You will receive two newsletters per month featuring our latest articles - interviews, reviews and information on contemporary ceramic art exhibitions.
Elizabeth Shriver: Swan Gourd, 2007, Ceramic, 17 x 17x 13 in.
Elizabeth Shriver: Fossil Gourd, 2011, Ceramic, 18 x 9 x 9 in.
Elizabeth Shriver: Coral Swirl Vessel, 2010, Ceramic, 16 x 8 x 8 in.
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
Arina Ailincăi: IN-SCRIPTED BODY / Art on the Avenue Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
September 14 - October 7, 2012
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
Contemporary Clay Invitational / j fergeson gallery, Farmville, VA
October 5 - December 15, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 13, 5:00 pm.
The latest show at the j fergeson gallery in Farmville, VA, explores the diverse possibilities of what can be done with clay. This show, the gallery’s largest of the year, features works from 30 national artists. Here one will find both sculptural and functional pieces, but perhaps most interesting is the way the artists have settled somewhere in between.
The show is an extraordinary collection of ceramic work by artists working at the top of their field. Co-curators Andréa Keys Connell, lead professor in clay at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Adam Paulek, lead professor in clay at Longwood University, chose the artists for their commitment to fine craft, progressive thought, sensitivity to material and humor.
Artist A. Blair Clemo, inspired by the ornate history of European Decorative Arts, creates vessels that are functional, but also ridiculously opulent, as if ready to serve royalty. John Oliver Lewis presents two sculptures inspired equally by architecture, natural land formations, cartoons, and candy - think Monument Valley out of salt water taffy. And then there’s Darrin Ekern’s “potasaurus”: a sculpture of a T-Rex in a studio throwing a pot.
A. Blair Clemo, Kurt Anderson, Tom Bartel, Jason Hackett, Hiroe Hanazono, Mike Jabbur, Bethany Krull, John Oliver Lewis, Richard Nickel, Nathan Prouty, Debbie Quick, Dave Smith, Mikey Walsh, Trent Berning, Kelly Berning, Jeff Campana, Sam Chung, David Eichelberger, Darrin Ekern, Misty Gamble, Meredith Host Kowalski, Nicole Aquillano, Frank Martin, Dan Molyneux, Chris Picket, Adrian Sandstrom, Amy Santafararo, Shawn Spangler, Kendra Sparks, Adero Willard.
This variety of work isn’t often seen in small galleries, and the curators are excited to present it to an audience that may be unfamiliar with just how adventurous contemporary clay has become.
Ruth Duckworth exhibition / Erskine Hall & Coe, London
September 5 - October 4, 2012
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.”
Download the catalogue of the exhibition or view the catalogue online.
Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos / NEW MUSEUM, New York
October 24, 2012 - January 13, 2013
Co-curated by Rosemarie Trockel and Lynne Cooke for the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, “Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos”—encompassing all three main gallery floors of the New Museum building on the Bowery—will present a world shaped by Trockel’s ideas, interests, and affinities. Instead of a traditional retrospective, this exhibition takes the form of an artistic self-portrait in which Trockel’s work shares space with objects that have influenced her thinking and her practice. Spanning different eras and cultures, “A Cosmos” brings together objects from disparate fields to compose a cartography of Trockel’s influences.
Since the early 1970s, Rosemarie Trockel has produced an impressive body of work that includes drawing, collage, installation, “knit paintings,” ceramics, videos, furniture, clothing, and books. She brings together a range of associations and references from art history, philosophy, theology, and the natural sciences. For “A Cosmos,” the dense field of Trockel’s influences will be articulated in installations that illuminate the intellectual and formal connections between her practice and that of a range of historical figures including self-taught artists James Castle and Morton Bartlett, and the botanist/mathematician José Celestino Mutis. Objects whose impetus was primarily aesthetic will be juxtaposed with pieces that more conventionally belong to the realm of science. Trockel’s roughhewn glazed ceramics from the past several years will be displayed in conjunction with Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka’s delicate glass models of sea creatures created in the nineteenth century. A selection of new drawings by Trockel can be examined along with watercolors by the seventeenth-century artist Maria Sybilla Merian, whose impeccably precise yet beautiful renderings of flora and fauna proved invaluable to scientific study.
Trockel’s well-known disregard for the conventional hierarchies in the visual arts, together with her longstanding appreciation of media and materials once categorized as crafts or vernacular art forms, is demonstrated throughout the exhibition. She has adopted a fluid and radical approach to gender, combining activities typically considered feminine in terms of production with aggressive mechanical and industrial forms. This facet of her practice is emphasized through the inclusion of Judith Scott’s obsessively wrapped yarn sculptures alongside Ruth Francken’s plastic and metal assemblages from the 1970s. In addition, Trockel’s celebrated “knit paintings” will be integrated into the exhibition, along with new works made of glass.
Rosemarie Trockel was born in 1952 in Schwerte, Germany. She studied at the Kölner Werkschulen in Cologne, Germany. Since 1998, she has been a professor at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. She lives and works in Cologne.
Marek Cecuła: SEEDS / Glass and Ceramics Gallery, Wrocław, Poland
September 13 - October 10, 2012
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.
Contemporary Ceramics / Stremmel Gallery, Reno, Nevada
September 20 – October 20, 2012
Opening reception: Thursday, September 20, 5.30 – 7.30 pm.
Stremmel Gallery will host an opening reception for “Contemporary Ceramics,” an exhibition of work by 18 contemporary ceramic artists hailing from the western United States, Thursday, September 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This eclectic and wide-ranging group represents a dynamic and diverse approach to the tradition of functional and non-functional ceramics.
Montana ceramicist Rudy Autio is best known for his figurative ceramic vessels. He was a founding resident artist of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana.
Reno-based artist Rebekah Bogard employs fictional animals in her artwork as a means of exploring the narrative and history of her life. She has received numerous awards, including being named an “Emerging Artist” by both the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and Ceramics Monthly Magazine.
A familiar face to Stremmel Gallery, Robert Brady’s unique style and imagery represents the morphing of a personal lexicon of graphic symbols with color, revealing a whimsical sense of humor, energetic process and primitive mixture of materials. His work has been featured in galleries and museums across the country.
Josh DeWeese’s inspiration stems from how pots can be used as a means of bringing art into our lives. His pottery serves a multitude of purposes: comfortable to use, enjoyable to look at, and interesting to think about.
An artist whose history with clay spans more than 30 years, Robert Harrison creates birdhouses with Oriental elements. Focusing on architectural concepts, his pieces are more intimate, allowing for an intensified level of exploration.
Susie Ketchum creates detailed, hand-painted ceramics illustrated with iconic and abstract designs. Like Mexican folk art, her images are playful, with underlying themes of life and death.
Montana-based artist Steven Young Lee’s work investigates the process of recognition - how as individuals, we draw realities based on experiences and our environment. He plays on preconceptions related to numbers, superstitions, symbolism, and identity that are universal, yet particular to specific cultures.