Gaku Shakunaga: New Pyramids in Black / Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo

Gaku Shakunaga exhibition at Yufuku Gallery Tokyo

Gaku Shakunaga: New Pyramids in Black / Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo
July 10-19, 2014

Gaku Shakunaga (b. 1978) creates swirling stoneware pyramids drenched in luscious black glaze accentuated with lacquer. One of the younger ceramists of Yufuku, Shakunaga represents the future of Japanese ceramic sculptors, of artists who are not afraid to create non-functional ceramics that are devoid of function, and are challenging conceptual objects that are modes of expression as well as outlets for the artist’s aesthetics. Having graduated with a degree in sculpture from the leading Tokyo University of Arts, the most prestigious of art universities in Japan, Shakunaga’s new works find the artist combining the forms of his previous Sekiso series with his new-found muse in black.

Each and every Shakunaga work is comprised of individual clay slabs of varying thickness that are flattened using boards and are stacked upon one another in layers. Each slab is torn from a larger slab of clay using his hands, which leaves a rugged texture to his surfaces. His clay is a mixture of local Toyama clay, porcelain clay, and the Mogusa clay used in Shino ware. After an initial bisque-firing, a black glaze is air-brushed onto the surfaces, and the work is fired again in a gas kiln. In the final stages, Shakunaga sandblasts the surfaces of his works, and then polishes the surfaces and then low-fires the work to create a shimmering bronze-like lustre to his surfaces. Shakunaga’s technique is unique, and is the materialization of his fascination with stacking clay pieces together as if composing architecture.

The upcoming exhibition will display approx. 15 new works in both black and bronze glaze, and will be the artist’s largest body of new work since his previous exhibition in 2012.

Gallery hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am - 6 pm. Final day closes at 4 pm.

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Matthew Szösz: Complications / Zane Bennett Gallery, Sante Fe

Matthew Szosz Glass exhibition at Zane Bennett Galery

Matthew Szösz: Complications / Zane Bennett Gallery, Sante Fe
June 27 - July 19, 2014

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. Szösz has an extremely impressive resume for an artist of such a young age.

Szösz’s creative process involves investigation of his chosen materials, resulting in a dance or a dialogue between artist and material. His interest lies in the moment of transformation which is what fuels his impulse to create.

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Sakiyama Takayuki and Fukumoto Fuku / Joan B Mirviss, New York

Sakiyama Takayuki and Fukumoto Fuku / Joan B Mirviss, New York
June 10 - August 22, 2014

Sakiyama Takayuki Ceramics exhibition at Joan B Mirviss

Sakiyama Takayuki: Tidal Forms

Sakiyama Takayuki (b. 1958) continues to expound on his series: Chōtō - Listening to the Waves. Focusing now on the power of the ocean, the artist created these highly sculptural ceramic works to evoke the sublime nature of the waves and currents.

Sakiyama continues to mine the rugged coastline and beaches of his home on the Izu Peninsula for inspiration. The surfaces of his strikingly unique centrifugal forms give the appearance of having been made from sand. A special glaze that he developed highlights the intricate designs, which the artist achieves by carving the clay.  Moving and receding across the surface, the texture also echoes raked Zen Gardens. These substantial double-walled vessels maintain true to their functional origins while conveying a highly sculptural quality.

Sakiyama’s place is firmly established in the canon of modern Japanese ceramics. Several of the artist’s vessels were recently featured in publications and exhibitions at major U.S. museums including: Through the Seasons: Japanese Art in Nature, Stone Hill Center, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA; Fired Earth, Woven Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics and Bamboo Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Betsy and Robert Feinberg Collection: Japanese Ceramics for the Twenty-first Century, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.

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Watt’s Up? Ceramics and Light / Bernardaud Foundation, Limoges, France

Watt’s Up? Ceramics and Light / Bernardaud Foundation, Limoges, France
June 13 - November 29, 2014

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. As the topic was complex and broke new ground, it took nearly two years of research to bring these thirty or so works together. These works are by fifteen artists exhibiting for the first time in France. They are the result of technical prowess – manual and technical – as well as fresh creative thinking. None of them represent any particular school of thought, creative trend or artistic movement. Each work is an explosion of creativity, born of the artist’s reflections and inspiring a sense of wonder. This exhibition sheds new light on the art of ceramics.

