Keisho-Ha - A New Materialism and the Yufuku Aesthetic / Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo

Keisho-Ha, A New Materialism and the Yufuku Aesthetic at Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo

Keisho-Ha - A New Materialism and the Yufuku Aesthetic / Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo
December 5-21, 2013

Contemporary Japanese art in the 21st century is heading in a new and unique direction.

Exhibited artists: Ken Mihara, Shigekazu Nagae, Atsushi Takagaki, Takahiro Yede, Naoki Takeyama, Niyoko Ikuta, Shunichi Yabe, Masaaki Yonemoto, Takafumi Asakura

Artists are using traditional techniques to create not craft, but objects of self-expression that are very much a type of sculpture that can change space itself. Such artists are pushing the boundaries of their respective mediums to new heights, using new techniques and materials that have not been used before.

Yet when one takes a step back and views today’s world of contemporary art, it is widely seen that concepts are allowed to run free, whilst the importance of technique and actual artistry are left behind and abandoned. Throughout art history, one can consistently observe an element of craftsmanship in fine art, from the statues of Greece to the frescoes of Italy, from the ink paintings of China to the folding painted screens of Japan. Even in expressionist and abstract painting, the works of Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock, Rothko, Bacon and Freud were instilled with an element of technique as a priori. Craftsmanship was a given, but was not the sole emphasis. Technique was simply needed to realise the form of self-expression that they envisioned in their mind’s eye. Technique was not a starting point, but was a necessary means to an end. Likewise, I find that the artists affiliated with Yufuku are not technique-oriented artists, even though many of them are renowned for their technical prowess. Rather, for artists such as Shigekazu Nagae and Ken Mihara, the technique is simply a requirement needed for them to create the clay sculptures that they wish to manifest. Technique, again, is a given, and is only a means to an end.

If taken in this light, I find that the term craft or the Romanized Japanese word Kogei (synonymous with craft) is gravely inadequate in fully expressing what these contemporary Japanese artists are actually creating. Their works are not craft works, and they are not craft artists. Instead, they are emancipating their art from the fetters of language and from the limitations imposed by the element of categorisation. Such is the progressive moment in today’s Japan. I call them the Keisho-Ha (the School of Form), and can be also expressed as a New Materialism, wherein technique and material are chosen specifically to create sculptural works imbued with self-expression. This is, in a sense, a Return to Innocence, or a revival of artistry within art.

Today’s Japan is a world where craft does indeed exist vibrantly, and craft is very much alive and well in the likes of the Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition and the Living National Treasure System, along with potters and makers of mass-produced vessels for everyday life. But one cannot continue to categorise the makers of everyday utilitarian tea cups and bowls with the same terminology and language as artists wielding the very same techniques to create works that are worlds apart from these everyday objects. A different expressive process is taking place, and the Japanese are at a loss for properly contemplating and understanding this new movement. To lazily lump everything together as craft or kogei was simply out of convenience, an excuse for the Japanese to stop thinking about the subject that was so obviously unique to their culture, and is so vastly different from traditional Western connotations and demarcations of art and craft.

"The limits of our language are the limits of our world." Yet if such is true, then why not expand the boundaries of our language and properly express what is happening in our world today?
Such is the importance of language and ontology.

The artists assembled in this exhibition are a representation of this new movement in today’s Japan, a movement that Yufuku finds its lifework and reason for existence. This is art. And they are the Keisho-ha. Such is a true return to innocence, an emancipation of art for the sake of art.
Wahei Aoyama, Owner and Director of Yufuku Gallery

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Kerry Jameson: Unbounded / Marsden Woo Gallery, London

Kerry Jameson: Unbounded exhibition, Marsden Woo Gallery London

Kerry Jameson: Unbounded / Marsden Woo Gallery, London
November 7 - December 21, 2013

Kerry Jameson’s new sculptures have an emotional charge that is presented through a mix of narrative set pieces, tableaux and individual figures. Subjects include historical events and the exploits of folkloric and storybook characters. She derives inspiration from an equally eclectic range of sources, which include portrait paintings, the figures of British myth such as the Burryman and Wicker Man, the work of animator Ray Harryhausen, a fascination with the polychrome religious sculptures of 17th century Spain and the toy collections of the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. She explains: ‘A work starts with a thought or feeling, an undigested experience that needs to be worked through.’

She says: ‘I want to capture life in my work, a sense of movement, the feeling of something living… a constant state of transition.’ This ambition is experienced inthe faintly disquieting feeling that one of her figures might just spring into action. It is also apparent in the attention she gives to keeping the material qualities of a piece ‘alive’. Dissatisfied with the seeming permanence of fired clay, she adds layers and detail through the use of other materials to create nuanced effects. In addition to the ceramic base, components of a figure can be hessian, canvas, wool, fur, wood, paint, seeds, stones and sometimes hyper-real glass eyes.

