“I work with clay to create an array of graceful, sensuous, organic forms. These pieces are made through a variety of hand-building methods such as slab-building, coiling, pinching, and forming with molds. Rarely relying on glaze, I use textures, stains, and colored clay to add visual and tactile interest. I am drawn toward neutral earth tones that complement rather than distract from my intricate sculptural vessels.
The curving lines and interplay of light and shadow in my work generate an illusion of movement, giving each piece an almost lifelike quality. A successful piece is one that begs to be touched as well as explored visually.” Elizabeth Shriver
Clémence van Lunen exhibition / Galerie NeC, Hong Kong October 5 - November 18, 2012
Opening: Thursday, October 4, from 6 pm.
"Sculpture, polyglot, curious and on the alert, fascinated by the countries which she has discovered, cultures and languages which she practises and likes, Clémence Van Lunen is a renaissance woman. She develops multiple works which could be defined as high curiosity in the same sense we sometimes describe ancient amateurs cabinet, but in her case it is in an eclectic and knowledgable way. The art critic and exhibition curator Frédéric Bodet wrote about her work, "rare forms are expressed with an indecisive act, dedicated to the enjoyment as much as to the dismay that she constantly tries to disturb us, her sculptures evoke a sort of sympathy which makes you stop and hesitate." Her invitation to Sèvres in 2007 - that allowed me to get to know her better - stood out as an evidence, as a necessary stage for her after her travels a round the world and her research in ceramics.
On her return from one of her regular travels to China, she proposed at Cité de la céramique a universe of porcelain dragons (she chose on purpose the most symbolic animal of China), with the determination to produce them all herself with an never before used experimental mixture of porcelain pastas from our mill.
Compositions of a series of porcelain elements turned, deformed then wrapped up, gathered in an experimental way and delicately assembled, the monumental sculptures required the traditional techniques of production but, however, adapted in a personal and creative way. She then imagined an centre piece , consisting of several elements of biscuit which was built up of a small «archipelago» on a table, like so many islands with strange plants; it was an invitation to a new journey!
Her experience at la Cité de la céramique illustrates perfectly its capacity to create a gateway, to imagine formal round trips, cultural and aesthetic juxtapositions, which are her trademark and her talent.”
David Caméo, Director of Sèvres, Cité de la Ceramique France
Opening Reception: Friday, September 14, 5:30 - 8:30 pm.
Art on the Avenue Gallery, at 3808 Lancaster Avenue, is pleased to present Arina Ailincăi: IN-SCRIPTED BODY, a solo sculpture exhibition featuring recent works in clay of this noteworthy international artist.
Arina Ailincăi is a truly international artist. Raised and educated in Romania, she began her artistic career in Eastern Europe. In the 1980s she crossed the Atlantic and settled in Canada, where she was soon acknowledged as one of its most talented artists working in clay. At that time she also exhibited and lectured in the United States. Over the last several years, she has been invited to work, exhibit and lecture at major ceramic art centers and international events throughout Europe, including Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Turkey. Most recently she has held residencies in China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
Arina Ailincăi’s art focuses on the human figure, with the body cast using real bodies - often her own. The closeresemblance of the ceramic sculpture to the actual body is only a starting point for her deeper exploration of the universal human condition as an embodied self. Ailincai’s sculptures in clay are philosophically and metaphorically charged. The markings on the outer surface and the mysterious inscriptions in the hollow interior of the body transform the replica of a particular individual into an archetypal human vessel, holding the traces of inner life, time, place and history.
"My desire is to “write” a three dimensional poem to both the fragile physical body and the intangible world of our inner existence. I translate this desire into ceramic sculpture through the use of faithfully replicated, life-size clay body-casts and fragments. I press the clay into the plaster mold to create ”the shell," a hollowed out body shape: an empty vessel containing the inner self, with its personal and universal history. The scripts imprinted on the interior walls of the shell, acquire symbolic and metaphoric dimensions, becoming a palimpsest of the entire human existence. While most of my works are made in clay, I make use of other materials and techniques, often combining drawing and photography in my installations. I want to synthesize two-dimensional and three-dimensional vocabularies into a visual language charged with meaning, which directs the viewers to sense their location, both within and without.” Arina Ailincăi
Erskine, Hall & Coe are pleased to announce the exhibition of the celebrated contemporary sculptor, Ruth Duckworth.
