Ice bliss, 2013 These white and gray cones, irregular and of different heights were made from icicles “grown” in PET bottles which were then molded at various stages of melting, like the retreat of glaciers in our mountains. Ice bliss is a metaphor for global warming. It is also the way art turns ice into vases. Function at service of contemplation and reflection and vice versa.
Brett Freund: Bliss Point - The amount of an ingredient that optimizes palatability, 2013-2014
This project is a exploration of repetition and balance while researching the aesthetic parameters of different materials. These recent vessels represent an indulgence in making with consideration to how choice creates form. My background is rooted in traditional pottery and it’s important to me for my work to best reflect the world that I feel is around me.
Tommaso Corvi-Mora is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work Simon Carroll. Born in 1964, Simon Carroll died in 2009 at the age of 45. He was one of the most talented and inventive potters of his generation.
After the clean slate brought about by the generation of postmodern potters of the 70s and 80s (Alison Britton, Elizabeth Fritsch, Walter Keeler, Jacqui Poncelet), whose work developed also in reaction to Bernard Leach’s lasting influence, potters working in Britain divided themselves into two separate camps: those who could be called the “apollonians” (Julian Stair, Edmund de Waal, Ken Eastman), who privilege clean lines, muted colours, an interest in modes of display and an approach to ceramics influenced primarily by minimal and conceptual art, and those who could be identified as the “dionysians” (Gareth Mason, Ashley Howard), more focused on the object presented individually and on an approach closer to “art informel” and abstract expressionism. Simon Carroll’s work places itself firmly in the latter group; however the exuberance and eruptive force of his forms is always tempered by a thoughtful and affectionate reverence for the tradition and history of pottery, especially for 17th- and 18th Century slip-decorated Staffordshire wares.
The opening will also feature Spectra by Adrian Esparza in the Front Gallery. Open studios by current resident artists to follow talks.
In Dark Light: The Micaceous Ceramics of Christine Nofchissey McHorse, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents works by one of the most innovative contemporary forces in Native American pottery. Working from traditional materials and techniques, Christine Nofchissey McHorse’s vessel-based art blends the boundaries of pottery and sculpture, erasing the line between function and form. As the Navajo artist’s first traveling exhibition, the show exhibits the unadorned sophistication of the sultry curves, black satiny surfaces, and modern forms of her Dark Light series, created from 1997 to present. An amalgam of Puebloan, Navajo, and contemporary influences, each sculpture possesses a cultural splendor that is as fertile as the Northern New Mexico riverbeds where McHorse harvests her clay.
Peter Morgan: All Aboard at Harrison Gallery The 2011-2012 Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellowship Exhibition
All Aboard includes work that Morgan made this past year, while serving as the Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellow. This fellowship afforded him a monthly living stipend, materials and firing stipend, free studio space, this solo exhibition and a tri-fold publication produced in support. A representational sculptor, Morgan received a BA in fine arts from Roanoke College, Salem, VA, a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA and his MFA in 2005 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred NY. His work builds on a tradition in ceramics that began in the 1960’s and emerged out of California’s Bay Area. The artists working within this tradition created representational sculpture, oftentimes humorous and/or tongue in cheek, irreverent and anti-establishment, their inspiration drawn from the beat movement, Pop Art, and the then burgeoning counter culture revolution.
Morgan employs many of the practices of his Funk predecessors using word puns and humor, to create surreal narrative compositions, layered in meaning. His sculptures may grow out of a childhood memory, his love of a specific food item, history or a perplexing current event. With All Aboard, Morgan takes the viewer on a train ride like none other they’ve had. As in all his work, the train cars are skillfully and sensitively sculpted, Morgan’s interest in and love for his subject matter evident and felt.
His sculptures are real and unreal, familiar yet foreign. Morgan states, “The work is an investigation and celebration of cultural mythologies. I think of my sculptures as being platonic ideals in physical form. They focus on our ideal understandings and desires of these objects in our minds, yet they often bear very little in common with the actuality of these concerns.” Jeff Guido, Artistic Director
Blue and White at Reed Smith Gallery
The field of ceramics is laden with numerous traditions of technique, material, style, and form specific to a given culture and or specific time period. Few traditions moved beyond borders or lasted through time to become significant to multiple cultures. The tradition of Blue & White is one that has; a white clay body serving as ground for blue decoration applied by hand, stenciling, or screen transfer. Islamic tin-glazed tile of the 9th century, pinyin or blue flowers drawn on 14th century Chinese porcelain pots, the narrative hand-painted Delft pots of the 16th century Dutch, to the English and American traditions of Willowware, the process of cobalt blue decoration on fine, translucent, and white porcelain is a deeply rooted tradition, crossing cultures and spanning great lengths of time.