Each of the works is either an imaginative exploration of a possibility or reflects on some human idiosyncrasy. In this world part-animal/part-human characters abound. Scenes from the past are also played out, as in her battle sequence based on Pickett’s Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg - representing a famous military blunder of the American Civil War - thereby reflecting on how misplaced human confidence can override logic and reason. With reference to both her subject matter and approach, Jameson admits to an interest in ‘things that aren’t quite right’ and to ‘things that happen on the boundaries’, rather than on firm, fully rational ground. The predominant aesthetic is that of the uncanny – where objects or ideas are recognised as familiar and at the same time experienced as deeply strange.
Words by Tessa Peters

Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11:00 - 18:00 and Saturday, 11:00 - 16:00. The nearest tube stations are Barbican, Farringdon or Old Street.

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Ken Mihara: Serenity in Clay / Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney

Ken Mihara: Serenity in Clay, Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney

Ken Mihara: Serenity in Clay / Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney
November 16 - December 12, 2013

Ken Mihara’s ceramics are a visual ode to his native land, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, known as the capital of the gods; a land steeped in ancient Japanese myths and legends. The vessels are a culmination of elegant shapes, soft delicate curves, and ancient forms inspired by the surrounding land. Mihara’s striking palette of blues and dark greys intersperses with bursts of beige, gold and orange hues.

Using clay rich in iron from his native Shimane Prefecture, Mihara constructs each work through an organic creative process. Each piece is hand formed using a coil and oinch technique to create a strong linear quality. Mihara states: “I consider it my job to help the clay express its beauty”, and likewise, “clay leads, and my hands follow. I do not know what shape my work is going to end up even while I am making it.” (Ken Mihara in conversation with Nishi Keiko, An interview with artist Mihara Ken, e-yakimono.net, August 2002) His most recent series titled Kei (Mindscape) generate a sense of movement and vitality through gentle folding and bending. The vessels feature double-walled interiors that swirl and spiral similar to small galaxies. The outer walls subtly embrace a complex interior; whilst at the same time the compositional tension allows the form to unravel.

Mihara’s most revered series, Kigen (Genesis), are primordial in formation. The structures are symmetrical and balanced, which create a unique combination of subtlety and solidity. The rough, unrefined and grainy surface texture adds to the ancient ambiance. Mihara repeatedly fires the vessels at high temperatures to slowly unlock subtle and soft colours ranging from deep grey to peach to misty whites and purples. Mihara states: “The high degree of chance and serendipity in any firing is far beyond my control.” (Ken Mihara, “Mihara Ken – The power of chance”, Ceramics Art and Perception, issue 73, 2008, p84)

Ken Mihara was born in 1958 in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. After completing his studies in 1982 with Funaki Kenji, Mihara participated in numerous exhibitions and prizes. In 2005, he received a grant from Tomo Museum to travel for 6 months throughout Italy, from Milan, then south to Florence, Rome and Sicily. Mihara has been the recipient of many prizes and awards, including the prestigious Japan Ceramic Society Award in 2008; Paramita Ceramics Competition, Paramita Museum, Japan in 2006; The Energia Art Award in 2002 and the Shizuoka Prefecture’s Cultural Encouragement Award in 2009. Mihara has exhibited internationally with SOFA New York, New York (2008), Galerie Besson, London (2010), and most recently with Joan B Mirviss Gallery, New York (2011). His works are held in public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles and The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Since 1996, he has been represented by Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.

The Liverpool Street Gallery concomitently hosts the solo exhibition of artist Kevin Lincoln.

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International Ceramic Art Symposium LANDescape / Mark Rothko Art Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia

International Ceramic Art Symposium LANDescape in Daugavpils, Latvia

International Ceramic Art Symposium LANDescape / Mark Rothko Art Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia
12-25 August 2013

Deadline for applications: June 30, 2013

International Ceramic Art Symposium “LANDescape” is a new joint initiative of Daugavpils Clay Art Center and Daugavpils Rothko Art Center which emerged from both partner organizations’ activities and co-operation aimed at promoting contemporary art, including contemporary ceramic processes in Latvia.

In the framework of planned ceramic symposium “LANDescape”, drawing inspiration both from Latvian nature and cultural space, as well as personal world, the participants are invited to create unique ceramic art works with their chosen materials and techniques, although there is a conjunctive theme, that indicates „spurting”, „escaping” „getting away”, „political position” etc., as well as being away from what we are used for and „coming from earth or into it” in the aspect of clay - material used.

Symposium is the place and time when artists, being freed from everyday worries and organizing their social life, can get completely drawn in the creative process. This kind of creative work, not only allows ceramists to meet colleagues from other countries and share experiences, but also to divert as much creative energy of the participants as possible towards creation, that may result in unique works of art.

Daugavpils as symposium venue is significant as it is the eastern border city of European Union, which attracts great artists’ attention with the region’s diverse ethnic, culturally historical environment, with deep cultural traditions and where different cultural and artistic links are self-evident. In addition, within Latvia, it is one of the largest border cities and provides a stimulating environment for cross-border artistic cooperation.

Symposium aims:
1. To collectively create ceramic fire sculpture ensemble, thus improving the cultural space of Daugavpils;
2. To create unique contemporary ceramic objects for Latvian art and cultural space, to create a platform for artists to exchange experiences and generate creative idea, as well as to promote contemporary ceramic processes in the society;
3. To promote high quality contemporary art availability to public, raise public interest in culture, preservation of cultural heritage, to promote the creation of new artworks and their collections.

