Anne Wenzel: The Opaque Palace / TENT Rotterdam

Anne Wenzel The Opaque Palace at TENT Rotterdam

Anne Wenzel: The Opaque Palace / TENT Rotterdam
February 6 - May 5, 2014

Opening reception: Thursday, February 6th, from 8 pm.

The Opaque Palace transforms the exhibition spaces of TENT into an installation in which the monumental sculptures of Anne Wenzel (DE, lives and works in Rotterdam) provide a coherent representation of the major themes in her work – power, destruction, heroism, history – and a new series of sculptures are introduced. Daria de Beauvais, from Palais de Tokyo, Paris, has curated the exhibition. With Anne Wenzel’s solo exhibition, her largest yet, TENT celebrates the re-opening of its newly renovated building.

The Opaque Palace exhibition unfolds as a route through an abandoned palace laden with old, long forgotten stories. A palace where light enters through a broken window, and a net curtain is stirred by the breeze. For her largest solo exhibition yet, Anne Wenzel uses works from the past decade to construct a mental puzzle in TENT. With every space you enter, the function, symbolism, and impact of the objects seem to be further derailed, until they seemingly dislodge from their traditional meaning: sculptures become trophies (or quite the opposite), either paying tribute to heroes or denying heroism altogether. Anne Wenzel’s work resists any interpretation lurking behind their undeniable physicality.

In the monumental emptiness of the main hall, which could be interpreted as a ballroom, a black chandelier has slumped before a wall of shiny gold; the object of light becomes an extinguished mass. In TENT’s back space, Wenzel presents her latest series of works, Attempted Decadence: a group of lavishly decorated ceramic flower sculptures. What life remains – temporarily saved by the art – is already a witness to its own decline. In this ‘Opaque Palace’, everyone is free to reinvent the past that made visions like this possible.

From a strong historical sense and with great political engagement, Anne Wenzel puts the role of art in the portrayal of power, heroism, and violence in another light. She is renowned for her self-determined approach to handling materials and technology. Experimenting with extremes of scale, chemical additions, and radical deformation, she seeks out the boundaries of the sculptural medium. Wenzel draws inspiration for her monumental ceramic sculptures from historical sources, film, and literature, as well as from the media and its newsworthy images of natural disasters, conflict, and acts of war. Her attention to universal subjects connects her to a growing number of artists who transcend post-modern irony and are not afraid to, again, address existential themes.

Wenzel has lived and worked in Rotterdam since 1999. Her work is included in museum collections (Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Stedelijk Museum ‘s Hertogenbosch, S.M.A.K. Ghent, et al.) and in many private collections. She is represented by gallery AKINCI in Amsterdam, Galerie Tatjana Pieters in Ghent, and Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve in Paris.

Anne Wenzel The Opaque Palace at TENT Rotterdam

Accompanying the exhibition is an extensive monograph, Anne Wenzel - Prospects of Perception, published by Lecturis in collaboration with TENT and designed by 75B. It includes texts by Philippe Van Cauteren (director S.M.A.K. Ghent), Sjarel Ex (director Museum Boijmans van Beuningen), Daria de Beauvais (curator Palais de Tokyo, Paris) and Mariette Dölle (artistic director TENT), and photographs of her most important sculptures and installations from the past decade.

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James Tower / Erskine, Hall & Coe, London

James Tower ceramics exhibition, Erskine Hall Coe London

James Tower / Erskine, Hall & Coe Gallery, London
February 5-28, 2014

Erskine, Hall & Coe is pleased to present an exhibition of the work of James Tower in February. This will be Tower’s first solo show in London since 1986.

James Tower is one of the most distinguished ceramic artists of the 20th century. His ceramics are unique for their visual effects which suggest that he responded to nature and his environment. He became an established artist in the 1950’s and exhibited alongside such artists as Barbara Hepworth and William Scott. A goal of Tower’s was to achieve a quality in his work that ‘is perhaps best defined as a sense of completion. A longing for a serene harmonious whole which contains dynamism and vitality, satisfying our intellectual and spiritual needs.’ —James Tower

Tower’s work was reminiscent of the world around him. He worked to develop an abstracted style of the natural environment:
There is a sense of water running between rocks, patterns on a butterfly’s wings, spots on a fish’s skin, clouds on a wintery day, stripes on a zebra’s back, ribs of a human chest and the multiple leaves of a compressed succulent in the myriad forms of James’s work. His genius was to synthesise and make of these inspirations in which he delighted things in themselves (excerpt from Anthony Gormley’s introduction in Timothy Wilcox’s book, ‘The Ceramic Art of James Tower’).

