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Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Beyond Craft Decorative Arts exhibition Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
February 23 - May 26, 2014

In February, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will present the first major exhibition of the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection, a remarkable group of 170 artworks—ceramics, fiber work, furniture, glass, jewelry and works on paper—acquired by the Museum in 2010. Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection will showcase 85 objects by 50 artists—including Olga de Amaral, Robert Arneson, Viola Frey, Sam Maloof, Richard Marquis, Albert Paley, Ken Price, Peter Voulkos and Toshiko Takaezu—and highlight important studio objects made from the mid–1960s to the 2000s with a focus on the 1960s–80s, the collection’s great strength.

“Lee and Mel Eagle were adventurous collectors at a time when the boundaries between high art and studio craft were challenged by cognoscenti and prescient dealers; the result is a distinctive collection that reflects the technical innovations and shifting tastes of the last half century,” said Museum director, Gary Tinterow.

“Since the Museum acquired the collection in 2010, many of the works have been featured in permanent collection presentations, providing glimpses into its riches,” said Cindi Strauss, curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design. “Now, for the first time, the Museum will present the collection and visitors can experience the power of these individual objects while appreciating the Eagles’ vision as collectors.”

Leatrice and Melvin Eagle began by collecting works of clay in 1960 and the medium remains at the heart of their collection to this day. Lee’s early training as a ceramist led to a lifetime devotion to clay, a passion that Mel has shared with her over the years. As the couple became sophisticated observers of the field and their preferences took shape, they successfully assembled a museum-quality collection of ceramics, fiber art, furniture, jewelry and prints, paintings and drawings. Their passion grew beyond living with objects to encompass a deep respect for art and artists, as well as a lifelong commitment to promoting and supporting their work through institutional and personal involvement.

Beginning with the 1973 establishment of Eagle Ceramics—a business that provided the resources to make and teach ceramics—the Eagles immersed themselves in the art community and began forming relationships with many prominent artists. From 1979 to 1983, Montgomery College, Eagle Ceramics and the American Hand Gallery in Washington, D.C., collaborated to present of a series of workshops, lectures and exhibitions called “Making It in Clay.” These events enabled the Eagles to meet prominent artists and the couple started collecting their works in depth. Ralph Bacerra, Don Reitz, Adrian Saxe and Michael Cardew have remained touchstones for the Eagles and lasting friendships with the artists resulted from these initial meetings. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Eagles were inspired to acquire collection subsets in jewelry, fiber and furniture and expand their significant holdings in West Coast ceramics, particularly those made in the 1960s and 1970s during the heyday of the Funk movement.

The Museum’s embrace of craft as an art form led to the Eagles’ choice of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as the new home for their collection in 2010. Since that time, the Eagle Collection has been a great asset to the permanent collection, enhancing its strengths in ceramics, glass and jewelry, and filling major gaps in fiber and furniture.

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  • 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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  • Ebru Özseçen: True Love Soul Mate / RAMPA Istanbul, Turkey

    Ebru Özseçen: True Love Soul Mate exhibition at RAMPA Istanbul, Turkey

    Ebru Özseçen: True Love Soul Mate / RAMPA İstanbul, Turkey
    March 02 — April 07, 2012

    Ebru Özseçen combines her experience in the fields of architecture, design and contemporary art to explore different aspects of psychological and sociological relationship between space and body. Her work presents great diversity; ranging from urban intervention to sculpture and objects, from photography to video, from film installations to drawings. The artist is concerned with the dualities of inside/ outside and public/private; and explores individual memory in contemporary society. Ebru Özseçen investigates the seemingly mundane to expose its magical and unseen aspects. She reveals a space where fantasy and memory hide in plain sight.

    It is impossible to disregard the gender aspect in Özseçen’s work, in which she indiscriminately plays with the androgynous form – the phallus, vulva, uterus or scrotum. At times pushing the boundaries of pornographic obscenity, the artist always places erotic intensity in the foreground. On the other hand, in many of her works it is possible to see Özseçen driven by her deep-seated admiration for the tradition of artisanship. The artist is drawn to the sensual quality of the form and the beauty of a well-accomplished object. This approach invites us to interpret the artist’s practice from a new perspective. Özseçen’s sharp gaze on the form, and her romantic obsession with the beautiful, the pure, and the unsoiled confront us as sharp yet sensitive, violent yet graceful works that have been refined in the hands of a craftsman.