Symposium organizers’ liabilities:
1. Artists accommodation costs in Daugavpils (hotel and meals);
2. Working studios;
3. Working materials – clay, chamotte clay, glazing, etc.
4. Opportunity to use wood-firing kiln, electric kiln up to 1300 degrees Celsius, as well as a chance to explore different types of individual firing;
5. Publicity (information in mass media, publishing of symposium catalogue);
6. Recreation possibilities: tour around the city and region, visiting educational arts establishments in Daugavpils;
7. Opportunity to present a creative work;
8. Symposium opening exhibition (opening on August 12, 2013);
9. Symposium final exhibition (opening on August 24, 2013).

Download Application form / Download Regulations

Application and other materials added should be sent by e-mail at ceramicsymposium@gmail.com
Contact: Valentins Petjko, +37120207533, valentins.petjko@gmail.com

Like the symposium on Facebook.

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Call for applications: First edition of Cluj International Ceramics Biennale (CICB 2013)

Call for applications: First edition of Cluj International Ceramics Biennale 2013

CLUJ INTERNATIONAL CERAMICS BIENNALE (CICB 2013)

First edition, October 9 - November 3, 2013
Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Applications deadline: May 30, 2013
www.ceramicsbiennale.com/apply

Cluj International Ceramics Biennale is the first contemporary ceramics biennale organized in Romania, and is aiming to become an international meeting place for ceramic artists. Artists from all over the world are invited to apply and participate at the biennale with their ceramic works. Apply now (Applications deadline: May 30, 2013).

Expressing artistic sensibilities using the means of ceramic art is on a growing scale amongst artists all over the world, and in the last years the contemporary ceramics field started to be seen as a contribution to the major arts. The first edition of the biennale has the potential to change old mentalities, focusing on the contemporary context and presenting the diversity of concepts and techniques in the innovative field of contemporary ceramics.

Cluj International Ceramics Biennale (CICB 2013) is organized by Ceramart Foundation and Ceramics Now Association, in partnership with Cluj-Napoca Art Museum, the University of Arts and Design Cluj-Napoca, and The Romanian Fine Artists Union. The ceramics biennale will be held in several locations in the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, during October 9 - November 3, 2013.

The CICB’s goal is to become a contemporary meeting point for ceramic artists from all over the world. This artistic event will introduce the Romanian public to contemporary ceramic artists, practices and new concepts in the field. The biennale will also get round national and international institutions to work together with the aim of creating a living environment for ceramics in the city of Cluj-Napoca.

The profound changes in the world today, whether socio-economic, political or techno-scientific, have strongly influenced the artists’ search for new ways of expression, and engendered a change in how the creative act is viewed, both in terms of means of expression and in terms of message.

Sensitive to the slightest changes of artistic canon in the global Agora of contemporary arts, ceramic art evolves toward an interdisciplinary and integrative strategy. The new concepts that are gaining ground in the field attest to an aesthetic simbiosis with forms of expressivity specific to other artistic fields, while at the same time, retaining and accentuating - an experimental development specific to the field. The outcome could form an ingenious and resourceful alchemy.

For more information, please read more on www.ceramicsbiennale.com or email office@ceramicsbiennale.com

The jury for the first edition of CICB:
Zehra Çobanlı - Artist and Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey.
David Jones - Artist and Senior Lecturer in Ceramics at the University of Wolverhampton, England.
Les Manning - Artist and former Vice-President of the International Academy of Ceramics Geneva and Founding Director of the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada.
Cristina Popescu Russu - Artist and Vice-President of the Romanian Fine Artists Union, Romania.
Ting-Ju Shao - Artist and writer, former committee consultant for the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale and Taipei Ceramic Awards.
Blazenka Soic Stebih - Artist, President at KERAMEIKON and Director of the International Festival of Postmodern Ceramics and Ceramica Multiplex, Varazdin, Croatia.

Organizing committee:
Arina Ailincăi - Romanian Fine Artists Union
Marius Georgescu - University of Arts and Design Cluj-Napoca, Ceramart Foundation
Vasi Hîrdo - Ceramics Now Association
Călin Stegerean - Cluj-Napoca Museum of Art
Gavril Zmicală - Romulus Ladea Fine Arts High school

Molly Hatch: REVERIE / Philadelphia Art Alliance

Molly Hatch: REVERIE exhibition Philadelphia Art Alliance

Molly Hatch: REVERIE / Philadelphia Art Alliance, United States
February 7 - April 28, 2013

"In a continued effort to claim the functional surface of the dinner plate as a painting surface, REVERIE includes a new collection of historically sourced plate paintings. In response to the domestic nature of the galleries at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, I have designed “Tea for Two” a historic teacup inspired fabric wallpaper installation.

For REVERIE I worked closely with curators at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA to source their largely unviewed collection of historic teacups for “Tea for Two”, a fabric wallpaper installation. The story of Francine and Sterling Clark personally collecting hundreds of teacups over a lifetime now housed in the Clark Art Institute archives resonated with my own personal Metcalf family history of collecting and coveting decorative arts.

Rather than seeking source material from an additional museum collection for my new plate paintings in REVERIE, I chose to mine my own family’s collection of ceramic objects. My own family history of collecting resonated with the Francine and Sterling Clark cup collection. Thanks to the generosity of my family, my new plate paintings will be exhibited alongside the originals on loan for the duration of the exhibition.