Born in Kent in 1919, Tower studied at the Royal Academy, and then at the Slade School of Art, where he discovered an interest in English slipware and became fascinated with ceramics. During the 1960’s and 70’s, he was Head of Pottery at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham, and Head of Sculpture at Brighton Polytechnic.

Tower’s artwork is owned by many public collections throughout the UK and the United States, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and The Art Institute of Chicago.

The exhibition at Erskine, Hall & Coe will comprise of twenty-five vessels, plates and sculptures, and is fully illustrated on our website. The gallery has worked very closely with James Tower’s family and with Timothy Wilcox, author of the book ‘The Ceramic Art of James Tower,’ to put this exhibition together. Wilcox’s book will be available for purchase at the exhibition.

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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.

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Tim Rowan Ceramics:

Untitled #11A90, 2011, Wood-fired native clay, 18x19x9 inches
Untitled #11A92, 2011, Wood-fired native clay, 12x21x8 inches
Untitled #11A91, 2011, Wood-fired native clay, 14x29x8 inches

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

David Hicks: Nucleus / Cross MacKenzie Gallery, Washington DC

David Hicks: Nucleus at Cross MacKenzie Gallery, Washington DC

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.

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Gareth Mason: More is more / Jason Jacques Gallery, New York

Gareth Mason More is more at Jason Jacques Gallery, New York

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.

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Betül Demir Karakaya & Gökçe Özer: 1+1 / Terakki Foundation Art Gallery, Istanbul

Betul Demir Karakaya and Gokce Ozer 1+1 at Terakki Art Gallery Istanbul

Betül Demir Karakaya & Gökçe Özer: 1+1 / Terakki Foundation Art Gallery, Istanbul
January 9 - February 8, 2014

"Suddenly a voice is heard from 1+1…
One is quiet, whereas two is loud. 1+1 represents something more than a simple mathematical equation and the solution to this equation “2” is more than a number. It is an option against singularity.

The ceramic work of Betül Demir Karakaya and Gökçe Özer show us how different ones can add up to “2”. Özer’s ceramic sculptures portraying small heads on twirling bodies with hearts that have turned into black buttons carry the signs of a quiet but threatening power, while sculptures with open mouths, made using the same technique, create a place to hide from this threat. Whereas Demir’s ceramic bells give the signals of giving up an artist’s competence. With the game,she has extended an invitation to the audience by presenting a way to speak with them. Soil, that has been the common heritage of human kind, accumulates with a voice from two different languages in two female artists’ hands.

Ceramic works of Özer and Demir that have chosen two’s dynamism, instead of the competence of one -that isolates, makes blind and fattens- and two’s dialogue, instead of one’s monologue, will meet its audience at Terakki Art.” Words by Hazal Aksoy

Betül Demir Karakaya was born in 1978 in Izmir-Turkey, and started art education at Stragonov Moscow State University of Industrial and Applied Arts in 1998. Graduated from Hacettepe University Fine Arts Faculty Ceramics Department in 2002. In 2010 she has concluded her MFA at Anadolu University Institute of Fine Arts with the theme “Ceramic Bells Throughout History”. She is writing her PhD thesis at the same institute. She has many art pieces at private and public collections, including MIC Faenza International Ceramic Museum. She works at Karatekin University Fine Arts Faculty Ceramics Department as a lecturer.

Gökçe Özer was born in 1984 in Afyon. In 2002, she graduated from Ankara Anatolian High School of Fine Arts, Department of Painting, and in 2010 she graduated from Anadolu University Faculty of Fine Arts Ceramics Department. She studied as an exchange student between 2009-2010 at Universitat zu Köln. Presently she is working as a research assistant at Anadolu University Faculty of Fine Arts ceramic department and studied MA at the Institute of Fine Arts on ‘Influence of Wabi-sabi Aesthetic on Japanese Ceramic Art’. Currently she is a PhD candidate at Anadolu University Institute of Fine Arts.

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Tim Rowan:
Untitled #12246, 2012, Wood-fired native clay, 7x15x4 inches
Untitled #12247, 2012, Wood-fired native clay, 9x10x5 inches