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Simcha Even-Chen: Balance in Motion / Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center, Tel Aviv

Simcha Even-Chen exhibition at Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center, Tel Aviv

Simcha Even-Chen: Balance in Motion / Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center, Tel Aviv
May 15 - July 5, 2014

Curated by Tirza Yalon Kolton

A general overview of the exhibition takes us on a stroll through an avenue, with structures on either side. It is a walk between the fine elegance of geometric shapes, and the almost smug solidity and sensuous texture of the surface of the material, scorched by living flames.

In his book, “Species of Spaces and Other Pieces”, Georges Perec describes his journey through space, and the sensations it awakened within him: “Our gaze travels through space and gives us the illusion of relief and distance. That is how we construct a space, with an up and a down, a left and a right, and in front and a behind, a near and a far”.¹

In my meetings with Simcha, in preparation for the exhibition, we frequently discussed the sensations that works of art induce in us: opposites, balances and imbalances, floating… The work of sculpting the massive clay matter sends a message of stability and a sense of floating in space. I am fascinated by the duality of the interaction between softness and harmonious flows, between the ascetic black and precise, repetitive patterns that speak of uncompromising harshness.

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Contemporary Ceramics Festival TseGlyna 2014, Kiev, Ukraine

Contemporary Ceramics Festival TseGlyna 2014, Kiev, Ukraine

Contemporary Ceramics Festival TseGlyna 2014, Kiev, Ukraine
May 30 – June 3, 2014

The contemporary art ceramics festival TseGlyna 2014 takes place in Kyiv, Ukraine, between May 30 and June 3, 2014. This art project aimed at boosting the professional ceramics development in Ukraine.

The main objectives of the project are to demonstrate the achievements of Ukrainian ceramists and to develop the cooperation between ceramists, designers, architects, gallery owners, collectors and theorists.

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Michael Geertsen: Still Life, Still Lives / Jason Jacques Gallery, New York

Michael Geertsen exhibition at Jason Jacques Gallery

Michael Geertsen: Still Life, Still Lives / Jason Jacques Gallery, New York
May 21 - June 21, 2014

Jason Jacques Gallery is pleased to announce its second contemporary exhibition with contemporary ceramic master Michael Geertsen. Following a ceramic installation at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and a show at Puls Ceramics in his native Denmark, Michael Geertsen has come back to show in New York. Geertsen is known for sleek ceramic works with alien-like sculptural bodies, and stacked sculptures of utilitarian objects like plates and cups. His whimsical and animated forms are executed with machine-like precision, thanks to his background in industrial ceramics. Michael claims American streamline design and Italian Futurism as his primary influences.

His most recent works have reinterpreted ancient Greek pottery, taking the classical forms and integrating them with modernist elements. He adds antlers, knobs and nipples in metallic gold and platinum. The gold and platinum protrusions create mirror like reflections which, when placed next to other works, distort the forms further, shifting perceptions of their form or shape.

Geertsen says his use of gold and silver is a nod to Western decadence. He started using these elements in his work while exploring Soviet constructivism where Gold and silver screamed hedonism, abundance and American kitsch. The use of gold and silver is also a reaction against 1960’s naturalistic pottery, making the works cheeky and stylized. The artist and scholar Edmond de Waals described his work as always “questioning the place that ceramics has inhabited, as well as the place that ceramics will inhabit in the future.” Michael’s most recent innovations have made that statement even more fitting.

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Simon Carroll / Corvi-Mora Gallery, London

Simon Carroll Ceramics at Corvi-Mora Gallery

Simon Carroll / Corvi-Mora Gallery, London
May 13 - June 7, 2014

Tommaso Corvi-Mora is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work Simon Carroll. Born in 1964, Simon Carroll died in 2009 at the age of 45. He was one of the most talented and inventive potters of his generation.

After the clean slate brought about by the generation of postmodern potters of the 70s and 80s (Alison Britton, Elizabeth Fritsch, Walter Keeler, Jacqui Poncelet), whose work developed also in reaction to Bernard Leach’s lasting influence, potters working in Britain divided themselves into two separate camps: those who could be called the “apollonians” (Julian Stair, Edmund de Waal, Ken Eastman), who privilege clean lines, muted colours, an interest in modes of display and an approach to ceramics influenced primarily by minimal and conceptual art, and those who could be identified as the “dionysians” (Gareth Mason, Ashley Howard), more focused on the object presented individually and on an approach closer to “art informel” and abstract expressionism. Simon Carroll’s work places itself firmly in the latter group; however the exuberance and eruptive force of his forms is always tempered by a thoughtful and affectionate reverence for the tradition and history of pottery, especially for 17th- and 18th Century slip-decorated Staffordshire wares.

