Sculpture photographs Courtesy the artist and Cross MacKenzie Gallery.
Installation photos by Maxwell MacKenzie.
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
Arlene Shechet: Meissen Recast / RISD Museum, Providence, USA
January 17 – July 6, 2014
In the first U.S. exhibition of her one-of-a-kind Meissen sculptures, Arlene Shechet presents works she produced during a recent artist residency at the world-renowned German porcelain manufacturer. Arlene Shechet: Meissen Recast is a two-part exhibition on view at the RISD Museum from January 17 to July 6, 2014.
It is the utilitarian factory casts behind fine porcelain production, rather than the ornate ceramic confections, that inform Shechet’s “Meissen” series. Her range of sculpture brings to the fore the seams, plate impressions, indentations, inventory numbers, and other evidence of the industrial process that an 18th-century Meissen craftsman would have sought to erase. Almost every sculpture on view in the Museum’s Upper Farago Gallery is derived from one or more of 47 historic Meissen mold patterns, reconceived in unanticipated combinations of forms and scale. Shechet’s complete reinstallation of the Museum’s historic Meissen collection of figurines and tableware in the Porcelain Gallery completes the two-part show—connecting the past and present, fine arts and decorative arts.
“The Museum is excited to present this compelling new work by RISD alumna Arlene Shechet,” says John W. Smith, director of the RISD Museum. “Meissen Recast extends the Museum’s long and groundbreaking tradition of encouraging artists to use the collection—dating from Andy Warhol’s Raid the Icebox (1970) to Spencer Finch’s Painting Air exhibition (2012). By moving some of RISD’s Meissen figures—including the famous Monkey Band—from their normal location in the Porcelain Gallery to the contemporary Upper Farago Gallery and, conversely, inserting her own porcelain sculptures into the cases of the more traditional, wood-paneled room, she heightens our awareness and appreciation for the refined historical pieces and her own more organic, intuitive approach.”
Adjunct RISD Museum curator and exhibition organizer Judith Tannenbaum adds, “Arlene Shechet has become well known for ceramic sculpture that reveals the nature of her materials and working process. By casting fine porcelain in the Meissen factory’s forms designed for plaster, she makes fine porcelain objects out of industrial molds. The surprise is that by looking behind the scenes of this luxury production, which once represented a high-water mark in culture, she has created a body of work that is virtuosic in entirely contemporary terms.”
During her 2012-2013 residency at the Meissen Manufactory, Shechet gained access to all areas of the renowned production facility—working alongside Meissen artisans, learning their techniques, using their tools, and observing the company’s internal traditions. “If there is a common thread in these works, it is my desire to leave a remnant of the memory of the factory. So if a screw is there, I might have cast it along with a fingerprint—I find these inadvertent traces to be beautiful and also thrilling, because they show the original thought that went into the porcelain making and, perhaps, even something of the worker,” the artist explains.
David Hicks: Nucleus / Cross MacKenzie Gallery, Washington DC
January 10 - February 28, 2014
Cross MacKenzie Gallery is pleased to present “Nucleus” an exhibition of new ceramic sculpture by the prolific and compelling California based artist, David Hicks. This is his third solo show at our gallery.
“I am still digging in the dirt to understand my attraction to the agricultural,” the artist says of this new body of work. Though Hicks continues in these botanic and organic themes, his compositions have opened up and become less dense – no longer hanging down with the force of gravity from vertical wires. The new work is metaphorically blossoming. His array of gourd-like shapes of various textures, hues and dimensions are now suspended from a metal armature fixed to the wall, projecting outward like sconces, flower-like, hovering in space.
In her 2013 review of Hicks’ 2011 exhibition, “Farewell” at our gallery for Ceramic Art and Perception, Janet Koplos described Hicks’ sculpture; “the works are wonderfully sensuous abstractions (as all pottery can be) and are especially appealing for both color and texture”.
