved. They are fired for seven days and nights in a woodfueled kiln. No glaze is applied; the surface textures and colors are the result of the interaction of the clay, fly-ash, coals and fire.

> More artists / View the featured ceramic artists list.

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Tim Rowan: Untitled #128, 2012, Wood-fired native clay, 9x28x7 inches

Tim Rowan: Untitled #128, 2012, Wood-fired native clay, 9x28x7 inches

Jan 30

Turn, Weave, Fire, and Fold: Vessels from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection / SFO Museum, San Francisco

Vessels from the Forrest L Merrill Collection at SFO Museum, San Francisco

Turn, Weave, Fire, and Fold: Vessels from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection / SFO Museum, San Francisco
January 25 - June 1, 2014

New exhibition presents an exploration of the vessel in work by Bob Stocksdale, Kay Sekimachi, June Schwarcz, and James Lovera.

Collector Forrest Merrill has an affection for the vessel. Its form, sometimes alluding to the sensuous curves of a human body, holds irresistible appeal for him. So too does its familiar scale, which allows a vessel to be cradled in the palms of one’s hands. Forrest’s first art acquisition was in 1950 at a clay and glass exhibition in Pasadena, California, that he attended with his high school art club. With forty dollars earned from cutting neighbors’ lawns the previous summer, Forrest purchased a slumped-glass salad set by Glen Lukens, a pioneer in studio crafts then teaching at U.S.C. in Los Angeles. Forrest’s newly discovered passion for the vessel led to his collecting Scandinavian ceramics while attending the University of Stockholm in Sweden. After settling in Northern California, he became close friends with Bauhaus-trained potter Marguerite Wildenhain, who worked and taught at her studio in the hills above Guerneville, California. It was Wildenhain whom Forrest credits as the influence who encouraged him “to not only look, but to see.”

The San Francisco Bay Area was an exciting place during the 1960s, especially in the world of crafts, with local artists pushing the boundaries in every medium. Forrest took full advantage of their close proximity, and his acquisitions were decidedly personal. It was during this period that Forrest discovered the elegant bowls of wood turner Bob Stocksdale at the Berkeley home-furnishings store Fraser’s. Forrest approached the artist with an offer of wood from trees that he had cut down in his yard, and thereafter acquired a bowl that Bob made from that very wood. This was the beginning of a rich and enduring friendship with both Stocksdale and his wife, fiber artist Kay Sekimachi. Celebrated for her sculptural monofilament hangings and woven room dividers, Sekimachi was exploring vessel forms at the time, which materialized as woven boxes and baskets, and leaf bowls.

In 1974, Forrest met artist June Schwarcz at an exhibition of her enamel vessels at the Anneberg Gallery in San Francisco. An invitation of tea and conversation at June’s Sausalito home and studio led to a close relationship, which they have enjoyed for decades. And it was an invitation to lunch that sparked Forrest’s friendship with potter James Lovera, just prior to Lovera’s retrospective exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento in 2006. Forrest had admired Lovera’s ceramics offered at Gump’s gallery in San Francisco as early as the 1960s, and he has since acquired a number of Lovera’s vessels, more recently collecting the artist’s work in depth.

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Jan 29

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Clara Garesio: Desired lands / Linee Contemporanee, Salerno, Italy

Clara Garesio at Linee Contemporanee, Salerno, Italy

Clara Garesio: Desired lands / Linee Contemporanee, Salerno, Italy
January 24 - February 15, 2014

"Giving a definition of the work by Clara Garesio is fortunately impossible, since it moves beyond stereotypes or fashions. Indulges in an impulse, driven by the need to communicate their feelings, here and now , it relies on the uncertainty of the fire, as in a trance track marks in a game of bold geometric shapes and colors of scanned drunkenness explosive , eagerly awaiting the result and awe , because – as the artist says - every piece is the battle between my mind and the material that I use , and sometimes losing is just as wonderful." And here are the vessels of the slender forms, architectures dream , the perforated tiles, plates, rounds, translucent balls, terracotta reliefs soaring, archetypal installations and tiles lit by red, blue, green and yellow in harmonious contrast where the size of plastic, combined with the dynamic coloring of enamel, resulting in the tale of cloistered life that you look at the world . The icon are eyes wide on eternity and the hands that reach out beyond time and space to touch the infinite. But the symbol, the recognizable signature of Garesio, is the mandala , the magic circle, the transience and rebirth , the destructive force that becomes a source of life." Erminia Pellecchia, 2013