The exhibition includes 22 artworks in bronze, porcelain and stoneware. The earliest dates from 1965 but the majority of pieces are from the period of late 1980s through to work completed in the final year of Duckworth’s life. The gallery has been working closely with Thea Burger, who represents the Duckworth Estate.
Writing in her essay to accompany the exhibition Thea Burger states: “Duckworth was a modernist sculptor who loved form. She was not about colour, but was about the subtle shape of her pieces. Her forms are typically created in porcelain, stoneware, or bronze. Much admired, she has art works in most of the world’s most prestigious museums, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Los Angeles Country Museum, the Victoria and Albert, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Tokyo Museum of Art.”
In Ruth Duckworth, Modernist Sculptor written by Jo Lauria and Tony Birks, Duckworth talks of her process of creating a sculpture: Ruth Duckworth Porcelain.
“Play is the essence of creativity. Creative play and gut reaction, instinct. When I work on a piece, I play. I have a whole huge section of the studio where I have an inventory of sculptural forms, simple, abstract, non-specific shapes that I find beautiful and enjoy making. Then I start building these shapes together. And when I find myself smiling, I say “hello!” I think I’ve got something. The process is intuitive, not intellectual. You have to learn to be spontaneous and trust yourself.”
Opening reception: Thursday, September 13, 18.00 pm.
The modern reality evokes more and more catastrophic visions, not as much of the end of the world perhaps, but rather of the decline of the world as we know it. Last century’s escalating occurrence of natural disasters and the worryingly fast degradation of the environment are food for thought, resulting in the eco trends on the one hand, and growing speculation crowned with the prophecies of the demise of civilization on the other. In this situation, we are more thorough in creating architecture which is resistant to the most severe disasters, buying insurance policies which will hypothetically safeguard our future. We assume optimistically that we will somehow survive and manage to preserve our civilization.
In his latest project entitled “Seeds – the art of survival”, Marek Cecuła goes a step further, envisaging the annihilation of humankind in his vision of the future. However, he assumes that it is possible to preserve the material which enables Rebirth, as well as substances and tools needed for further functioning. All which is needed to that end is finding a form, a capsule made of an ultra-resistant material guaranteeing the preservation of the survival substance. The nature suggests a solution – the “seeds” are based on actual plant seeds, while their outer texture brings to mind the exceptionally durable diamond. The material used by the artist to generate his “seeds” is ceramics, whose durability is proved by archaeological excavations, which allow us to track down the development of civilization from the prehistoric times, through antiquity, to the modern era.
The exhibition in Wrocław’s BWA Glass and Ceramics Gallery blends art and science. Building terror and suspense, Cecuła shows the viewers real materials from the sites of natural disasters, statistics and scientific data presenting the real picture of what we are threatened with, a detailed description of the material used in building the seeds, and finally the main hero, together with the contents guaranteeing – according to the artist – the survival of substances ensuring Rebirth. There is no space left for any valuable objects representing our culture or development of civilization, there are no technological gizmos. Cecuła refers to the sources of life, only intending to preserve the existence of live matter which would allow an evolutionary revival of the civilization. The exhibition presents twenty large and twenty small “seeds”. Each is composed of two airtight elements. In its final version, the project is planned to contain a hundred such forms to be distributed all over the planet in order to secure the ultimate survival. The design of the “seeds”, their aesthetic form, is supposed to evoke a sense of security and hope for Rebirth.
Selections and Installation by Jeffry Mitchell Curated by Jeffry Mitchell and Namita Gupta Wiggers
Erik Gronborg employs archetypes of functional ceramic traditions as conceptual vehicles to explore contemporary culture. Combining a 1,000-year-old-continuum of ceramic history with silk-screening, comics, china paint, and commercial glazes, Gronborg’s provocative “crafty” and non-precious approach is a precursor to the “sloppy craft” that is as challenging today as it was in the late 1960s. Working with Seattle-based artist Jeffry Mitchell, selections of Gronborg’s work will be drawn from local public and private collections. Through dialogue and conversation throughout the process with Namita Gupta Wiggers, and an installation designed by Mitchell, the exhibition will explore Gronborg’s use of craft as a tool for social commentary and political satire, and how the work relates to Mitchell’s own explorations of ceramics as a contemporary medium.