REVERIE is a personal exploration of the relationship between the historic and the contemporary with artworks crossing over categories of decorative art, design and fine art. Fascinated by how we live with objects, how and why we acquire objects and what happens to them throughout history, I see this exhibition as a reflection of the life of surface pattern through the decorative art continuum.” Molly Hatch

“No art is simply, blithely contemporary. That would be like saying our parents had no influence on us. Today’s art responds to and reacts against yesterday’s art. Hatch serves up the magisterial landscape on a grid of 30 hand-painted ceramic dinner plates. The grid of circles cleverly breaks up and abstracts the scene, but doesn’t abandon its coherence. Indeed, it spotlights the mark-making.” Boston Globe Review of COVET: Modern Riffs on Old Ideas by Cate McQuaid, May 30, 2012

Artist and designer Molly Hatch grew up on an organic dairy farm in Vermont surrounded by a startlingly diverse set of visual influences: the earthy reality of rural life, and the mysterious, disembodied luxury of antique decorative objects from her mother’s family, prosperous Boston merchants who used Chinese export porcelain as ballast in their ships. Inspired by these two seemingly disparate family narratives, Hatch became an artist with a life-long passion for the decorative arts and the dialog between old and new. She has developed a robust studio practice that encompasses both works of art and design for industry, keenly aware of the different concerns and goals of each, while engaging with the ambiguity of objects that seem to exist in both the decorative and fine art realms.

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New Blue and White / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

New Blue and White exhibition Museum of Fine Arts Boston, work by Harumi Nakashima

New Blue and White / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
February 20, 2013 - July 14, 2013

New Blue and White at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, showcases inventive works in blue and white by 40 international artists and designers.

Contemporary sculpture, ceramics, fashion, glass, furniture, and more offer a new twist to age-old imagery

Over the past millennium, blue-and-white ceramics have become an international phenomenon—familiar as Dutch Delftware, Ming vases, and Blue Willow china, among other forms. Today, the popular ceramic medium continues to offer inspiration, especially to the more than 40 international artists and designers whose works are presented in New Blue and White at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). On view from February 20 through July 14 in the MFA’s Henry and Lois Foster Gallery, the exhibition highlights nearly 70 objects made over the course of the past 15 years across a wide array of media. Many of these works offer a contemporary twist to traditional blue-and-white imagery using abstraction, digital manipulation, contemporary subject matter, and even trompe l’oeil to surprise and delight. They range from small porcelains to room-size installations and include never-before-seen creations by artists such as Mark Cooper, Annabeth Rosen, Pouran Jinchi, and Kurt Weiser, and recent MFA acquisitions of work by fashion label Rodarte and ceramic sculptor Chris Antemann. Also on view are ceramics by Nakashima Harumi, Robert Dawson, and Steven Lee. The exhibition is presented with generous support from The Wornick Fund for Contemporary Craft. Additional support is provided by The John and Bette Cohen Fund for Contemporary Decorative Arts, and the Joel Alvord and Lisa Schmid Alvord Fund.

“The works in New Blue and White deftly show how one remarkable set of material traditions, which have had a profound international impact, can inspire new generations of artists. They make surprising, beautiful connections across time and cultures, helping us understand our history and our present,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA.

At its simplest, blue and white refers to the application of cobalt pigment on white clay. It originated in 9th-century Mesopotamia and subsequently captured the imaginations of artists throughout Asia. Through a frenzy of trade networks and stylistic exchange, these coveted works made their way to Europe and eventually the New World. With them went multiple narratives focused on ideas as varied as wealth, power, beauty, family, exoticism, colonialism, and commerce. Inspired by this rich and varied global legacy, today’s artists create works that tell contemporary stories incorporating cultural, social, and historical references. To illustrate this, four themes will be presented to guide visitor engagement with the objects in the exhibition: Cultural Camouflage; Memory and Narrative; Abstract Interpretations; and Political Meaning.

Exhibiting artists: Ann Agee (US), Chris Antemann (US), Katsuyo Aoki (Japan), Felicity Aylieff (England), Robin Best (Australia), Stephen Bowers (Australia), Boym Partners [Constantin Boym (Russian) and Laurene Boym (American)], Caroline Cheng (England), Mark Cooper (US), Claire Curneen (Ireland), Robert Dawson (England), Barbara Diduk (US), Michelle Erickson (US), Front Design (Sofia Lagerkvist, Anna Lindren, Katja S’vstr’m, Charlotte von der Lancken) (Sweden), Gésine Hackenberg (Germany), Molly Hatch (US), Giselle Hicks (US), Sin Ying Ho (China), Pouran Jinchi (Iran), Hella Jongerius (Netherlands), Charles Krafft (US), Steven Lee (US), Li Lihong (China), Beth Lo (US), Livia Marin (Chile), Harumi Nakashima (Japan), Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy) (US), Annabeth Rosen (US), Richard Saja (US), Eduardo Sarabia (US), Paul Scott (England), Richard Shaw (US), Tommy Simpson (US), Caroline Slotte (Finland), Min-Jeong Song (Korea), Vipoo Srivilasa (Thailand), Kondô Takahiro (Japan), Brendan Tang (Canada), Studio Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe (Neils Van Eijk, Mirian Van der Lubbe) (Netherlands), Peter Walker (US), Kurt Weiser (US), Ah Xian (China).