The exhibition at the gallery will focus on two bodies of work: a series of jugs from 2005-2007 and a group of tall pots, first exhibited in 2006 at Tate St. Ives. Emmanuel Cooper wrote about the exhibition in The Guardian in 2009: “A major breakthrough came in 2006 with a show at Tate St Ives, when Carroll filled the long showcase with tall, thrown and manipulated pieces that included modelled parts, incised decoration, colour and slips and incorporated diverse references such as 18th-century porcelain, Staffordshire slipware and the decoration on Oribe ware, as well as Elizabethan ruffles. All were inventively amalgamated into his squareish forms, some with rounded feet, which brought an understanding of the history of ceramics into the 21st century, the cracks and imperfections being a vital part of the story.”

Simon Carroll’s work is the object of a monographic presentation at the Victoria and Albert Museum in the frame of the “Display” series, in the Ceramics Galleries, room 146 until 4th January 2015.

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Alexandra Lerman: Immediate Release / Tina Kim Gallery, New York

Alexandra Lerman: Immediate Release exhibition at Tina Kim Gallery

Alexandra Lerman: Immediate Release / Tina Kim Gallery, New York
May 1 - June 28, 2014

Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to present Alexandra Lerman’s first solo exhibition, Immediate Release.

A coincidence of the calendar becomes a critical frame. The first of May commemorates May Day, an ancient folk festival meant to awaken the wintering body through conviviality, dance, and song, also, International Workers’ Day, the 20th century’s concession to the solidarity of laboring bodies in almost every country of the world. The 1st of May saw the opening of Immediate Release, the new exhibition of multi-media artist Alexandra Lerman.

Alexandra Lerman’s Immediate Release presents a multi-layered installation of drawings, terracotta tablets, ceramics, and performance by Madeline Hollander that literally and metaphorically diagrams the capture of the body by the intersecting forces of technology, capital, and representation. The inauguration of a new kind of May Day, then, that understands that the body’s movements are no longer simply instrumentalized through the mechanics of labor, but also by the codification of its informal moments of respite: social communication, relaxation, aesthetic expression.

Two walls of the gallery are hung with terracotta maps depicting the gallery staff’s circulation through the space, traced by a finger dragged across the wet tablet’s surface and finished with a pinch, a now ubiquitous gesture for minimization, for which Apple briefly owned a patent. On an adjacent wall, Sumi ink drawings on legal forms render the 26 poses of Bikram Yoga, which tried to license to traditional, commonly-held wisdom of the body movements it taught. These components supplied a kind of elementary formal dictionary for Hollander’s choreographed performance that unfolded in front of them: at the opening, and then again on May 10th, the gallery’s central column become a kind of maypole for four dancers who looped through a series of movement sequences abstracted from Apple Inc.’s touch screen gestures, BikramChoudhury Yoga Inc. poses, and moves from Balanchine™ Ballet. In the intervening time, the stage around the column has been strewn with freestanding ceramic totems impressed with the positions the body takes during the performance.

At one level, the performance exists as the corollary release to the implicit capture of the body through the licensed systems of movement it borrows from: emancipation through appropriation. The movements are loosed from their various proprietary rationalizations and applications, existing momentarily for and by themselves. And yet the intentionally awkward and repetitive choreography also asks where exactly is this body being released into? Not just a commercial gallery, but, more generally, another regime of representation that may prove to be no less administered.

We are reminded that the original spirit of the folk May Day, like every bacchanal, was not just immediate release but temporary release, too, sanctioned only by its agreement to be defined as an exception. In this way, Lerman’s art is also like the festival: not an outside, but an interval- the moment of the body in mid-air, when the feet have left the ground and not yet returned.
—A.E. Benenson

Immediate Release is curated by Ceren Erdem.
Alexandra Lerman (born 1980, St. Petersburg, Russia) lives and works in New York. Lerman completed her MFA at Columbia University in 2012 and received her BFA from Cooper Union in 2004. Lerman’s individual and collaborative projects have been shown at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, Anthology Film Archived, Austrian Cultural Forum, Artists Space, Janos Gat Gallery, the New Museum in New York, MUSAC in Spain, and the Hermitage in Russia. For 2012-2013, Lerman was a resident at LMCC Workspace Program, New York; in August, 2012 she took part at The Banff Centre Visual Arts Program: 01 The Retreat: A Position of dOCUMENTA (13), Alberta, Canada; from 2014 through 2016 she is taking part in the Open Sessions at the Drawing Center, New York. In 2012 Lerman co-founded Torrance Shipman Gallery, an artist run space in Brooklyn.   