    Özseçen’s new work, Gerçek Aşk Gönül Eşi / True Love Soul Mate (2011), which will constitute the backbone of the exhibition at Rampa, is comprised of over 100 separate glass pieces. This work is realized in collaboration with Mayer of Munich and Glasshütte Lamberts, which are among the most prominent handmade glass studios of the world that has for the first time opened its doors to contemporary arts for this work. Each piece is produced in different sizes and forms with hours of effort in 1450-degree ovens. Recalling many of Özseçen’s work, heat once more emerges as a dominating component in this work, both as a physical force and as an allegory. For this work, the artist divulges that “the concept of true love and soul mate employed in the title should be sought not in the realm of romantic love, but rather in companionship, camaraderie as signified in the craftsman’s delicate touch on the objects he has amorously devoted himself to.” Installing two of her works of the same form together, one from the beginning and the other from the most recent phase of her career, Özseçen incites the audience to trace a playful phantom form.

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  • MODERN TALKING, Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    MODERN TALKING group exhibition, Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    MODERN TALKING, Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    February 15 - April 15, 2012

    The Museum of Art in Cluj-Napoca is hosting the group exhibition entitled “Modern Talking”, featuring contemporary artists whose works are challenging the conventions of painting and its legacy. Through the work of the invited artists, the visitor will be able to re-conceptualize the traditional acception of painting, which is no longer restricted to the oil-on-canvas formula, but offers a multitude of other alternatives. Fabric, metal, found objects, conceptual statements, flamboyant actions, installations and sculptures, all of these are putting forward an extended understanding of the medium; today, painting is expanded, painting is overall.

    Artists:
    Sonia Almeida (PT); Mark Barrow (US); Baldur Geir Bragason (IS); Vittorio Brodmann (CH); Ana Cardoso (PT); Aline Cautis (US); Radu Comşa (RO); Ann Craven (US); Francesca DiMattio (US); Ida Ekblad (NO); Enzo Giordano (IT); Heather Guertin (US); Davíð Örn Halldórsson (IS); Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttir (IS); Jacob Kassay (US); Gilda Mautone (IT); Florin Maxa (RO); Dan Măciucă (RO); Elizabeth Neel (US); Ylva Ogland (SE); Paloma Presents [Urs Zahn & Roman Gysin] (CH); Zak Prekop (US); Jo Robertson (UK); Małgorzata Szymankiewicz (PL); Patricia Treib (US); Daniel Turner (US); Garth Weiser (US).

    Special project by Sarah Ortmeyer (DE).

    Organizers: Nicola Trezzi and Daria D. Pervain, in collaboration with Ewa Gorządek, Helena Kontova, and Giancarlo Politi.

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  • The performance of Highly Strung featuring the giant 14 meter puppet took place on the night of October 28th 2011 during the Nati Frinj festival. The puppet took ten people to operate and had animation (largely created by the children at the local primary school) projected onto it from projectors mounted both on the ground and in the head of the puppet itself. Music by Stephen Oakes.

    Filmed by, Jacqui Schulz, Dave Jones, Gareth Llewellin and Cindi Drennan.

    More making of / behind the scenes stuff at theartofdave.blogspot.com.au/

    With so many other forms of entertainment the puppet shows of today may seem like an already dead medium. However, you’d be wrong in thinking this, since Australian filmmaker Dave Jones shows us that there is still a fair amount of life in the ancient form of storytelling with his highly ambitious piece, “Highly Strung.”

    Performed on the back of grain silos, “Highly Strung” features an enormous 45-foot tall puppet that took 10 people to operate. The giant work of art was bolstered by projected animation done largely by local school children, giving the production an eerie Tim Burton vibe. This particular performance took place at the Nati Frinj festival in Natimuk, Australia.

    Jones said of the animation, “For the mouth we actually mounted a projector inside the puppets head and gaffer taped it to an iPod which we could control wirelessly from the ground 20 meters below.” Though it is just a five minute edit of the whole performance, the clip is captivating, immersing the viewer in a bizarre, but ultimately innocent world of dreams and wonderment. (via the Huffington Post)


  • Exhibited works at Ceramics Now Exhibition, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    www.ceramicsnow.org/exhibition

    View all the photos on our Facebook page.

    / Photos by Vasi Hirdo for Ceramics Now Magazine.