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?
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.
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.
Works of one of Oklahoma’s favorite potters, John Frank, are featured in a new exhibition, Oklahoma Clay: Frankoma Pottery, opening Friday, April 20, at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. The exhibit features a selection of work from Frank’s Oklahoma-based pottery factory that manufactured unique and collectable ceramics for more than 50 years. Highlights include a group of individual pieces made by the potter.
“This exhibit gives the University a great opportunity to honor the pioneer contributions made by John Frank to our School of Art, especially our ceramics program,” said OU President David L. Boren. “He came from the Chicago Arts Institute to start the ceramics program at OU. Using Oklahoma clay, he shaped ceramic pieces that would make him well known across Oklahoma and even around the world. Countless Oklahoma dinner tables were graced with his dinner ware.”
“It is a great pleasure to celebrate the life and works of a true Oklahoma artist,” said Ghislain d’Humières, director of the art museum at OU. “John Frank’s legacy continues both in the artistic integrity and the continued collectivity of works created in his factory nearly 80 years ago.”
In 1927, Frank founded a ceramics program at OU, where he taught for eight years. While teaching at the university, he established Frankoma Pottery, using local clays with colors and designs symbolic of the Southwest and Great Plains.
The April 20 opening for Oklahoma Clay: Frankoma Pottery is preceded by a daylong symposium at the museum. Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Decorative Arts and the American West – the seventh biennial symposium of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West – is free and open to the public, with a nominal charge for an optional luncheon. Noted scholars, museum curators and art historians will discuss such diverse topics as ranch-style furniture, regionally inspired pottery and silver-mounted saddles.
Jason Hess: New Work / Plinth Gallery, Denver, CO, USA April 6 - 28, 2012
Opening reception: Friday, April 6th, 6-9 pm.
Jason Hess is a professional ceramic artist and professor who lives in Arizona and instructs at Northern Arizona University. As an “avid wood firer”, his research for over 15 years has focused on the alchemy of the process — how the clay color, wood type, kiln design, and ash dispersion at high temperatures work together to “render a surface that is unattainable in other ways.”
A desire to have objects that fulfill specific purposes inspires him to make functional pots. The infinite and elusive variety of texture and color attainable through the various making and firing processes has generated an interest in the notion of presentation. Some of his work is presented so that a viewer might notice and appreciate subtle diversities in form and surface. By grouping similar forms of differing size and color the compositions create a visually dynamic display, which invites the viewer to enjoy the tactile nature of each individual piece and how they relate to one another.
His ceramic art has been featured in over 125 exhibitions worldwide. Jason has participated in residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation, in Montana, and at The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. He has also received numerous research grants from Northern Arizona University to research his medium and for the construction of the kilns. Jason’s work is either utilitarian or refers to utility in form while the presentation is more like characters relating to one another. He holds an MFA degree from Utah State University.
Gallery Hours: Thursday - Saturday, 12-5 pm, and by appointment.
“My work mainly consists of salt-fired Porcelain and Stoneware. The salt-firing process is unique in that salt is introduced into the kiln when it reaches the proper temperature (2345 degrees F for my work). Inside the kiln, the salt vaporizes and settles onto the pieces, forming its own glaze over the clay body. I also use various slips and glazes to further decorate the pots.
In my functional work, my goal is to make the pieces “special”. I hope that everyday users will appreciate being “in the moment” as they sip from their hand-made cup or enjoy soup from their favorite bowl.
My sculptural pieces all have specific meaning for me, but sometimes are just fun! I don’t wish to impose my views of the work upon others, but would rather viewers lend their own interpretation to the pieces within their own contexts and ideas. Most importantly, I hope the sculptures will inspire viewers to pause and consider how the piece relates to their lives.” Deborah Britt