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NCECA 2013 Ceramics Biennial / Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, USA

NCECA 2013 Ceramics Biennial at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

NCECA 2013 Ceramics Biennial / Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, USA
January 26 - May 5, 2013

Award presentation & Reception: Thursday, March 21, 5:30 - 9 PM.

Held in conjunction with the Annual Conference in odd-numbered years, the NCECA Biennial is the premier juried exhibition open to all current members of NCECA (both national and international) and to all ceramic artists, 18 years and older, residing in the U.S.

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft will host the 2013 Biennial Exhibition from January 26 - May 5, 2013. The opening reception will take place on January 25, 2013 and a reception will also be held during the Houston Conference on Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 5:30 - 9:00 pm. NCECA produces a color catalog featuring work by all participating artists and may be pre-ordered through NCECA’s Online Store. Remaining copies may also be available for purchase at conference.

Participating artists: Nicole Aquillano, Christa Assad, Tom Bartel, Nicholas Bivins, Renée Brown, Josephine Burr, Gary Carlos, Lisa Cecere, Du Chau, Andréa Keys Connell, Emily Connell, Shenny Cruces, Elizabeth DeLyria, Sharan Elran, Léopold L. Foulem, Teri Frame, Chad Gunderson, Sarah House, Erica Iman, Ryan LaBar, Thomas Lane, Lauren Mabry, Ted Neal, Tybre Newcomer, Claudia Olds Goldie, Vijay V. Paniker, Joseph Pintz, Paolo Porelli, Audrey Rosulek, Joel Schroeder, Linda Sormin, Mark Nathan Stafford, Michael Strand, George Timock, Triesch Voelker

Jurors: Cristina Cordova, Namita Gupta Wiggers, Richard Notkin

Internationally acclaimed for her hauntingly, provocative figurative sculptures, juror Cristina Cordova has a well-established record of museum exhibitions including: Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto Rico; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico; Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL; Gretchen Keyworth, Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston, MA and the Joseph -Schein Museum, NY. A highly respected workshop teacher, Cristina has led numerous workshops in figurative art in universities and art centers such as: Armory Arts Center, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Penland School of Crafts where she serves as a trustee. A graduate of Colegio de Agricultura y Artes Mecánicas, Mayagüyez, Puerto Rico and New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University; Cristina’s work challenges gender and racial boundaries while engendering discourse on intellectual conventions and social mores. Cristina recently exhibited her art in Bestiario at the Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL during the 2011 NCECA conference and in Push Play: The 2012 NCECA Invitational at Bellevue Arts Museum.

Namita Gupta Wiggers is curator at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR, where she directs the exhibition, collection and public programming. Her curatorial work combines her experience and training as an art historian, a museum educator, ethnographer and design researcher, teacher, writer, and studio art jeweler. Through exhibitions and programming, Wiggers considers how craft and design function as subjects and verbs, and as simultaneously distinct and intersecting practices, and how the exhibition operates as a site and space for cultural inquiry.
Recent publications include Generations: Betty Feves (forthcoming), Ken Shores: Clay Has the Last Word (2010), and Unpacking the Collection: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Craft (2008), the first publication to document the Museum’s collection and the institution’s connections to dramatic changes in craft-based and artistic practice over the past 70 years. Wiggers edited Garth Clark’s How Envy Killed the Crafts Movement: An Autopsy in Two Parts (2009) and contributes essays for museum catalogues, including Hand + Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft (2010, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston) and Innovation & Change: Ceramics from the Arizona State University Art Museum (2009, Ceramic Research Center, ASU). Her writing on contemporary jewelry includes Mining History: Ornamentalism Revisited (Metalsmith, 2009), co-authored with Lena Vigna and Curatorial Conundrums: Exhibiting Contemporary Art Jewelry in a Museum Environment (Art Jewelry Forum Website, 2010). She is the co-founder of Critical Craft Forum, and serves on the Board of Trustees, American Craft Council and the curatorial board of accessceramics, an online clay-focused database.

Richard Notkin lives and works in Helena, Montana, creating works deeply influenced by the centuries-old tradition of Yixing pottery from which he has adopted the precise working methods and a penchant for trompe l’oeil. With his artwork serving as an extension of his conscience, Richard’s ceramic sculptures and tile murals are visual explorations into social and political commentary questioning military misadventures and foreign policy around the world with particular focus on nuclear weaponry and energy. Richard Notkin received his BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from University of California, Davis. His awards include: Artist Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, 1979, 1981, 1988; Fellowship in Sculpture, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation and the Hoi Fellowship from the United States Artists Foundation. In 2008, he was elected to The American Craft Council College of Fellows. His work is in over 60 public collections including: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles A. Wustum Museum of Art, Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Shigaraki Museum of Ceramic Art and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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Emmanuel Boos and Esben Klemann: Systematic Uncertainty / Copenhagen Ceramics

Emmanuel Boos and Esben Klemann: Systematic Uncertainty exhibition Copenhagen Ceramics

Emmanuel Boos and Esben Klemann: Systematic Uncertainty / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark
February 28 - March 28, 2013

In ceramics the unknown is a fate for the practitioner. Emmanuel Boos and Esben both welcome unpredictability. Moreover they are provoking it. They share a playful and experimental approach to the ceramic material and their works are bred from a great curiosity towards the processes of the material.

