Şirin Koçak / Kuğulu Art Gallery, Ankara, Turkey

Sirin Kocak exhibition, Kugulu Art Gallery Ankara, Turkey

Şirin Koçak / Kuğulu Art Gallery, Ankara, Turkey
February 10-28, 2014

"Şirin Koçak sticks in our mind with her works in which senses, experiences, broken hearts, and memories of today and the past are blended with a deep and shocking taste. Traces from the past finds a new integrity and expression in her both subjective and universal works made of ceramic clay.

First of all, Koçak prefers to use all the advantages of ceramic clay to the utmost in her works. Natural structural properties of clay and the identity codes forming the virtual identity of clay come to life again in her works. As in “Line” series, consciously unremoved traces of the production techniques can become the main purpose of the study. We can see the story of clay out of these traces, and we are left alone with the reflections of these traces in our inner world. The linear structure on the surface establishes a direct relationship between a function like “drinking” and “touch-tactile” features. Pure and tactile effects of hand shaping present the visual expressions of mankind’s existence as a part of nature in “Light” series, which are full of Neolithic allusions. These works being the integral parts of an archaic expression question the association of the substance with light. They emphasize the significance of the footprint of the matter in the universe, and the space. Concave and convex structures gain new dimensions with different reflections of light and create an illusion effect in places. We see the traces of this inner space also in closed forms of “Circle” series. Although the forms stand out with their natural linear glazed textures on them, the inner space is full of the load of inner energy imprisoned in a body.

Ups and downs in life, happiness and disappointment are the witnesses of her subjective history in Şirin Koçak’s works.

"Days of one heart" project is a cinematographic-photographic expression of this witnessing. Koçak describes this work in her sensory language: “this work is so special to me! The work in the form of a single heart is presented with its photographs in new stories which take place in different venues, and in the hands of different people. This heart has been an object that has been with me anytime anywhere in this two-year period that I felt all alone. Without prior planning, I took photos of the object in different places and tried to reflect the object’s (my) mood. The journal of one and same object… sometimes it was cracked, and I repaired it, sometimes it was broken, and I fixed it; my fighting spirit that still continues to exist”. Although the photographed places are examples of a spontaneous selection, their coexistence with the ceramic heart takes us to different fictive worlds. Sometimes a door sill and sometimes a pond presents an opportunity to navigate our own dream world. That a vital organ such as heart is left such open and exposed refers to unprotectedness and finding life in any condition. The presence of heart disembodied reveals the contradictions that make our life meaningful.

Şirin Koçak pushes the boundaries of traditional and cliché expressions of ceramic. The photographic expressions and different materials that she uses in her works help ceramic to be regarded as a modern art medium.

One mustn’t think that she is an artist who is technique-dependent and focuses on technique since some techniques such as Naked Raku are in front in her works. Şirin Koçak is an artist who can use all the advantages of different techniques in different production processes consciously and skillfully. A dream explorer travelling around senses, experiences, and upsets…”
Words by Kemal Tizgöl

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Anders Ruhwald and Matt Ziemke / The Clay Studio, Philadelphia

Anders Ruhwald and Matt Ziemke at The Clay Studio, Philadelphia
February 7 - March 2, 2014

The Clay Studio will host a reception for Cranbrook Alumni on Saturday Feburary 8th at 2pm. Matt Ziemkie will give a Gallery Talk at 3 pm within his solo exhibition Adrift and Anders Ruhwald will give a gallery talk at 3.30 pm within his solo exhibition Almost Everything.

Anders Ruhwald Almost Everything exhibition at The Clay Studio

Anders Ruhwald: Almost Everything / Harrison Gallery

Danish-born artist Anders Ruhwald makes art that is  “a meditation on utility, the history of ceramics and object-hood”. Almost Everything was created in 2009 and has been exhibited at galleries in five European countries before making its United States debut at The Clay Studio.