Clara Garesio was born in Turin, Italy, in 1938. She started her artistic career in ceramics and decoration at the age of 10 at the famous Civica Scuola di Arte Ceramica in Turin, Italy. In 1955 she was admitted to the “Istituto Statale d’Arte per la Ceramica” in Faenza (Italy) where completed her studies in 1957. In 1956 she was awarded first prize in the “International ceramic competition of Faenza”, Faenza (Italy) and in 1957 she was appointed by the Faenza Institute of Ceramics to create the pottery collection commissioned by the Persian Court. In 1957 she started teaching ceramics at the l’Istituto Statale d’Arte di Isernia where she was Head of the Ceramics Department for eight years. In 1960 she won an award in the National Competition for Decoration of the Istituto Statale d’Arte di Castelli (Teramo, Italy) and In 1961 the Italian Ministry of Education appointed her as founding artist of the “Istituto Professionale di Stato per l’Industria e l’Artigianato della Porcellana Caselli” in Naples, where she taught Porcelain decoration and ornamental plastics for 10 years. Since 1981 she served as head of the ceramic department of public schools in Naples until retirement from teaching in 2000. Since 2001 she was appointed Professor Emeritus of the School of Fine Arts in Naples, Italy While Clara Garesio’s best known works are ceramic and porcelain, she has worked in a variety of materials and other media. In addition to commissions in ceramic and porcelain, she has worked in ceramic relief and tile murals, concrete, glass, fabricated metal and plastic sculptures and jewels, and design of colorful tapestries.

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Jan 23

Ceramics Now Magazine announces open Call for Papers (Issue 3)

Ceramics Now Magazine announces open Call for Papers, Issue 3

Ceramics Now Magazine is pleased to announce an open Call for Papers, for consideration in Issue 3
Deadline for submissions: March 7, 2014

We welcome contemporary ceramics-related research papers that are lively and engaged with current ideas and debates. The call for papers is open to any author, and any original text involving ceramic art criticism, history or theory will be considered for publication. We would also welcome all submissions that enter the following categories: exhibition, book or project reviews, and conversations.

Submissions (.docx or .doc files) should be emailed to Vasi Hirdo, Editor-in-Chief, at vasi@ceramicsnow.org
Also include your CV and a brief biography.

Accepted articles will be published in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue 3. All credit will be given to the writers, and the articles will be promoted to our readers through Ceramics Now’s website and social media pages. Please note that publishing with Ceramics Now is done on a voluntary basis and will not be remunerated.

Image © Arina Ailincai

Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form / Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City, Tennessee

Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form at Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City

Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form / Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City, Tennessee
January 21 - February 14, 2014

The ETSU Department of Art & Design and Slocumb Galleries in partnershp with the Urban Redevelopment Alliance present “Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form” from January 21 to February 14, at the Tipton Gallery. Some of the participating artists will discuss their work during the reception on February 7, First Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.. In addition, the ArtIfact gallery talk is scheduled on February 13, Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss the exhibit as it explores the diverse sculptural forms created by artists working on figurative clay in the region.

Most often, ceramics is associated with vessels and utilitarian objects, and has provided an excellent array of functional forms overshadowing its aspect as equally remarkable medium for other sculptural configurations. This show is curated to celebrate the figurative and non-utilitarian form of ceramic as art form. Ceramics is one of the more popular and established craft media in Southern Appalachian region, and this malleable medium has evolved to various permutations and tactile experimentations. The exhibition “Earthen Bodies” features works that provide diverse perspectives and a range of styles and utilization of ceramics as medium for sculpture.

