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Art

Month in Review: September 2012

Featured on Ceramics Now: Bertozzi & Casoni's Regeneration exhibition at All Visual Arts, London

Hello everyone and welcome to our first Month in Review, a summary of the last month of activity on Ceramics Now. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive the latest news.
Check the Subscription offers on our Magazine shop.

This month’s featured artists (view list):

Elizabeth Shriver (works)
David Gallagher (works)
Francesco Ardini (works)
Ellen Schön (works)

This month’s featured exhibitions:

Ceramics Now Team Exhibition / Europe Gallery, Brasov
Contemporary Ceramics / Stremmel Gallery, Reno, NV
Ellen Schön: Vessel Variations (x3) / Vessels Gallery
Fragile! In Transit / Traveling exhibition around Europe
Scandinavian Design / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Marek Cecuła: SEEDS / Glass and Ceramics, Wrocław
Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos / NEW MUSEUM, New York
Bharti Kher / Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
Ruth Duckworth exhibition / Erskine Hall & Coe, London
Contemporary Clay Invitational / j fergeson gallery
Arina Ailincăi: In-Scripted Body / Art on the Avenue
Scandinavian Ceramics Conference 2012 / Hjørring
Clémence van Lunen exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong
MOUNTED / Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, Montana
CONCEPTION - Part Two / Canvas Galleries, Belfast
Aneta Regel Deleu / Puls Contemporary Ceramics
Liliana Folta / Amazing Things Art Center, Framingham
Reviving the light: Zsolnay Ceramic Design / ILIAD, NY
Bertozzi & Casoni: Regeneration / All Visual Arts, London

This month’s featured connections:

Daehyun Kim Illustrations
Mimicry Chairs by Japanese design studio Nendo
Martin Creed on My Modern Metropolis
Leslie David - Painting Please!
Tim Hawkinson - Mobius Ship
Robert Montgomery: Echoes of Voices in the High Towers
James Hoff: I’m Already a Has-Been / VI, VII, Oslo
Anna Von Mertens - Portraits

This month’s news on Ceramics Now:

New publishing schedule for print and digital
New magazine shop - 10% Sale ends December 31, 2012
We hit 25000 followers on Tumblr (27600 now)
Published Calendar of Ceramic Art Competitions for 2013

Next month’s news: Ceramics Now Exhibition - 3rd edition

For media partnerships or sponsorship please contact Vasi Hîrdo, Editor, at vasi@ceramicsnow.org
Submissions and general info: office@ceramicsnow.org


  • Carol Gouthro: Anthozoa gouthroii “Viridis”, 2012, Terrecotta clay with underglazes and glazes, 6”h. x 10.5”w .x  6.5”d


  • Carol Gouthro: Anthozoa gouthroii “Chromatella”, 2012, Terrecotta clay with underglazes and glazes, 6”h. x 10”w .x  6”d

  • Bertozzi & Casoni: Regeneration / All Visual Arts, London

    Bertozzi Casoni Regeneration exhibition, All Visual Arts, London

    Bertozzi & Casoni: Regeneration / All Visual Arts, London
    October 13 - November 10, 2012

    Private view: October 12, 7-9 pm.

    All Visual Arts are proud to present Regeneration, a unique installation from Italian artists Bertozzi & Casoni. The artists are acclaimed for their delicate depictions of a culture in decay, deftly rendered in fragile ceramic clay. Their latest work Regeneration queries the hierarchy of aesthetics, revealing the beauty in the neglected and discarded ephemera of our seamless culture. The pieces compel the viewer to confront the visceral decay of contemporary society, to expose the cracks between the artifice of the world we are presented with and to explore what lies within these fissures. With this imaginative approach to their practice, Bertozzi and Casoni align the traditional with the experimental, and allow us to construct our own narrative around their evocative scenes.

    Bertozzi and Casoni manipulate the indistinction between the real and the simulacrum in their work, an obsession for detail which evokes the Decadent taste for imitation and crafted artifice as superior to the natural. In fabricating these visually and emotionally compelling still-lifes, the artists engage the viewer in deeper themes of impermanence and mortality. Through rendering the abject and overlooked in such exquisite detail, Bertozzi and Casoni signal the return of the repressed, the avoidance of our own mortality. In one piece in which the memento mori is explicitly rendered, an ox skull is dominated by a vivid monitor lizard, symbolic of both death and rebirth in its habitat across Asia and Australia. In the antonymously titled DisGRACE, vibrant blooms sprout from the polluted detritus of a decadent and avaricious society, a scene of nature triumphing over the excesses of hyper-capitalism.

