Brian Kakas

Brian Kakas Contemporary ceramic artist

Brian Kakas' profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works

Appropriate means of creatively adapting to continual changes have been expressed though practices of art, architecture, science and technology. In this new body of ceramic works, entitled “Tectonic Perceptions”, the intentions are incorporating methodologies and theories from the mentioned practices to create a “new nature” in structural design for ceramic objects. The pieces seek to celebrate the versatility of clay with an aim of fostering new realizations of architectural space. Travels throughout Asia and an array of rich cultural experiences in China have brought about new realizations within the artist’s mind and perceptions of cultural identity, history and space.

These relationships have allowed the artist to explore relationships between the strong elements of tradition and modern identities rapidly evolving around the world. Explorations of these interrelationships and the intentions of the maker and his material have led to the new structural ceramic designs. Through his aspired process of invention, it is the artist’s intent to find a natural form by staying true to chosen materials and their inherent properties. The artist is in pursuit of finding and establishing a formal vocabulary that allows sculptural vessels to exhibit qualities of both unique and handcrafted objects of traditional cultures with that of machine made and mass-produced objects of our contemporary society.

Brian Kakas is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Northern Michigan University. He received his MFA in ceramics from The University of Notre Dame in 2007.

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Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions #9, alternative view, 2010. White stoneware, slab built, 31”H x23”W x 33”L, Cone 9 Reduction

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions #9, alternative view, 2010. White stoneware, slab built, 31”H x23”W x 33”L, Cone 9 Reduction

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions – Wing Series, 2011White stoneware, slab built, 29” H x 24”W x 24”L, Anagama Fired

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions – Wing Series, 2011
White stoneware, slab built, 29” H x 24”W x 24”L, Anagama Fired

Brian Kakas: Dimensional Transitions Series #5, 2008White Stoneware, slab built, 43” H x 28”W x 35”L, Cone 7 Reduction

Brian Kakas: Dimensional Transitions Series #5, 2008
White Stoneware, slab built, 43” H x 28”W x 35”L, Cone 7 Reduction

Brian Kakas: Dimensional Transitions Series #3, 2008White Stoneware, slab built, 38” H x 29”W x 33”L, Cone 7 Reduction

Brian Kakas: Dimensional Transitions Series #3, 2008
White Stoneware, slab built, 38” H x 29”W x 33”L, Cone 7 Reduction

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions – Nautilus Series, Detail image, 2011White stoneware, slab built, 32” H x 23”W x 24”L, Anagama Fired

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions – Nautilus Series, Detail image, 2011
White stoneware, slab built, 32” H x 23”W x 24”L, Anagama Fired

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions – Nautilus Series, 2011White stoneware, slab built, 32” H x 23”W x 24”L, Anagama Fired

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions – Nautilus Series, 2011
White stoneware, slab built, 32” H x 23”W x 24”L, Anagama Fired

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions #6, 2010White stoneware, slab built, 29”H x 26”W x 24”L, Cone 9 Reduction

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions #6, 2010
White stoneware, slab built, 29”H x 26”W x 24”L, Cone 9 Reduction

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions #4, 2010White stoneware, slab built, 32”H x 25”W x 23”L, Cone 9 Reduction

Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions #4, 2010
White stoneware, slab built, 32”H x 25”W x 23”L, Cone 9 Reduction

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Wing, wall mount, 2011White stoneware, slab built, 35”L x 22”W x 15”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Wing, wall mount, 2011
White stoneware, slab built, 35”L x 22”W x 15”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Nautilus Improv 2, alternative side view, 2011White stoneware, slab built, 26”L x 23”W x 33”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Nautilus Improv 2, alternative side view, 2011
White stoneware, slab built, 26”L x 23”W x 33”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Nautilus Improv 1, side view, 2011White stoneware, slab built, 26”L x 23”W x 33”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Nautilus Improv 1, side view, 2011
White stoneware, slab built, 26”L x 23”W x 33”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Hull Improv, side view, 2011White stoneware, slab built, 38”L x 18”W x 17”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Brian Kakas: Architectonics – Hull Improv, side view, 2011
White stoneware, slab built, 38”L x 18”W x 17”H, Cone 04 Oxidation

Marie T. Hermann

Marie T. Hermann's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

“Looking around Marie Torbensdatter Hermann’s most recent exhibition of work, we may well have a similar feeling: that we are in the presence of pots that don’t quite need us. They are just fine on their own, thank you. Poised atop their handmade clay shelves, microcosms like the implacably calm still life paintings of Morandi, or set out in a neat ring on the gallery floor, these ceramic sculptures have a quiet assurance, an ease that belies the difficulty of their own making.

You almost have to remind yourself that it’s by no means easy to create this sense of completeness. The usual way of doing it is to make objects that are resolutely alien to everyday experience: the abstract geometries of De Stijl, the weird and hermetic object-poems of the Surrealists, the industrial quality of Minimalist sculpture, or the unearthly light and space created by artist James Turrell. While Hermann’s work is influenced by all of these art historical references, she appeals to something more humble and humane than any of them.

While her commitment to achieving a unified aesthetic impression is total, it seems to me that her greatest interest as an artist comes at the level of the detail. Yes, she knows she must (according to some modernist logic) ‘earn’ the right to create an interesting shape, like a sharp break in the profile of a vase, or a gentle curve in the rim of a plate. For her, these subtle touches have to make sense within an overriding context. There is nothing whimsical about them. But all the same, Hermann infuses these little maneuvers with a great deal of enjoyment – just as the slight sway of a violin or the mournful swell of an oboe might convey the emotion that a composer feels for his own symphony. Hermann’s pots may inhabit worlds of their own, and to that extent they stand proudly and resolutely apart. But through the deft and playful touches that are everywhere in this exhibition, we are let into something very human indeed: something not too far from bliss.” Glenn Adamson, Head of Graduate Studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, about Marie T. Hermann’s work.

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