The invited artists from the Tri-states of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia are Sally Brogden, Melisa Cadell, Carol Gentithes, Mindy Herrin, Kevin Kao, Richard Kortum, Val Lyle, AJ Masterson, and Ed Miller.
Curated by Karlota Contreras-Koterbay.

ETSU faculty Mindy Herrin and alumni Melisa Caddell both create meticulous and complex figurative sculptures, mostly investigating the female body fabricated with other media such as encaustics and metal works. Herrin describes her work as depicting dialogue as surfacing in the “guise of affliction or struggle.” Her anatomical heroines illustrate women’s physical struggle and mental perspectives in its aspiration to overcome the body’s limitation. In parallel, Cadell’s elongated, and at times emaciated or mutated figures are visualization of her thoughts on “confinement and transcendence of the human body”, often as efforts to provoke dialogue on issues such as mortality and the unexpected consequences of genetics and technology.

This common thread of employing the female body is also prevalent on the works of Val Lyle. Lyle’s ceramic torsos made from clay are gestural forms that are characterized as sensual, organic and emotive as the artist strives to relate to the viewers on a “primitive level”.

Last year’s Positive Negative national juried exhibit’s Best of Show awardee Kevin Kao’s work also explores the human form, yet his figures portray a very different crowd from the female sculptors in the exhibition. Most obvious are the androgynous or male subjects and its uncanny statement on race and identity. Kao’s “character-objects are surreal images that portray whimsy, pain and satisfaction,” at times reminiscent of ‘super flat’ aesthetics and anime generation. This younger generation of Kao, Ed Miller and AJ Masterson employ humor on their work, at times anthropomorphing animal figures. In this era of social networking, artists like Miller who considers his work as form of journalism as he “observe the world and report my findings through sculpture”, it is not surprising to find quirky LOL animals and complex ‘selfies’ in 3D.

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Jan 22

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Jan 21

Being Here & Being Thus. Sculpture, Object & Stage / Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt

Being Here Being Thus. Sculpture, Object, Stage exhibition at Frankfurter Kunstverein

Being Here & Being Thus. Sculpture, Object & Stage / Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt
January 23 - April 13, 2014

Opening reception: Thursday, January 23, 2014, from 8 pm.

The world of things seems to be dissolving. Due to digitalization, our living environment is rapidly becoming more and more immaterial—despite the unlimited amount of consumer items that we encounter on a daily basis. At the same time, it is possible to observe a growing interest in the lost and changing materiality of the world around us. Recently the cultural and social sciences announced a “material turn.” One is discovering the material aspects of knowledge production and social practices as well as the material aspects of communication processes and aesthetic production. Also in sculpture a reassessment of materials, things, and objects seems to be taking place. Bringing together unusual elements, artists are creating a new formal language, which produces a confrontation between the things as they are and the aesthetic of materials.

The exhibition Being Here & Being Thus. Sculpture, Object & Stage presents works by nine artists who use sculpture in a variety of ways. They combine additive and subtractive processes, the manipulation of scale, and installation. Things and materials are cast, folded, glued, carved, and cut; they are combined with additional elements to underscore or minimize physical, symbolic, or narrative qualities. The exhibition unfolds as an exploration of the concepts of “sculpture,” “object,” and “stage.” Some works appear to viewers as a physical counterpart. Others consist of elements, whose former purpose is still recognizable. Nevertheless, the original function of the object is underscored. A third group of works take the form of spatial arrangements that can be entered, variables in a temporary situation in which inter-relationships play a primary role—with the viewer as a component of the work. All works in the exhibition “Being Here & Being Thus” are characterized by an immediate quality. As technical or organic configurations, they convey a character, an expressiveness, and an immense presence, referring thereby to nothing beyond themselves.

Exhibited artists: Maria Anisimowa, Peter Buggenhout, Sandra Havlicek, Sofia Hultén, Sabine Kuehnle, Thomas Moecker, Simon Rübesamen, Michael E. Smith, Andrea Winkler
Curators: Holger Kube Ventura and Lilian Engelmann

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