Emmanuel Boos, now living in London, was born and grew up in France. He trained with Jean Girel, one of the big names in French ceramics, known for his works with beautiful textural glazes. Emmanuel Boos equally places the glazes at the centre of his artistic practice, but goes further. He questions the classic hierarchy, where the materials as such are regarded as undifferentiated, depending on being given form, morphe, which traditionally is considered the essential part.

For Boos form is often a pretext, a playground for glazes to develop on. His interest lies with the poetic character and sensuality of the glaze, both in a direct sense as the fusion of basic materials and in the symbolic potential of this. His works are not conceptually based; rather they express a search for beauty, that strives for a form of aesthetic contemplation appealing firstly to our senses and our emotions.

For his first show in Denmark, Emmanuel Boos will be showing both plinth and wall pieces. His intent is to draw the viewer into the glaze, inviting us to meander in its depth through poetic reverie. His forms oscillate between mysterious enclosed objects – minerals with an underlying organic presence – and thin sheets of porcelain like canvases gently folding and developing into space.

The expressive heartland in Esben Klemann’s work is clearly defined by his interest in architecture, construction and material, and a constant urge to further develop the making-processes, that are essential for the expression of the final works.

On ceramics, he states: "People envisage a lot of different things when you use the word ceramics. Images of ordinary domestic items, giant-sized-vessels, reliefs by Asger Jorn, etc. Through changes in work-methods, tools and placements, I strive to add new images to the picture, believing that ceramics has the potential to offer something more and different. I purposely draw my experiences from other sculptural areas into the ceramic process, to push it all into new directions.

You may label my work non-thematic or abstract, or see it as a formal language which communicates by establishing artistically elaborated spaces and objects, that in contrast to the ordinary, inject vitality into things.”

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Victoria & Albert Museum Ceramics Residency 2013 / London, UK

Victoria & Albert Museum Ceramics Residency 2013

Victoria & Albert Museum Ceramics Residency 2013 / London, UK
Applications deadline: April 7, 2013

Residency description

The V&A is inviting applications from UK-based studio ceramicists who wish to develop their practice in designing and making ceramics through working with the V&A’s collections and through public engagement activities.

The Residency will be based in a purpose-built studio in the Ceramics galleries, at the V&A in London. This is part of an exciting new programme of residencies specifically situated in the Ceramics galleries. This Residency will take place over a six-month period from October 2013 –March 2014 in London.

The residency is open to UK-based established practitioners. It will provide a monthly bursary (taxable) and additional budget for materials and equipment. A team drawn from the Museum’s staff will provide support throughout the project. We are interested in practitioners who: wish to work with the Museum’s resources and collections; would welcome the opportunity to actively work on projects with the public; and are interested in presenting and interpreting their work for visitors. Applicants should have a track record of innovation and regular exposure of new work, and be able to demonstrate ongoing development in their practice.

The Ceramics Studio is situated in the heart of the extensive Ceramics Galleries. Further multidisciplinary residency studios are situated in the Sackler Centre for arts education at the V&A. This programme is integral to the philosophy of the V&A, helping to make the Museum’s learning programmes dynamic and creative. Past Residents have gone on to achieve significant success in their professional careers, winning prizes and securing gallery representation.

Closing date for applications is April 7,  2013.
Interviews will take place on April 24, 2013.

Bursary
The artist will be paid £8,400 during their 6 month residency in monthly instalments. This includes Income Tax and National Insurance. This fee is inclusive of travel costs within the UK and living expenses. There will be an additional budget for studio equipment and materials to be agreed with the Residency Co-ordinator.

Application instructions
Applicants should apply online at the V&A’s website at www.vam.ac.uk/jobs where you will be asked to submit a current CV and complete an application form. In addition to submitting your application on-line, please also upload 8 images of your work with your application.

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Romana Cucu Mateias - Artist of the month, November 2012

ARTIST OF THE MONTH / Romanian Contemporary Ceramics, November 2012: Romana Cucu Mateiaş

Romana Cucu Mateias - Ceramics Now Magazine, Digital Issue Two Cover

Interview by Andra Baban for Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue Two

As a contemporary artist with extensive knowledge in the field of ceramics, can you share with us a significant experience for your career?

There is no doubt that growing up in a family of artists had a major influence on my life and artistic career. The chance to develop myself in an artistic environment, to be in contact with different genres of art, cultivated my taste for diversity. As a defining experience, I can say that the time spent in the ceramics studio during high school was the most interesting for me. In that period, the studio was an experimentation lab and I was encouraged by my teacher, Judita Crăciun, to discover new things, and so I gathered knowledge that further helped me build my artistic identity. A similar stage was during doctoral studies when I had the opportunity to reshape and enrich my knowledge and vision regarding ceramic art.

What inspires you and how do you start a new project?