Every element is unique and unfamiliar, inhabiting a place in one’s imagination between associations: at once a cantaloupe or pear, then a beached bouy, an insect pod, a bird’s nest or an exotic dirt encrusted seed. Koplos describes the density of Hicks’ previous work; “But the numbers, the depth of accumulation and the softly worn surfaces hint that they have been retired and frugally held in reserve. It is a library of objects”. Though the artist still draws from that library, the new presentation is more precious, now demanding examination and appreciation for the individual elements rather than focusing the viewer’s attention on the clustered mass. The ceramic forms are one-by-one lovingly harnessed into fitted brackets, more akin to diamond settings now than the sinkers on fishing lines of the past. Even with the artist’s fresh approach and careful selection, his paring down on the amount of objects in the sculptures, Hicks is far from being a minimalist. His wall pieces continue the artist’s themes of nature’s abundance and excess, the forces of bearing fruit and multiplying.
The sense of planting seeds is even more obvious in the two pedestal pieces in the show that sit tree-like with a central weighted stalk, branching out with the ceramic forms perched on and suspended from the metal limbs. We are tempted with the tactile rawness, to pick the heavy fruit before it drops.
David Hicks received his B.F.A. from California State University, Long Beach, CA. and his M.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. His work is in several prominent collections including the World Ceramic Museum, Icheon, Korea, the American Museum of Ceramic Art–AMOCO, Pomona CA, the American Embassy in Figi through the State Department’s, Art in Embassies program and the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, AZ. He lives and works in Visalia CA. with his wife and new baby daughter.
Gareth Mason: More is more / Jason Jacques Gallery, New York
January 22 - February 22, 2014
Opening: Thursday, January 22, from 6-9 pm.
We are very excited to invite you to our newest exhibition with our first contemporary master ceramicist Gareth Mason. Following a show at the American Museum of Ceramic Art and an exhibition at the Korea Cultural Center in London. Gareth will be having his second solo exhibition at Jason Jacques Gallery. We are Publishing a 200 page catalog of Gareth’s work and the first publication of a series of letters between Gareth Mason and Ceramics collector Richard Jacobs which is a discourse of the nature of art and ceramics collecting. We are planning a series of lectures between Gareth Mason and his favorite Collector Richard Jacobs more information in the new year.
Gareth Mason new sculptural vessels are inspired by humanity’s connection to fire “Fire is humanity’s muse. Since the earliest humans pondered the nature of the sun, fire has captivated us with its mysterious force. Hominid fire — progenitor of dreams — spur to our noblest and most terrifying achievements, key to our aspirations and inextricable from the survival of our race, it burns literally and metaphorically in a place distinct from all other stimuli and matter. No wonder then that fire holds such creative potency for the human brain; as we gaze into its depths we ever behold a power of poetic and epic proportions. Of all the arts; silicate, ferric, kinetic, dramatic, sonic, plastic; of whatever place in the assumed hierarchy of creative genres, ceramics offers a unique spotlight on this most potent element. Through ceramics, it is possible to ‘fire’ the imagination and the spirit because ceramic metamorphosis is redolent of human experience. This belief underpins all my ceramic work. The igneous fusion of materials is analogous to human emotion. This is fertile ground for creative exploration and discovery.
Jos Devriendt: Day & Night / Pierre Marie Giraud, Bruxelles
January 17 - February 1, 2014
"Since 20 years I have been working on the archetype of the mushroom. It has been a search for a form that could be a sculpture with two different lives. A mushroom during daytime with an obvious and colourful expression capturing the light, and at night an abstract form giving light.
As a sculptor I want to reshape the form from day to night, solely with light: the daylight, which shines upon the sculpture and the artificial light, which comes from within and erases the material form. After researching the form, I experimented with different colours as a means to alter the meaning of the form. Like abstract painters use colours to give a meaning to their work, I do in a three dimensional way.
Artists have been expressing feelings through the sea, nudes or geometric forms.
Why not use mushrooms?
They have a lot of meaning in life.
Basically you can eat them and may be poisoned.
There is the hallucinating effect of some of the exotic species.
The sexual connotation of the mushroom is in many cultures an important element of mythology.
In essence, mushrooms bring me to the big themes of art: life, love and death, and last but not least to humour.”
Living Glass / Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, Lausanne, Switzerland
Recent acquisitions by the Glass Art Collection
December 11, 2013 - November 16, 2014
Mudac’s latest contemporary glass art exhibition, Living Glass, presents a broad selection of works and installations by today’s glass creators of many nationalities—Swiss, European, American and Asian. Bearing witness to the very idea of glass art, pieces ranging from sculpture to edition design all translate the museum conservation team’s open and ongoing approach, as assisted and supported by the Collection’s patron.