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Transformation 9: Contemporary Works in Ceramics / Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh

Transformation 9: Contemporary Works in Ceramics at Contemporary Craft

Transformation 9: Contemporary Works in Ceramics / Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh
April 25 - November 1, 2014

The Transformation series, one of the Society for Contemporary Craft’s signature programs, was established in 1997 as a biennial juried exhibition focusing on traditional craft media–glass, wood, metal, clay, and found materials–in rotation. The exhibition seeks out an international selection of artists redefining their medium to create work that is challenging and thought provoking; inviting us all to reconsider our notion of “craft.”

This year’s focus is on clay. Clay has been used, decorated, coveted, and collected for thousands of years, yet in the hands of contemporary artists this irresistible medium continues to surprise through innovative techniques, forms, and functions. Visitors are invited to see what happens when makers push the boundaries of time-honored craft materials—right before our eyes, something old is new again.

In conjunction with each Transformation exhibition, the jurors award the participating artist whose work best displays the tenets of excellence and innovation the Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize. Named in honor of SCC’s founder, the award is accompanied by a $5000 cash prize.

Transformation 9: Contemporary Works in Ceramics features the work of all 31 of the Raphael Prize finalists, a selection of internationally recognized and emerging artists. The exhibition highlights outstanding and innovative examples of contemporary works in clay, all of which have been created within the last year. The work of three regional artists—Chuck Johnson of Venango, PA, Erica Nickol of Pittsburgh, PA, and Ian Thomas of Slippery Rock, PA—is included in the exhibition.

Linda Swanson of Montreal, Quebec has been selected as the winner of the Society for Contemporary Craft’s (SCC) 2013 Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize competition. Two honorable mention honorees, Lauren Gallaspy of Salt Lake City, UT and Lee Somers of Montevallo, AL, and one merit recipient, Lauren Mabry of Philadelphia, PA, were also announced at the exhibition opening on April 25, 2014.

Swanson’s winning entry, Cypreus Lumen, 2013, is a 20 inch round wall disk made from crystalline glazed porcelain with a painted aluminum rim. The turquoise glaze looks almost liquid with the faintest ripple of movement on the surface. A patch of deep red disrupts the calm in a dynamic swirl of motion. “Processes of change, formation, and dissolution are caught in this crystalline glazed surface,” says Swanson of the piece. “A flow of molten colorants in an optically ambivalent and luminous frozen moment recalls geology as well as biology, and elicits material affinities between the body and the world around us.”

Linda Swanson Ceramics - 2013 Raphael Prize Winner

As the 2013 Raphael Prize winner, Swanson shows several other ceramic works in Transformation 9, each exploring the changing nature of matter. A site-specific installation similar to her piece Osmogenesis (recently seen at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN) was installed in SCC’s main gallery throughout the run of the exhibition. Combining the slow and steady drip of water onto a clay-covered steel surface, the piece is constantly changing. As the water burrows through the clay, the underlying metal surface is exposed in a collection of bubbling craters. Swanson describes the piece as exploring the “interdependence of organism and environment, as well as organism and organism – in which one species is created, or at least sustained, by and through another.”

Born in Los Angeles, CA, Swanson received her B.A. in Art History from University of California Santa Barbara, her B.F.A. in Ceramics from California State University, and her M.F.A. in Ceramics from the School of Art and Design at Alfred University, Alfred, NY. Currently, she lives in Montreal, Canada where she is an Assistant Professor at Concordia University. Swanson’s ceramics have been exhibited in SOFA Chicago with the Lacoste Gallery, Elemental at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, and INFESTATION, a public art installation at the Parcs Canada Lachine Canal Historic Site in Montreal. In 2013, Swanson was named an Emerging Artist by NCECA, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.

An honorable mention award was given to Lauren Gallaspy for her piece, Giving Up the Ghost, 2014. The startling 16” tall sculpture combines soft, feminine lines with a mass of ceramics shards and strips. Gallaspy received her M.F.A. in Ceramics from Alfred University and has been named a NCECA Emerging Artist. She describes her work as being “about imbalance—the vulnerability of living things— and the sometimes violent, sometimes pleasurable, almost always complex consequences that occur when bodies and objects in the world come into contact with one another.”