New projects usually occur after reflecting on certain subjects, items or concepts that caught my attention and which I want to integrate into the work. Other ceramic projects come as a response to a challenging and interesting thematic for a special event or exhibition. What I particularly like is to closely observe plants, animals and insects, and to study their surfaces with a special attention to the countless details, drawings, textures or structures. The miniature elements extracted from the vegetal and animal world are translated into my work through a personal alphabet of shapes. Besides this, in my work I often use details and anatomical fragments as inspiration. In some works, these fragments lose their original identity and transform into volumetric expressions and complex reliefs.

There is a visible preoccupation for texture in your work; how do you make it and how important is texture and surface for the message you want to send?

The decorative elements are completing the volumes and have an equal importance for the ensemble, the details becoming in this context a work by its own. The texture makes the work more pretentious and transforms it into an object that requires more time and close inspection in order to be discovered. The structures are completing the volumes with nature inspired shapes, vegetal and zoomorphic elements. These graphic traces, reliefs or applied elements on the works’ surface are growing together with the shape. Some of the reliefs are taking form in the process of constructing the work by pressing the material on textured surfaces, and other work surfaces are transferred by imprinting, cutting and etching, or by applying mixed glazes to the surface. It is a big pleasure for me to collect in my kit of tools items that can help me later on with my work. This kit, made over the years, consists of lots of items that are indeed a small treasure - a chest with instruments out of the ordinary and tools made by me for the purpose to obtain new textures and more complex patterns.

[] Read the full interview in Ceramics Now - Issue Two
* Digital Issue Two will be published on December 2012

In 2010 you held a conference in Paris on the topic of Romanian contemporary ceramics. In this context, what can you say about the context of Romanian ceramics? Do ceramist artists have opportunities in Romania?

The presentation of Romanian contemporary ceramics was part of a larger project together with a Romanian contemporary ceramics exhibition with Cristina Popescu Russu as curator. The exhibition, held at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Paris, was one of the most important events for the Romanian contemporary ceramics in the recent years, being included in the program of the 44th General Assembly of the International Academy of Ceramics (International Academy of Ceramics - ICA). Fourteen artists attended the exhibition but 46 Romanian ceramists were promoted through the materials presented throughout the ICA events. Following this exhibition, new contacts were established between artists.

The visibility of Romanian contemporary ceramics, both nationally and internationally, plays an important role in creating a professional, competitive and creative-stimulating environment which can generate exchanges between renowned and emerging artists, and arise new opportunities for collaborations. Following the records of contemporary ceramists from different generations, with a very original vision in this field, we can notice big differences in the thematic approach, style and forming of ceramic material. The various concerns of the artists for materiality, color, scale or accuracy, and the simplicity of shape are building the identity of Romanian ceramic art. An overview of Romanian contemporary ceramics makes us notice the multimedialism, the interdisciplinary dimension of it, and the new forms and ways of artistic expression generated by new materials, techniques and technologies.

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Digital Subscription - Ceramics Now Magazine: 10 Digital Issues per year! + Digital Issue One as a gift, delivered right after you pay (.PDF and .EPUB files for PC, Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone). The next one will be delivered in December to your email address.
What’s in a New Digital Issue:~ 50 pages, interviews, reviews, exhibition releases, images, artist profiles, crisp contemporary design.
Digital Issue One - Ceramics Now MagazineGET IT FOR FREE or name a fair price.

Digital Issue One - Ceramics Now Magazine, is the first issue of our beloved magazine, featuring over forty contemporary ceramic artists in exactly 100 pages. Get it just like that or you can think of a sum to pay for it (yes, there is a maximum of $1000, so please don’t magnify all the thing).
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Digital Issue Two (Pre-Order) - Ceramics Now Magazine

Digital Issue Two - Ceramics Now Magazine (to be published in December - available for pre-order), is our second magnificent printed issue, this time made with more care and attention to detail. This issue sees the inauguration of our new Reviews category.
What you get: Two beautiful .PDF and .EPUB files for your PC (Windows), Mac, iPad or iPhone, delivered in December.+ Digital Issue One as a gift, delivered to your email right after you pay. The links are provided by WeTransfer.Read more about Ceramics Now / Ceramic artists listFollow us on Facebook and Twitter & subscribe to our free monthly newsletter. Contact: office@ceramicsnow.org

Ceramics Now Magazine has some treats for you! Our new package for digital subscriptions + Digital Issue One for FREE. Check our offers below.

Digital Subscription (10 issues) - Ceramics Now Magazine

Digital Subscription - Ceramics Now Magazine: 10 Digital Issues per year! + Digital Issue One as a gift, delivered right after you pay (.PDF and .EPUB files for PC, Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone). The next one will be delivered in December to your email address.

What’s in a New Digital Issue:
~ 50 pages, interviews, reviews, exhibition releases, images, artist profiles, crisp contemporary design.

Digital Issue One - Ceramics Now Magazine
GET IT FOR FREE or name a fair price.

Digital Issue One - Ceramics Now Magazine, is the first issue of our beloved magazine, featuring over forty contemporary ceramic artists in exactly 100 pages. Get it just like that or you can think of a sum to pay for it (yes, there is a maximum of $1000, so please don’t magnify all the thing).

