During the residency I have created a few bodies of work including figurative animal and human forms as well as readymades and found object casts utilizing Kohler’s ceramics facilities. I have incorporate multiples and one of a kind pieces in work in series. The access to the unique facilities and the opportunity to work with Kohler associates provided me with an exceptional experience that has inspired my work.
Project created in Arts/Industry, a long-term residency program at the John Michael Kohler Art Center Inc. Arts/Industry takes place at Kohler Co.
This piece expands on themes from a previous installation that dealt with inter-generational trauma, i.e., the unresolved affects of trauma that have been passed on from one generation to the next. I wanted to further explore the nature of trauma, this time specifically in relation to archetypes of heroism and the heroic’s relationship to violence.
This work began with a simple observation: newspaper photos depicting individuals – whether confronted with natural disasters, war, or engaged in protest – often shared a similar expressiveness, body language, and composition.
These images of people with anguished faces and strained bodies, recurring again and again, become, in their repetition, timeless and interchangeable. But the insistent beat of time moves the individual past the captured image. And what seems interchangeable is often a truly singular and defining event for the person in question. In attempting to return to the memory of that moment they become captive to it.
Vitor Reis: These works relate to some popular Portuguese native customs. The aim is to appropriate those customs and refresh them by creating new relations. Those new relations intend to create experiences and criticism of our present time.
Mountain This work is based in the traditional representation of the Caldas da Rainha phallus. The piece is composed by many little representations of crammed phalluses. In a first look, they look like candies, but after a closer look the shapes start to define themselves.
Animals have been used in stories as metaphors and analogues for human experiences and feelings for ages. Their representations are a source of comfort, protection, wisdom, tragedy, and sorrow. In reality, we manipulate, control, use, and abuse these very same animals for our own benefit. The sculptures I create stem from this dichotomy.
This series encompasses several different types of relationships and varies from piece to piece. Some of the sculptures in this series focus on the relationship between people and the environment. For example, our general disconnect with nature, excessive consumption, and the earths’ retaliation. Other sculptures focus on the relationships we can form with objects or an accumulation of material goods. This can, but does not always relate back to our connection to the environment.
In this series, works depicting physical aging and a gendered issue surrounding dementia are engaged from a female point of view. Questions surrounding social responsibility are visited through an intimate look at a mother’s dilemma. My focus shifted to my mother after a few years of observing and caring for her while she navigated her days living with Alzheimer’s disease. My mother’s countenance emerges in the work through clay figures over a period of time and through multiplicity. By investigating concrete representations and creating situations that the viewer will identify with, I hope to engage the viewer in a deeper way.
“Up until two years ago, my father, Yaakov, had an agricultural mechanization workshop. Every time I visited the workshop, I found myself entranced by the power of the iron boards and the pile of black and rust colored iron pipes of different diameters, waiting to be used”, Simcha Even-Chen reminisces.
“When I saw the call for entries for the contest and exhibition at Kapfenberg, Austria, entitled “At the Moment”, I decided to use these memories of my father’s workshop. This was the birth of “A Moment Before…” a work I created in 2009, which has since led to the growth of a whole body of works”.1
The memories that awakened this body are the evolution of the artistic research Even-Chen had been immersed in during the period of 2006-2009. This group of sculptures, entitled “Illusion”, was exhibited at The Fifth Israeli Ceramics Biennale at The Eretz Israel Museum (2008), among other places, and even received the Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award.
Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is pleased to announce Complications, an exhibition of works in glass by Matthew Szösz. The opening is Friday, June 27, at the gallery, from 5-7 pm as part of the Railyard Arts District Last Friday Artwalk.
Matthew Szösz, born in Providence Rhode Island, resides and practices in northern California. He holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, a Bachelor’s of Industrial Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Glass all from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and has been awarded grants by prestigious institutions in his field such as the L.C. Tiffany Foundation. Szösz has held numerous artist residencies all over the world including the Danish Royal Academy.
I have developed a process utilizing my knowledge of various casting methods and glaze, chemistry to create forms made entirely glaze. The color and texture is appealing and repulsive at the same time. When viewed through a magnifying glass the surface resembles Scanning Electron Micrographs of cancer cells. The fragile and fleeting appearance of these pieces symbolizes the transient nature of human life. This series of glaze, casted hands represent the genetic passing of disease from generation to generation. It is my fear that my family’s history with cancer is somehow genetic.
Watt’s Up? explores the relationship between ceramics and light by presenting some thirty works of art from all over the world, all created in recent years. Oddly enough, this relationship seems to inspire artists more than designers, trained to create objects such as lamps. Perhaps that’s because light transcends objects and gives us a whole new take on the world. Light affects our vision by modifying our perception of space and movement. In addition, there is a symbolic, poetic and mysterious element to it. As the French author Jean Giono once put it, very clever mysteries hide in the light. If light and ceramics go hand in hand, it’s mainly courtesy of porcelain’s unique properties of translucency, which can give light – produced by a candle or a tungsten filament – a soft, poetic aura and elicit a feeling of wonder. Ceramics offers a broad palette of sensations to play with. Faience is heavy, glossy and sensual in its interaction with light. Pottery absorbs lux units and asserts its own material plasticity to counter the intangible nature of light. Porcelain is lightweight and translucent, and the matte aspect of unglazed biscuit forms a striking contrast with the gloss of the glaze. Watt’s Up? is an unprecedented investigation of the latest innovations and know-how, both sensorial and intellectual in scope.