Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present young New York artist Francesca DiMattio’s first solo exhibition in Europe from 10 October to 17 November 2012, and her first showing in London since her large scale canvases were seen in Saatchi Gallery’s Abstract America in 2009. Bloemenhouder and Kandelaar offers us the opportunity to see DiMattio’s vibrant and painterly sculptures standing on their own, showing the vitality and eccentricity of the large-scale ceramic pieces she has been developing over the past two years.
DiMattio’s paintings have often made reference to feminine craft techniques such as sewing, weaving or quilt making. In an attempt to shift the assumption that these crafts are most often delicate or small-scale domestic creations, she scales them up and uses a rougher, more masculine hand. Keeping with an interest in domestic craft, it is fitting that her sculptures are formed from ceramic. Using a material deeply ingrained in rules, craft and history, she turns it on its head by irreverently pulling from its history and pairing extravagant reference with crude slabs marked by fingers and punch marks.
In this exhibition, DiMattio investigates the history of porcelain to examine the ways in which visual iconography moves through culture. She looks at how porcelain’s visual history is one of copies, fakes and re-makes; how a revered technique such as the blue and white design found on a Ming Vase was copied by the English, Dutch and French, morphing and changing slightly through each iteration, and can now be found on a kitsch object in a gift shop. Like her paintings, the sculptures here juxtapose conflicting historical references, from 18th century English Wedgwood, French Rococo and Ming Dynasty to kitsch animal figurines. These are grafted objects, fusing disparate elements into a curious new whole. Each piece is made completely as one, rather than from found forms put together after the firing. The different passages affect one another, with glaze from one element interrupting, transforming and connecting multiple facets of the same sculpture.
DiMattio’s new work incorporates bases and handles of various forms, from gilded heaps of clay to delicately sculpted adorning flowers. Bases of piled up clay are reminiscent of Chris Ofili’s elephant dung, whilst a slumping torso-like coil pot seems on the verge of collapse. Debris made by sculpting animalia has been collected and put on the adjacent surface, creating a rough texture made of dust, chunks and trimmings, and elements in high gloss sit next to bright matte colour. DiMattio creates unstable and shifting objects that are a combination of various logics of taste. In Cuvette à Tombeau, one moment the china-painted landscape is beautiful and the bright rough-textured yellow feels broken, crude or flawed, and on a second look, the texture becomes vibrant and rich, whilst the landscape becomes something you might find in a thrift shop. The changeability of taste is heightened and examined through DiMattio’s uncanny pairings that ask the viewer to look closely at and interrogate these new abstract and de-hierarchised forms.
Duet: Mark Goudy and Liza Riddle / SMAart Gallery & Studio, San Francisco November 1-30, 2012
Opening Reception: November 1st, 6-10 pm.
Mark Goudy and Liza Riddle (Thundercloud studio) present a collection of their beautiful recent works. Both artists use metal salts that permeate the surface of their burnished vessels. The results are an incredible watercolor like surfaces reminiscent of galaxies, the deep ocean weathered stone, frosted glass or microorganisms.
"My approach is to combine ancient methods of stone-burnishing and earthenware firing with computer-aided shape design to produce talismans that fuse traditional and modern aesthetics. Surface markings are created by painting water-soluble metal salts on bisque-fired clay. These watercolors permeate the clay body, and become a permanent part of the surface when fired. I have a strong affinity for intricate abstract patterns, ones that can’t be fully comprehended with a single glance, an invitation to in-depth exploration." Mark Goudy
"I seek to create a work which evokes a sense of wonder and mystery, forms that beckon to be held and admired. I find delight in closely observing and then interpreting natural objects and events – weathered boulders on a mountain slope, wind ripples on a gray blue sea, complex designs on a delicate bird egg – their rhythms, patterns and forces have greatly inspired my work." Liza Riddle
SMAart Gallery & Studio was founded in September 2012 and opened its doors at 1045 Sutter Street in San Francisco.
SMAart offers gallery exhibits, studio rentals and ceramic classes. Founder Steven M Allen opened SMAart to fulfill a longtime dream of having a gallery, a place to teach art to the community, and a place to create art in a creative open environment surrounded by other inspiring artists.
CONCEPTION - Part Two / Canvas Galleries, Belfast September 27 - October 11, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 27, 6.30 - 9.00 pm.
Following on from Conception Part One London in June, Darren MacPherson and Patrick Colhoun introduce the second part of a two part exhibition of work from two very different but complimentary artists. Two mediums, MacPherson’s vibrant, acid coloured figurative paintings alongside Colhoun’s dark, brooding, somewhat disturbing contemporary sculpture.