A second honorable mention award was presented to Lee Sommers for his work, Scape IV, 2014. Having also received his M.F.A. in Ceramics from Alfred University, his work has been exhibited throughout the United States and China. Known for his distinctive ceramic collages, Sommers explains his process as “a coupling of fleeting notions and physical realities. Collage is a key strategy in both the physical and conceptual organization of my work. Drawing from a variety of sources, ongoing acts of sampling, collecting and cataloging, leads to a critical mass of components. Weaving a matrix of relations between these parts, I find compositional epiphanies - parallels to aesthetic experiences etched in my memory.”

Additionally, the jurors gave a merit award to Lauren Mabry for her piece, Curved Plane, 2013. The artist, a M.F.A. graduate from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, describes her work as “painterly, abstract, ceramic sculpture.”

Lauren Mabry Ceramics at Transformation 9

The jury for the 2013 prize was composed of Joshua Green, Executive Director of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts; Jae Won Lee, a Korean American ceramic artist and Associate Professor at Michigan State University; Alexandra Raphael, enamel artist, London, England; Catherine Raphael, metalsmith and storyteller, Pittsburgh, PA; Kate Lydon, Director of Exhibitions at SCC; and Janet McCall, Executive Director at SCC.

“This prize honors artists who are redefining the boundaries of their media to create work that is challenging and thought-provoking. The strength and recognition of this competition has grown over the past 17 years and continues to challenge our viewers understanding of craft today,” said McCall.

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Dual Natures in Ceramics: Eight Contemporary Artists from Korea / SFO Museum, San Francisco

Dual Natures in Ceramics: Eight Contemporary Artists from Korea / SFO Museum, San Francisco
May 17, 2014 - February 22, 2015

“In modern art, as everyone knows, the beauty of deformity is very often emphasized, insisted upon. But how different is Korean deformity. The former is produced deliberately, the latter naturally. Korean work is merely the natural result of the artisan’s state of mind, which is free from dualistic man-made rules.”
—Bernard Leach (1887–1979)

Renowned British studio potter Bernard Leach once acknowledged that Korean potters are admired for their naturalism and spontaneity in creating ceramics. Scholars have attempted to define the beauty of Korean ceramics as “artless art” or “unplanned plan.” Indeed, Korean ceramics have been produced by the second nature of matured, skilled hands, sometimes transcending any rules, knowledge, and intentions.

During the twentieth century, Korean artists and theorists grappled with the interplay of modernization and tradition. Some artists looked to the genuine, fresh, and fundamental qualities of Korean potters from the past as inspiration to create more appealing modern concepts. Through Korean ceramics, they have explored a dialogue between the traditional and the contemporary as well as East and West.

The eight artists in this exhibition revive and reinterpret aspects of traditional Korean ceramics in various ways. Yoon Kwang-cho and Lee Kang Hyo discover artistic freedom in Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) buncheong (white-slipped stoneware) ceramics and apply white slip in playful and innovative ways. Buncheong is a distinctive type of Korean ceramic that flourished during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Both artists’ ceramics have the whimsical, rustic, and audacious characteristics of buncheong in addition to contemporary elements. Joseon dynasty whiteware was the main foundation for Kim Yik-yung and Park Young Sook. Park has experimented on the uniquely Korean globular jar, the so-called ‘moon jar,’ while simultaneously exploring other Korean porcelains including a blue-white ware shown in this exhibition. Embracing whitewares’ core traditions, Kim Yik-yung complements innovative surface treatments and explores new types of glaze.

Techniques used in traditional Korean ceramics are another matter for the artists in this exhibition. Roe Kyung Jo is known for his marbled-ware technique (yeollimun). The technique was traditionally used for celadon wares, but Roe applies it to other wares. Onggi, a form of earthenware that predates porcelain production, served various purposes in Korean households. Lee Inchin started his works based on onggi wares but expands the technique using new kinds of glazes and experimenting with their applications.

Koo Bohnchang and Yeesookyung go further in interpreting traditional Korean ceramics. Through photographs and video art (newly created for this exhibition), Koo reveals the organic qualities of Korean ceramics that have been overlooked or disregarded by our bare eyes. Yee utilizes and renders the superfluous aspect in ceramic production. Using abandoned ceramic shards, she translates the original concepts of ceramics into more innovative sculptural works that sometimes puzzle the viewers about the concept of ceramics as art in the twenty-first century.