  • Suzanne Stumpf: Tubos, 2010, 28’w x 7”d x 11”h (total area as shown), handbuilt with porcelain paperclay; reduction fired to cone 10

    Interactive sculpture: evocative of deep sea life, but inspired by organ pipes.

  • Martha Cashman, Miranda Daly & Angie Shanahan Exhibition - West Cork Arts Centre

    Martha Cashman, Miranda Daly and Angie Shanahan Exhibition - West Cork Arts Centre

    Martha Cashman, Miranda Daly & Angie Shanahan - A Different Dimension, West Cork Arts Centre
    26 November, 2011 - 14 January, 2012

    Martha Cashman, ceramic artist; Miranda Daly, film-maker and Angie Shanahan, painter present an exhibition exploring a narrative of the former Wolfe’s Bakery in Skibbereen, West Cork.

    The artists are interested in the transition from one state of being to another and in conveying a sense of past human activity and industrial output associated with this building.
    Wolfe’s Bakery is the site for the planned new building for West Cork Arts Centre.

    The artists will present a Talk in the Gallery on Thursday 12 January 2012 at 1.30pm, and Inma Pavon, dancer, will present a performance in response to the work in the gallery on: Saturday, 14 January at 3.00 pm.

    Project Description - Wolfe’s Bakery:

    "A disused industrial building in the centre of Skibbereen town - formerly Wolfe’s Bakery - destined for demolition. Due to be rebuilt as the new West Cork Art Centre."

    Miranda Daly, film maker and employee in the West Cork Art Centre approached Martha Cashman, ceramic artist and me Angie Shanahan, painter, with the initial concept.
    The concept; to encompass through three distinct disciplines within the arts, ceramics, film and painting a unique exhibition which will capture the essence and deliver the narrative of the former Wolfe’s Bakery.

    As artists, all three of us are interested in the archival documentation of transition from one state of being to another. This element of change is especially appealing when it contains an architectural and historical nuance conveying a sense of past human activity and industrial output.
    We believe the former Wolfe’s Bakery in the centre of Skibbereen town perfectly encapsulates these elements.
    Fundraising for the new West Cork Art Centre has become a dynamic force within the town and beyond and is an exciting prospect.
    Our aim is to create a similar dynamic force and form discursive interaction between us as artists and the people of the West Cork peninsula. A parallel symmetry between what was, and what will be.
    Through our proposed exhibition with catalogue, we would like to prepare a visual narrative of the life of this old Bakery before its demolition.
    Allied with the verbal expressions of interest we have received from people in the business community towards this project, we believe the participation of The Arts Council through the awarding of an essential grant will help us to prepare and present an exciting exhibition in the latter part of 2011.


    West Cork Arts Centre - North Street, Skibbereen, Co Cork, Ireland

    Phone: + 353 28 22090
    Fax: + 353 28 23237
    Email: info@westcorkartscentre.com

    Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10.00 am - 5.00 pm

    WCAC acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council in making this exhibition possible.

  • Kjersti Lunde: The Altered Object = New Manipulated Presence, detail, 2008 - Installation, porcelain and stoneware (Photo: Bjarte Bjørkum, Khib)

  • Marie T. Hermann: You are my weather #D, 2011. Ceramic and thread. 9 x 12 x 6 in.

  • Rafa Pérez: Untitled #22

  • Signe Schjøth

    Signe Schjøth's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

    “I work process-oriented with the examination of form, which in its presence appears in organic shapes and in rhythmic lines in motion. The starting point was the idea of a flower as a radiant energy and elegance both remarkable and luxuriant, a testament to the existence of everyday miracles. The creation of an aesthetic, sensuous, material object has always been the essence of my work, but the objects have since 2002 become more abstract. At the moment I am asking myself: Is it possible by combining or colliding senses to reach a more complex form? That is my ambition.

    All my works are hand-built. To achieve a sense of elegance and fragility the shapes are made thin in comparison to their size. Furthermore I have put a lot of effort into achieving a harmonic surface and a defined access of lines to intensify the character of each object.

    The surfaces maintain a texture which reflects the depth and sensuous presence of forms found in nature. Together these accentuate the overall tactile quality of the works.” Signe Schjøth

    Born in Copenhagen in 1974, Signe Schjøth was trained at the Ceramic School of Bornholm (1999 – 2002) and since then she has been selected for several international exhibitions.

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