Part one in June was London, MacPherson’s base; part two is Belfast, Colhoun’s hometown.
Part one, described as ‘Art with balls’ by Cool on Demand Culture blog, showcased the work in a gritty industrial setting in South East London. The second venue will be a contemporary white cube gallery in Belfast, a city really starting to find its feet in the genre of contemporary art.
Two artists, two cities, two cultures, two mediums.
Darren MacPherson has a growing reputation as a contemporary figurative artist whose acrylic and spray paint works are bold and full of colour.
His frequent use of high key colours can be jarring, even startling to a first-time viewer. The negative space in the composition used merely to emphasise the foreground; this is the part of his work that he spends most time on, adding layer upon layer of content. Darren’s colours bounce off the canvas and his chaotic, sometimes erratic, strokes make for abstract suggestions of the male and female form.
Inclusion in prestigious events such as FLAGSTOP in Los Angeles, the inaugural Other Art Fair in London and the 2011 National Open Art Exhibition are cementing MacPherson as an artist with a growing reputation.
Patrick Colhoun is a contemporary sculptor living and working in Belfast. His irreverent approach and ever darker subject matter make for work that is anything but traditional ceramics. His use of other materials such as latex, hosiery and piercings add to the mix.
The Adolfo Dominguez Foundation presents the plastic artist and ceramic sculptor David Gómez Blaya in Madrid, Spain.
The Adolfo Dominguez Foundation will present the ceramic work of David Gómez Blaya, a plastic artist from Madrid between March 26 and March 30 in the B4ZAAR CREATIVE MARKET. The Foundation headquarters are located at calle Serrano, number fifth, next to Puerta de Alcala, subway station of Retiro in Madrid.
The B4ZAAR CREATIVE MARKET of the Adolfo Domínguez Foundation is dedicated to the promotion of emergent artists and designers. During the last week of March, David Gómez Blaya, a creator born in Madrid, will show his concept of sculptural pottery throughout his work. The visitors will have the opportunity to contemplate his ceramic pieces, as well as to meet personally with this versatile craft maker, and also to acquire his art that will be for sale.
David is a master potter and has a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts from Universidad Complutense of Madrid. He began his career in the art world through painting to later work mostly in artistic ceramics. He brings a renewed vision of the ancient potter skills which have been developed through humankind history and applied them to art creation. Departing from the intrinsic functionality of a wonderful tool, the pottery wheel, he reinvents his use as an artist instrument to elaborate very complex technically sculptures. Nonetheless, his artwork has great simplicity and visual impact. In addition, his neat drawing, with explicit lines and full of details, is an elaborate exercise of descriptive plastic images. Therefore, the decoration of his pottery becomes a visual surprise of rich and luminous colors for the human eye that projects his vision of the world.
Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday, 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Suzanne Stumpf: Interactive Sculpture No. 9, 2008, 16”h x 8”w x 8”d, wheelthrown porcelain with handbuilt components; black slip and shellac resist; oxidation fired to cone 10
Although Interactive Sculpture No. 9 appears at first glance to be some sort of game, there are no rules here. It is intended for the playful pleasure of the viewer to arrange the sticks with their different colored tips entirely to their own whim. (When all the sticks are removed the work is a trompe l’oeil with the raised black dots hiding its holes.)
“I make sculptures that are inspired by utopian, experimental communities. The pieces suggest architectural models for utopian experiments. My curiosity stems from the ways in which these communities reflect optimism and, the ways in which they simultaneously reflect failure. Modernist ties to the utopic and Modernist architecture also come into play; recent sculptures in layered acrylic are examples of this interest.
Currently, I am also working on hexagonal structures made of concrete covered cardboard. These pieces are influenced by Brutalist architecture, Corbusier’s machines for living and, most strongly, by Robert Smithson’s slide lecture (1972) on Hotel Palenque to the architectural faculty at the University of Utah.
I’ve been visiting the sites of a number of utopian communities (Drop City (CO), Libre (CO), New Buffalo (NM), the Oneida Community (NY), Fruitlands (MA)…) and I’ve videotaped what remains there. Compiling this video footage and adding off-hand, stop-action animated figurative elements is a related current project. I envision clusters of these various works – the sparkling city, the concrete ruins and the small screen video – creating an environment both visually rich and suggestive of societal energy and entropy.” Susan Meyer
→ Susan Meyer is a special featured artist on Ceramics Now Magazine.
“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.