What you get: Two beautiful .PDF and .EPUB files for your PC (Windows), Mac, iPad or iPhone. The link is provided by WeTransfer.

Digital Issue Two (Pre-Order) - Ceramics Now Magazine

Digital Issue Two - Ceramics Now Magazine (to be published in December - available for pre-order), is our second magnificent printed issue, this time made with more care and attention to detail. This issue sees the inauguration of our new Reviews category.

What you get: Two beautiful .PDF and .EPUB files for your PC (Windows), Mac, iPad or iPhone, delivered in December.
+ Digital Issue One as a gift, delivered to your email right after you pay. The links are provided by WeTransfer.

Read more about Ceramics Now / Ceramic artists list
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter & subscribe to our free monthly newsletter. Contact: office@ceramicsnow.org

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We are proud to have collaborated with almost 100 featured artists at 60+ interviews and with 50+ partners at over 100 exhibitions and events.

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Ceramics Now Magazine is published 10 times per year in digital format, and 2 times per year in printed format. The majority of our readership consists in educated individuals aged between 27-46 years old. Almost all of them are working in the arts field (self-employed artists, galleries, academic, small companies, etc.).

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SPECIAL FEATURE: Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

Keiko Gallery - Special feature on Japanese artists - Ceramics Now Magazine

SPECIAL FEATURE: Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists, October 2011

In partnership with Keiko Gallery
Written review of “Keiko Gallery” through interviews with represented Japanese artists who work in ceramics, lacquer, textiles and jewelry.

Keiko Gallery is one of the most appreciated art galleries in the United States that focuses on Japanese art, from ceramics to the innovative lacquer art, textiles, jewelry and painting. Founded in 2003 in Boston, MA, the gallery organized numerous exhibitions of world-recognized Japanese artists.

The special feature includes interviews with 10 artists represented by Keiko Gallery, and lots of images with their works. We took this opportunity because we want to introduce the Japanese contemporary art and craft to a larger audience around the world. It is an excellent chance for our readers to learn more from Japanese artists, to see how they think and how they imagine their works.

KEIKO GALLERY - JAPANESE ARTISTS
View images / Read all the interviews:
Niisato Akio, Ceramics - View his works
Kawabata Kentaro, Ceramics - View his works
Takeuchi Kouzo, Ceramics - View his works
Hayashi Shigeki, Ceramics - View his works
Tanoue Shinya, Ceramics - View his works
Fujita Toshiaki, Lacquer art - View his works
Murata Yoshihiko, Lacquer art - View his works
Jorie Johnson, Textiles - View her works
Takeda Asayo, Textiles - View her works
Mariko Husain, Jewelry - View her works

The feature was presented on Ceramics Now in October 2011, and was published in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One. Keiko Gallery has now closed its physical space in Boston and it is relocating all the activity online. The new email address is keikogallery@gmail.com

Above: Kentaro Kawabata, SOOS: Cao-Col, 2012, Porcelain, Silver, 25 x 18 x 40 cm.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Overthrown: Clay Without Limits (Denver Art Museum)

Overthrown: Clay Without Limits special feature for The Denver Art Museum - Ceramics Now

SPECIAL FEATURE: Overthrown: Clay Without Limits, July 2011

In partnership with The Denver Art Museum
Written review of “Overthrown: Clay Without Limits” exhibition at The Denver Art Museum through interviews with exhibiting artists and the curator.

The twenty-five artists in Overthrown: Clay Without Limits took on adventurous challenges to make the works in this exhibition. Most were made especially for Overthrown and many are in direct dialogue with our dynamic Daniel Libeskind-designed architecture; they move beyond the pedestal to the wall, the floor, and even the ceiling. A few extend beyond the Anschutz Gallery, across the entire museum complex. They break boundaries that are physical, technological, conceptual, and spatial.

Working in all scales, from architecturally expansive to almost impossibly small, the artists in Overthrown employ twenty-first-century technology hand-in-hand with standard modeling and molding techniques. They use digital cameras, computers, laser cutters, 3-D printers, and computer-controlled mills along with more traditional tools.

Some push the forms of functional objects. Others push the limits of fragility. They take risks that draw on material chemistry and maverick kiln techniques. Some of their works include not only clay, but also found objects such as metal, plastic, and abandoned industrial materials. Overthrowing our expectations of ceramic art—its size, its context, its methods, and its meaning—these artists show us new ways of using this versatile and timeless material.

OVERTHROWN: CLAY WITHOUT LIMITS
View images / Read all the interviews:
Gwen F. Chanzit, Curator
Katie Caron and Martha Russo
John Roloff
Clare Twomey
Paul Sacaridiz
Linda Sormin
Del Harrow
Mia Mulvey
Benjamin DeMott

The feature was presented on Ceramics Now in July 2011, and was published in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One. The “Overthrown: Clay Without Limits" exhibition was on view at The Denver Art Museum June 11 through September 18, 2011.

Above: Linda Sormin, Mine (i hear him unclip me / blood runs cold), 2010–11. Glazed ceramic; souvenir kitsch; and studio remnants from Tim Berg, Gerit Grimm, Nathan Craven, Robyn Gray, and Ted Yoon. Photo by Jeff Wells.