The ensuing major canvassing program has brought to light the incredible diversity and dynamism of the contemporary scene with respect to such a singular and demanding material. This new set of works represents a very far-spreading, overall view of contemporary glass art production in Switzerland and around the world. Today, joining those regions and countries that first launched the major groundbreaking trends reinstating glass internationally, there are countless initiatives by artists and designers who have forgone any formal education in the mastery of this material. Designers and artists are linking up with master glass artists to work together. As a result, on the one hand, today’s glass art features spectacularly intricate and beautifully mastered pieces with an undeniably aesthetic impact and, most importantly, encompassing the tradition and know-how of the famous major centers of the second half of the 20th century. These now exist side-by-side with more experimental pieces that can even be highly conceptual, and are often very singular in shape or statement. In their fascination with the very particular world of glass art production, the latest generation of artists and designers now test, experiment and question the practices such production entails, but always—and necessarily—in tandem with today’s master glass artists. The many pathways being travelled by creators stemming from at times very distant horizons attest to the liveliness of the contemporary glass art scene. Mudac is happy to put its acquisitions policy at the service of that scene’s plurality and dynamism.
Published jointly by La Bibliothèque des Arts and mudac, a trilingual publication, Le verre vivant [Living Glass] accompanies this exhibition. This richly illustrated volume featuring some fifty of mudac’s recent acquisitions, encompasses contributions by art dealers and promoters, and by designers, artists and curators from many European countries. It promises pleasurable reading for both the general public and confirmed specialists.
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Above: formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi et Simone Farresin), Jug, 2011, Verre soufflé et os. Image © Arnaud Conne – atelier de numérisation de la Ville de Lausanne
> More exhibitions / View the list of ceramic art exhibitions
By Degrees ceramics exhibition / L5-23 Unit Gallery, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, Hong Kong
January 11-26, 2014
Ceramics has come a long way since its’ humble beginnings as crude decorations and simple pottery wares thousands of years ago. It has evolved to become an important medium within the world of the Fine and Decorative Arts whereby its’ previous boundaries are constantly being pushed and our perceptions challenged.
In learning how to make ceramics there are no short cuts however and the techniques and skills still have to be mastered step by step, and by degrees. This exhibition brings together the six students of The Hong Kong Art School after completing the first year of their BA in Fine Art (Ceramics). Using hand building techniques and wheel thrown work they endeavor to explore various different themes within Contemporary Ceramics some of which include minimalism, eternity and social issues. This is their inaugural exhibition together.
Ryan Cheng, Weight Never Sleeps, 2013, Stoneware (Black Mountain - partly glazed), 16x9x30 cm.
Clay is a very natural and organic medium to work with. It lends itself well to manipulation on a human scale. It requires no specialized tools or incredible strength and is a pleasure to work with using just your bare hands. In my work I enjoy exploring the strengths and limits of the clay, and I try to use this ancient material to create objects in context with modernity.
Renita Cheung, Live as One, 2013, Unglazed Porcelain, Stoneware mixed with Oxides, 36x36x60 cm.
Diversity is a natural phenomenon in nature and gives the world variety and beauty. Such a beauty also exists in mankind as we have different characteristics such as color and culture. But for us to live together peacefully without discrimination, war and terrorism requires awareness from all the human races to appreciate and accept differences.
In the work ‘Live as One’, I invite tenants of the earth to appreciate and respect differences between human races in order to sustain peace. Mountains of different characteristics are used to represent people from different culture as well as their hardiness to be moved. But all dreams start with imagination. I hope someday you will join the line.
Janice Ng, Infinity, 2013, Porcelain and Stoneware (unglazed), Size variable.
I am inspired by ceramic artists such as Eva Hild and Walter Dam and became interested in the flow and movement of forms. With the combination of extrusion technique, I build some angular tubs, and the development starts from free standing distorted tubes to additional force and movements.
The extrusion resembles the birth of living beings, the clay being used would be the origin while the twist and pressure added afterward would symbolize the experiences and crisis the piece had gone through along the growth. Twisted movement is applied since the DNA link of living being in spiral form, it gives signs of the power of life.