    Regeneration contemplates the possibility of change through rebirth, rediscovery and reappropriation, manipulating earth into elegant and fragile structures. In one piece, a cluster of butterflies flock to raise the severed head of a deer from an ornamental platter, recalling the Renaissance representations of John the Baptist or Holofernes. In a similar echo of classical scenes, and dominating the Regeneration is the serene image of a silverback gorilla resting in the Buddhist lotus position on a bed of discarded mattresses. A roe deer lies prone across its body, while wrens and goldcrests commune around the pair. The piece is an evocation of symbolic power, from the visceral confrontation of our Darwinian descendent dying out in front of our eyes, to the shift between the viewer and sculpture, object and subject as we find ourselves caught in the compassionate gaze of the animals. Our own mortality is inscribed in the tableaux where urban structures, religion and the animal world collide to reveal the grace in disgrace which Bertozzi and Casoni seek to capture.

    It seems appropriate that the duo push their material to its limits and question the possibility of representation in their work at every turn. Their liberal accumulation and compilation of cultural references is evident in the playful amalgamation of objects in a work where a swordfish’s head juts from a guitar case; the shapes tessellating the natural with the cultural. Their curiosity and playful approach to objects creates a process of continual experimentation and discovery, freeing themselves from convention and the stereotypes of the ornamental and domestic associated with the ceramic medium, and producing unexpected moments of pathos and humour through their synthesis of past and present, nature and artifice. The artists subvert the established rules about the perception of applied arts through inverting the symbolic power of their traditional medium, exceeding the inherent conservativism of ceramics to sculpt fantastic and grotesque scenes that liberate both the artist and viewer’s imagination.

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  • Anna Von Mertens - Portraits

    "Odd avenues of knowledge and inquiry interest me. I research further and uncover phenomena in isolated fields of study that mirror information about my own private world. I then translate this empirical data into a subjective version to reflect the parallels I see.

    I have tracked how energy is dispersed in a nuclear explosion and how energy is stored in a cell; exposed hidden topographies (of the human body, of the ocean floor); contrasted migration routes of birds to the migration routes of humans; and shown the stars exactly as seen above violent moments in American history.

    These patterns reveal to me aspects of our existence, whether it is how we experience time and face the infinite - embedded in that is our own mortality - or how the boundary of the body is presented to others versus how it is felt internally.

    I use the stitch to follow these trails, tracing the paths with my fingers. The dotted line of hand-stitching is a marker of uncertainty, a way of exploring. The time invested in making the work, allowing for contemplation and internalizing, becomes a part of how the work is viewed.

    I see all of these elements as a form of mapping, reflecting the need to get my own bearings in this vast universe.” Anna Von Mertens (via)

    More connections »

  • Ellen Schön

    Ellen Schon ceramics, Featured artist on Ceramics Now Magazine

    Ellen Schön's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

    “I have always been interested in the ability of a ceramic vessel to point to something beyond itself—to function as metaphor. Ceramic vessels, physically structured with necks, shoulders, bellies, and feet, can evoke the gesture and anthropomorphized stance of the human body; they also reveal deep aspects of human experience and of the natural world.

    My fervent interest in clay vessels has led me to explore new territories in form and surface. Recent work explores three variations on the ceramic vessel form:

    The ceramic vessel as a Wellspring or Womb, with possibilities of both fecundity and barrenness;
    The vessel as Bottle, whose forms evoke the elongated posture of Cycladic idols and the scarified texture of Yoruba terracotta heads;
    The Planet Series explores swirling colored surfaces on rounded orbs, suggesting planets and depths of earthly strata.

    These series represent different but related expressive interests. Each piece in a series is part of a continually evolving solution to a set of questions or parameters I have chosen to work within. The parameters, themselves, may change as the series evolve.

    Through spontaneous handling of inanimate clay, I attempt to find and breathe life into form. My creative process is grounded in reflective practice—imposing ideas on and listening to the material in cycles of learning. The material directs me as I direct it. We are in a reciprocal relationship.” Ellen Schon

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  • Ellen Schön:
    Cycladic Bottle (green comb), 2011, Stoneware, 16” x 7” x 7” (left)
    Cycladic Bottle (green stripe), 2011, Stoneware, 16” x 7” x 7” (right)


  • Ellen Schön: Vortex, 2012, Smoke-fired clay, 13” x 20” x 20”


  • Ellen Schön: Open-mouthed Totem, 2011, Stoneware, 19” x 5” x 4”


  • Ellen Schön: Lotus Pod, 2009, Smoke-fired Clay, 9” x 15” x 15”

  • Ellen Schön: Planet #4, 2012, Stoneware, 10” x 10” x 10”


  • Ellen Schön:
    Genie Bottle I, 2011, Smoke-fired clay, 20.5” x 9” x 9” (left)
    Genie Bottle II, 2011, Smoke-fired clay, 18.5” x 8.5” x 8.5” (right)

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