Although their techniques, methodologies, and approaches are different from each other, these eight artists playfully add complex layers onto the history of Korean ceramics through their own interpretations and expressions. Dual Natures brings fresh perspectives to traditional Korean ceramics and suggests new paths of expression for a new century.

This exhibition is co-organized by the Asian Art Museum and SFO Museum and is curated by Hyonjeong Kim Han, Associate Curator of Korean Art, with assistance from Silvia Hari Chang, and Chihyun Lee at the Asian Art Museum.

Dual Natures in Ceramics is located in Terminal 3, Boarding Area F. The exhibition is located post-security and is only accessible to passengers ticketed for travel through Terminal 3. There is no charge to view the exhibition.

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Nathan Lynch: Another High / Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco

Nathan Lynch: Another High at Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco

Nathan Lynch: Another High / Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
May 13 - July 3, 2014

Brunch reception: Saturday, May 17, 11 am - 1 pm.

Inaugurating our new space at 1639 Market Street, Nathan Lynch will present a series of ceramic work which, like the gallery itself, recalls the past while grappling with an unsure future.

Motivated at first as homage to his late teacher Ken Price, Nathan Lynch’s abstract ceramic and wood sculptures make physical the difference between what we want and what we get. The work consists of abstract “blobjects” that appear to slump, sag, burst, drip, and ooze off of their platforms. Like a 4-day old helium balloon that is neither all the way up nor completely down, the forms hover in the layered emotions between elation, confusion, and disaster, suggesting the potential futility in even our best efforts. As Nathan describes; “In all levels of our life, we are in constant pursuit of the best solutions, from personal fitness and desktop applications to the national political debate. By remodeling this idealism, my work questions our value systems, revealing ironic, contradictory, and embarrassing culture narratives.”

Nathan Lynch was raised in Pasco, WA, an agricultural community in the shadow of Hanford Nuclear Power Plant. This environmental contradiction gave Lynch an acute sense of location and deep appreciation for irony. In the five formative years after graduation Lynch worked as the prop master for a local community theatre, the effects of which are still being realized in his current body of work. His concerns for political conflict and environmental upheaval are filtered through notions of absurdity, hand fabrication, and the dramatic devices of storytelling.

As a sculptor and performance artist, Lynch has made collaboration and experimentation major components of his practice. Recent projects include a residency at the Exploratorium, habitat restoration design for Ashy Storm Petrels on the Channel Islands, and a reinterpretation of David Ireland’s Dumballs for Southern Exposure’s 39th anniversary show, The Long Conversation. He is currently included in YBCA’s Bay Area Now 7 in San Francisco. At the University of Southern California Lynch studied with Ken Price, and later earned an MFA at Mills College with Ron Nagle. Lynch is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Ceramics Program at California College of the Arts.

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Emma Woffenden: Falling Hard / Marsden Woo Gallery, London

Emma Woffenden: Falling Hard at Marsden Woo Gallery, London

Emma Woffenden: Falling Hard / Marsden Woo Gallery, London
May 15 - June 21, 2014

Emma Woffenden continues to explore the figure and the fragmented body in her latest sculpture series, ‘Falling Hard’.

Using a variety of mixed materials including glass, jesmonite, polystyrene, clay and metal, Woffenden creates a discourse around the interconnectivity of the body as a physical and psychological site and the impact of what the body – whole or fragmentary – expresses. The influences of social structures and the dynamics of power relations on the individual imbue her sculpture with a palpable sense of internal conflict.

Interpretation of contradictions and opposites is a pervasive theme in this new series of work; how internal emotional experience is expressed through theexternal action of the figure, the aesthetics of symmetry and asymmetry, the erotic and fetishistic power of religious sculpture, culminating in the unsettling yet exquisite appearance of her sculptures. The dualities Woffenden confronts in the ‘Baby Hammer’ hybrid object - corporeal and material, playful and brutal, fragile and resilient - hint at violence both real and symbolic.

Woffenden’s uncanny forms trespass upon the viewer’s imagination, casting an oblique light on the human condition.