Location: Collection Gallery
Opening August 7, 2012 and running through February 16, 2013, this exhibition is part of a series of ongoing explorations in which the Museum invites fresh perspectives on the collection and archive by partnering with artists, creative people, and designers to create public exhibitions. Director and Chief Curator Namita Gupta Wiggers invited ceramic artist Jeffry Mitchell to make selections of Gronborg’s work as a way of fostering a dialogue between the work of these two artists of different generations and as a way of creating conversation around Gronborg’s work.
The Museum is recording conversations between Wiggers and Mitchell about Mitchell’s selections and groupings of the senior artist’s work. These conversations center on the use of craft as a tool for social commentary and political satire, and how Gronborg’s work relates to Mitchell’s own explorations of ceramics as a contemporary sculptural medium. Reflecting on Erik Gronborg, co-curated by Mitchell and Wiggers, features work from the Museum’s collection and from private collections in Portland. The more than 85 works by Gronborg include ceramic, wood, and miniature bronze sculptures.
Erik Gronborg, who moved to the United States from Denmark in 1959, almost immediately began making what he considers functional ceramic works that explore contemporary culture. Combining the 1,000-year-old-continuum of ceramic history with silk-screening, comics, china paint, and commercial glazes, Gronborg’s provocative “crafty” and non-precious approach is a precursor to the “sloppy craft” that is as challenging today as it was in the late 1960s. Gronborg, whose last kiln firing was in 1996, won The City of Paris Award at The Paris Bienale in 1963. Gronborg has spent most of his life as an artist and educator at various institutions in California and also taught at Reed College from 1965-69.
A retrospective of Mitchell’s work, Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell, opens at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle in October 2012. Mitchell was awarded a Joan Mitchell Grant in 2009 and was a finalist for the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards at the Portland Art Museum in 2008. His work was included in the ICA’s 2009 exhibition, Dirt on Delight: Impulses that Form Clay. Mitchell is represented by Ambach & Rice in Los Angeles.
“I understand the world in an evocative fashion and view my artworks as both physical and philosophical memorials to ‘Closeness’. During the construction of new works in series, I commonly consider ideas such as the value of community and family, the honesty of both gross and tedious labor, and the mysteriousness of the metaphysical.
I primarily construct pieces using my hands and molding methods while also using found manufactured ceramics. Captured materials, images and forms; of man and of machine; from immediate and distant pasts are merged in commemorative context where contemplation defines their functional nature. Individually they are cups, plaques, and cultural icons made in clay. Collectively, they express proximity and distance, material and immaterial, and both the tangible and intangible.” Jason Hackett
“The impulse to decorate is strong. The push to create a border or impose a structured order on the already beautiful order of the (chaotic) natural world is compelling. Humans have always done so.
My work draws from and responds to visual idioms found throughout human history. Visual languages flow from culture to culture and through time; I explore how the changes of motifs and technologies show development and transformation in societies. I draw from our species’ long and intimate relationship with our surroundings, both natural and man-made. To that end, I use a variety of mostly found and repurposed clays to refer to both the contributions of previous makers in our collective art history and the stratigraphy of the Earth. My work is influenced by archaeology, geology, industry and the commonality of human experience through time and across culture.” Patricia Sannit
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Patricia Sannit received her BA in ceramics, Art History and Norwegian from the University of Minnesota and her MFA from the California College of Arts. She now lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Sannit’s work is influenced by her experiences excavating in the Near East and Ethiopia. Sannit’s most recent project is a large-scale ceramic installation, Citadel, based on an archeological site in Iraq. “I am interested in the story of the earth, our species, and pots. History is manifest in the scarred and worn surface of our planet and in a pot well made and well used.”