Ruhwald has lectured and taught at universities and colleges around Europe and North America since 2006 and has held an associate professorship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently he is the Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Ceramics Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, USA.

Matt Ziemke Adrift exhibition at The Clay Studio

Matt Ziemke: Adrift / Reed-Smith Gallery

Former Clay Studio Resident Artist Matt Ziemke draws his inspiration from the tense relationship between the landscape and those who live and build within it. His ceramic forms reflect his broad vision of material culture that leans harder on industry than domesticity. His installations are drawn from the vast reservoirs of familiar (but practically invisible) structures that dot the modern landscape.

Matt Ziemke received his MFA in 2011 from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. He has exhibited widely in the United States and is currently serving as a Visiting Artist in Ceramics and Adjunct Instructor at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany.

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Yeesookyung: The Meaning of Time / Locks Gallery, Philadelphia

Yeesookyung: The Meaning of Time at Locks Gallery Philadelphia

Yeesookyung: The Meaning of Time / Locks Gallery, Philadelphia
February 7 - March 15, 2014

Artist reception: Friday, February 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Locks Gallery is pleased to present The Meaning of Time, the first solo exhibition in the United States by the Korean artist Yeesookyung, on view February 7 through March 15, 2014. This exhibition is intended to be a contemporary perspective in dialogue with the nationally touring exhibition of Korean Joseon Dynasty artifacts that will be on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on March 2, 2014. An illustrated catalog of the works will accompany the exhibition with an essay by writer Robert C Morgan.

In this exhibition, Yee revisits traditional Korean arts in work featuring porcelain and gold sculptures, silk scroll paintings, and a video dance performance. This work reflects both a wisdom from decades of conceptual art practice and a rigorous formal training in her elegant craftsmanship. Identifying herself as a “local artist,” Yee’s work reflects poetically on specific Korean cultural traditions and histories. But in the context of globalization, the work poignantly reflects how traditions taken from the past are re-imagined and recontextualized.

Known internationally for her Translated Vase series, Yee collects porcelain shards from Korean ceramists who make reproductions of Joseon Dynasty white porcelain and Goryeo Dynasty celadon masterworks. By making intuitive voluptuous forms out of their “trash”, Yee employs the traditional method of repairing ceramics with gold. Meanwhile the works play with language as gold and crack (both “geum”) are homonyms in Korean.

Also on view are recent silk scroll paintings from the series Flame Variation. Echoing the graphic iconographic style of the wall paintings of the Gorguryeo Tombs with the spatial organization of symmetrical Buddhist paintings, Yee combines traditional religious imagery with that of fairy tales, cartoons, myths, and allegories. From a distance the scrolls appear to be traditional artifacts, but upon further inspection they are captivating in their non-linear narratives and distinctly contemporary graphic content.

Yeesookyung’s video dance work, Twin Dance, is an extended meditation on Kyo Bang Choom, a traditional Korean dance performed by women of the Joseon Dynasty. The work explores a relationship with symmetry akin to the silk scroll paintings. The video completes this constellation of works that represent her recent conceptual investigations into Korean cultural traditions with distinctly contemporary approaches.

Yeesookyung (b. 1963) is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Seoul, Korea. She recieved both her undergraudate degree and MFA in painting from the National University in Seoul. The artist has completed residencies at Villa Arson, Apex Art, and the Bronx Museum. Yee’s work has been shown internationally at the 6th Gwanju Biennale (2006), ARCO (2007), the 5th Liverpool Biennal (2008) the Vancouver Biennale (2009), the Buson Biennale (2010), and the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012). She has been included in notable recent exhibitions including “Women In-Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012” at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, the 2012 Korea Art Prize exhibition at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korean Eye 2012 at Saatchi Gallery in London, and The Collectors Show: WEight of History at the Singapore Art Museum in 2012. Her works can be found in the collections of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, IFEMA ARCO Collection in Madrid, Echigo-Tsumari City Collection Japan, Saatchi Collection in London, the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, among others.