Emma Woffenden (b. 1962) studied at West Surrey College of Art & Design (1981-1984) and the Royal College of Art (1991-1993). She employs a full range of complex glass and mixed media techniques to make works that explore the power of myth and archetypes, and the human condition.
Widely recognised as one of Britain’s leading glass artists, her work is included in a number of international public collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Wellcome Trust and the Crafts Council, London; Ernsting Glass Museum; Broadfield House Glass Museum, West Midlands. Her award winning designs for Transglass can be found in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She was appointed North Lands Creative Glass Artistic Director in October 2013. She lives and works in London and France.

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SCORES: Fujita, Cole & Lopez / Cross MacKenzie Gallery, Washington DC

SCORES: Fujita, Cole & Lopez /at Cross MacKenzie Gallery

SCORES: Fujita, Cole & Lopez / Cross MacKenzie Gallery, Washington DC
May 9-31, 2014

Cross MacKenzie Gallery is pleased to present “SCORES” an exhibition of new ceramic sculpture and photographs by three artists whose work is based on repeating dozens or “scores” of elements to create something greater than the sum of their individual parts. Each artist’s work is full of repetitions, multiples, and variations of a seemingly simple form, built up to a greater whole, creating order out of disorder. Together, the pieces are in conversation with one another.

Michael Fujita’s ceramic hand rolled tubes are laid row upon row until a handsome vessel takes form. Glazed in blues and greens, the macaroni-like bowls evoke various visual textures, drawing upon our tactile sensibilities. This is a labor of love, patience, and detail, and it therefore comes as no surprise that the artist experienced carpal tunnel syndrome while building these works. In his previous show at our gallery, Fujita’s repeated element was individually glazed spheres the size of gumballs, each work was multi-colored and looked almost machine-made. His new work, however, differs in its monochromatic palette, and the ragged edges serve to emphasize the handmade aspect of the vessels. Stacked one by one, each tube is completely unique, and the overall effect is of an entity growing organically of its own accord.

Linda Lopez’ ceramic sculptures are also labor intensive. Like Fujita, she becomes entranced in her repetitions and creates rather comical furry shapes that are reminiscent of sea anemones. Her clay teardrops elegantly melt down along the surface and are placed layer upon layer until the entire form is covered as densely as a head of hair. Lately she has extended tendrils from the core opening up her monoliths into the surrounding space, growing outward.

John Cole’s new series of photographs called the “Full Bleed Series” at first glance seem like Washington Color School paintings, Gene Davis-like, made of multiple stripes of color. The fact that these are actually extreme close-up views of the edges of stacked magazines is a delight. By refocusing one’s eyes to take in the tiny scale of the magazine page colored edges, it simultaneously gives us a way of looking at the ceramics. His observations give us a full perspective by both zooming in and zooming out of focus. Each image is made of scores of pages, not only filling the frame of the photograph, but also continuing past the edge of the frame, implying an endlessly repeating pile of magazines.

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Ewen Henderson / Erskine, Hall & Coe, London

Ewen Henderson ceramics exhibition at Erskine Hall and Coe

Ewen Henderson / Erskine, Hall & Coe, London
May 6 - June 5, 2014

"I fell in love with both the material and the vessel as a magical form; but it was a long time before I realised how I wanted to use it… I was seduced by the alchemy of change where you take a material…and it is transmogrified into something else."

Born in Staffordshire in 1934, Henderson became interested in painting and sculpture while working for a timber company in Cardiff and started attending evening classes at the local art school. In 1964 Henderson began a foundation course at Goldsmiths College in London where he first encountered clay. Later he would study ceramics under, among others, Hans Coper and Lucie Rie, at the Camberwell School of Art.  But he always made time to draw and paint. He graduated in 1968 and continued his studies at Edinburgh College of Art before returning to London.

Hendereson very soon left the wheel behind and moved to the freedom of hand-building. Throughout his career he explored clay as a medium in its own right, and said of his work that:

"It explores the significance of what is broken, torn or cut, the ability of single or multiple forms to speak of either compression or expansion, flatness or fullness. It is a kind of drawing in three dimensions. I start with fragments - familiar, found, improvised - and then build up to complex structures that invite the observer to complete the circuit, so to speak, by considering such matters as memory, invention and metaphor."

In parallel with ceramics his passion for painting continued throughout his career, with watercolours, gouaches and collages becoming increasingly inseparable from his ceramics.

Ancient cultures, geological forms and landscapes were persistent influences during his career - Avebury, Eden Valley in Cumbria, the Rollright Stones in north Oxfordshire, Orkney, and Manorbier in Pembrokeshire where he had a home for the last year of his life.

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