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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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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

Clara Garesio: Desired lands / Linee Contemporanee, Salerno, Italy

Clara Garesio at Linee Contemporanee, Salerno, Italy

Clara Garesio: Desired lands / Linee Contemporanee, Salerno, Italy
January 24 - February 15, 2014

"Giving a definition of the work by Clara Garesio is fortunately impossible, since it moves beyond stereotypes or fashions. Indulges in an impulse, driven by the need to communicate their feelings, here and now , it relies on the uncertainty of the fire, as in a trance track marks in a game of bold geometric shapes and colors of scanned drunkenness explosive , eagerly awaiting the result and awe , because – as the artist says - every piece is the battle between my mind and the material that I use , and sometimes losing is just as wonderful." And here are the vessels of the slender forms, architectures dream , the perforated tiles, plates, rounds, translucent balls, terracotta reliefs soaring, archetypal installations and tiles lit by red, blue, green and yellow in harmonious contrast where the size of plastic, combined with the dynamic coloring of enamel, resulting in the tale of cloistered life that you look at the world . The icon are eyes wide on eternity and the hands that reach out beyond time and space to touch the infinite. But the symbol, the recognizable signature of Garesio, is the mandala , the magic circle, the transience and rebirth , the destructive force that becomes a source of life." Erminia Pellecchia, 2013

Clara Garesio was born in Turin, Italy, in 1938. She started her artistic career in ceramics and decoration at the age of 10 at the famous Civica Scuola di Arte Ceramica in Turin, Italy. In 1955 she was admitted to the “Istituto Statale d’Arte per la Ceramica” in Faenza (Italy) where completed her studies in 1957. In 1956 she was awarded first prize in the “International ceramic competition of Faenza”, Faenza (Italy) and in 1957 she was appointed by the Faenza Institute of Ceramics to create the pottery collection commissioned by the Persian Court. In 1957 she started teaching ceramics at the l’Istituto Statale d’Arte di Isernia where she was Head of the Ceramics Department for eight years. In 1960 she won an award in the National Competition for Decoration of the Istituto Statale d’Arte di Castelli (Teramo, Italy) and In 1961 the Italian Ministry of Education appointed her as founding artist of the “Istituto Professionale di Stato per l’Industria e l’Artigianato della Porcellana Caselli” in Naples, where she taught Porcelain decoration and ornamental plastics for 10 years. Since 1981 she served as head of the ceramic department of public schools in Naples until retirement from teaching in 2000. Since 2001 she was appointed Professor Emeritus of the School of Fine Arts in Naples, Italy While Clara Garesio’s best known works are ceramic and porcelain, she has worked in a variety of materials and other media. In addition to commissions in ceramic and porcelain, she has worked in ceramic relief and tile murals, concrete, glass, fabricated metal and plastic sculptures and jewels, and design of colorful tapestries.

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Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form / Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City, Tennessee

Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form at Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City

Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form / Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City, Tennessee
January 21 - February 14, 2014

The ETSU Department of Art & Design and Slocumb Galleries in partnershp with the Urban Redevelopment Alliance present “Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form” from January 21 to February 14, at the Tipton Gallery. Some of the participating artists will discuss their work during the reception on February 7, First Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.. In addition, the ArtIfact gallery talk is scheduled on February 13, Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss the exhibit as it explores the diverse sculptural forms created by artists working on figurative clay in the region.

Most often, ceramics is associated with vessels and utilitarian objects, and has provided an excellent array of functional forms overshadowing its aspect as equally remarkable medium for other sculptural configurations. This show is curated to celebrate the figurative and non-utilitarian form of ceramic as art form. Ceramics is one of the more popular and established craft media in Southern Appalachian region, and this malleable medium has evolved to various permutations and tactile experimentations. The exhibition “Earthen Bodies” features works that provide diverse perspectives and a range of styles and utilization of ceramics as medium for sculpture.

The invited artists from the Tri-states of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia are Sally Brogden, Melisa Cadell, Carol Gentithes, Mindy Herrin, Kevin Kao, Richard Kortum, Val Lyle, AJ Masterson, and Ed Miller.
Curated by Karlota Contreras-Koterbay.

ETSU faculty Mindy Herrin and alumni Melisa Caddell both create meticulous and complex figurative sculptures, mostly investigating the female body fabricated with other media such as encaustics and metal works. Herrin describes her work as depicting dialogue as surfacing in the “guise of affliction or struggle.” Her anatomical heroines illustrate women’s physical struggle and mental perspectives in its aspiration to overcome the body’s limitation. In parallel, Cadell’s elongated, and at times emaciated or mutated figures are visualization of her thoughts on “confinement and transcendence of the human body”, often as efforts to provoke dialogue on issues such as mortality and the unexpected consequences of genetics and technology.

This common thread of employing the female body is also prevalent on the works of Val Lyle. Lyle’s ceramic torsos made from clay are gestural forms that are characterized as sensual, organic and emotive as the artist strives to relate to the viewers on a “primitive level”.

Last year’s Positive Negative national juried exhibit’s Best of Show awardee Kevin Kao’s work also explores the human form, yet his figures portray a very different crowd from the female sculptors in the exhibition. Most obvious are the androgynous or male subjects and its uncanny statement on race and identity. Kao’s “character-objects are surreal images that portray whimsy, pain and satisfaction,” at times reminiscent of ‘super flat’ aesthetics and anime generation. This younger generation of Kao, Ed Miller and AJ Masterson employ humor on their work, at times anthropomorphing animal figures. In this era of social networking, artists like Miller who considers his work as form of journalism as he “observe the world and report my findings through sculpture”, it is not surprising to find quirky LOL animals and complex ‘selfies’ in 3D.

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Being Here & Being Thus. Sculpture, Object & Stage / Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt

Being Here Being Thus. Sculpture, Object, Stage exhibition at Frankfurter Kunstverein

Being Here & Being Thus. Sculpture, Object & Stage / Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt
January 23 - April 13, 2014

Opening reception: Thursday, January 23, 2014, from 8 pm.

The world of things seems to be dissolving. Due to digitalization, our living environment is rapidly becoming more and more immaterial—despite the unlimited amount of consumer items that we encounter on a daily basis. At the same time, it is possible to observe a growing interest in the lost and changing materiality of the world around us. Recently the cultural and social sciences announced a “material turn.” One is discovering the material aspects of knowledge production and social practices as well as the material aspects of communication processes and aesthetic production. Also in sculpture a reassessment of materials, things, and objects seems to be taking place. Bringing together unusual elements, artists are creating a new formal language, which produces a confrontation between the things as they are and the aesthetic of materials.

The exhibition Being Here & Being Thus. Sculpture, Object & Stage presents works by nine artists who use sculpture in a variety of ways. They combine additive and subtractive processes, the manipulation of scale, and installation. Things and materials are cast, folded, glued, carved, and cut; they are combined with additional elements to underscore or minimize physical, symbolic, or narrative qualities. The exhibition unfolds as an exploration of the concepts of “sculpture,” “object,” and “stage.” Some works appear to viewers as a physical counterpart. Others consist of elements, whose former purpose is still recognizable. Nevertheless, the original function of the object is underscored. A third group of works take the form of spatial arrangements that can be entered, variables in a temporary situation in which inter-relationships play a primary role—with the viewer as a component of the work. All works in the exhibition “Being Here & Being Thus” are characterized by an immediate quality. As technical or organic configurations, they convey a character, an expressiveness, and an immense presence, referring thereby to nothing beyond themselves.

Exhibited artists: Maria Anisimowa, Peter Buggenhout, Sandra Havlicek, Sofia Hultén, Sabine Kuehnle, Thomas Moecker, Simon Rübesamen, Michael E. Smith, Andrea Winkler
Curators: Holger Kube Ventura and Lilian Engelmann

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