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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L’usage des jours. 365 ceramic objects by Guillaume Bardet / Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, Lausanne

L’usage des jours. 365 ceramic objects by Guillaume Bardet Musee de design et d'arts appliques contemporains, Lausanne

L’usage des jours. 365 ceramic objects by Guillaume Bardet / Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, Lausanne
March 27 - May 26, 2013

Opening reception: Tuesday, March 26, 6 PM.

During the period from September 21, 2009, until September 20, 2010, the French designer Guillaume Bardet drew one object a day. As an extension of this «artistic and human performance», from fall 2010 he saw to the creation of each object. He did so in collaboration with fourteen ceramists from the Dieulefit region (Rhône-Alpes, southeast France), where he had settled in 2009 in order to flee the Parisian hullabaloo.

It took a good measure of determination, passion, enthusiasm and energy for Guillaume Bardet to become the hub of an alliance built up of individuals, companies, institutions and collectivities, all of whom agreed to join this human and creative adventure with him for an over two-year period. It also demanded a great deal of nerve and talent for the designer to bare himself, revealing not only his basic concerns and strokes of imagination, but also his weak spots, his doubts and his trial-and-error approach. And all this in order to uncompromisingly give their full due to his formal and aesthetic solutions.

Guillaume Bardet entrusted the scenography for this itinerant exhibition to his friend, the designer Vincent Dupont-Rougier, insisting nonetheless on a preconception whereby time passes very slowly (a one-year period) and very rapidly (that of a single day). And this by resorting to elements in the service of simplicity, structuring and narration, so as to bring to mind both linearity and profusion, families and uses, moods and fancies.

The exhibition also brings to light various phases of inspiration, the artist’s manner of working and his search for solutions. Interspersed among each of the seasons, information is provided alongside Guillaume Bardet’s sketches, his 3D drawings, and photographs, together with a written record of the remarkably fruitful dialogue Bardet inspired between himself and the many ceramists involved. In the words of one of the latter, Guillaume Bardet found out how to «tell a story» and «seek out the lines» in each of the forms he had designed and observed taking shape in the artisans’ hands.

This outstanding personal challenge entailed a nigh-to-monacal and introspective approach in 2009; it was followed by a more collegial phase in 2010, climaxing in the production of 365 brand new ceramic works. These have since been presented as the theme of a monographic exhibition of a new kind, shown at several museums and exhibition venues partnering this initiative. The mudac represents the last lap on the exhibition’s itinerary, which included Sèvres («City of Ceramics») in France (near Paris), Le Grand Hornu Images in Belgium, the Château des Adhémar (Contemporary Art Center) in Montélimar (France), and the Maison de la Céramique du Pays de Dieulefit in 2012.

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Matthew Harris & Tim Rowan / Erskine, Hall & Coe, London

Tim Rowan and Matthew Harris exhibition at Erskine Hall Coe Gallery London

Matthew Harris & Tim Rowan exhibition / Erskine, Hall & Coe, London
February 20 - March 20, 2013

An exhibition of works on paper by Matthew Harris and ceramics by Tim Rowan.

Matthew Harris’ work on paper has been shown in many group and solo exhibitions throughout the U.K, Europe, Japan and the U.S. As drawings they are made to be seen in their own right but also to act as starting points or ‘cartoons’ for larger works that are made using dyed and painted cloth.
Working primarily from things seen, the drawings recall, interpret and explore imagery, improvising around a given theme. Matthew Harris lives and works in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Tim Rowan was born in New York City and grew up in Connecticut along the shore of Long Island Sound.  His art education began during college, receiving a BFA from The State University of New York at New Paltz before journeying to Japan for 2 years to apprentice with ceramic artist Ryuichi Kakurezaki. Upon his return he worked briefly in studios in Massachusetts and New York before receiving his MFA from The Pennsylvania State University.  In 2000 he established his kiln and studio deep in the woods of the Hudson Valley.

"The works in this exhibition have all been completed over the past two years. They are made, primarily, from native clay. This is direct from the earth and unprocessed as opposed to industrially manufactured clay bodies. The forms are slowly constructed from layers, built up over days and weeks then carved. They are fired for seven days and nights in a wood fuelled kiln. No glaze is applied; the surface textures and colours are the result of the interaction of the clay, fly-ash, coals and fire.

I am constantly building on previous work – just as individual pieces evolve in the process of making, the body of work as a whole does as well. Most of my work develops from the process of making, firing, and arranging. While I may have images in my head of some specific things I have seen, for instance the remnants of an old quarry derrick abandoned in the woods near my home, once I start making, new forms emerge. There is a search and discovery.

I am particularly drawn to objects in various states of decay – either through use over time such as tools or the effects of the “elements”. Everything is in a constant state of flux. These are merely markers of a particular time and place.

It is only when I am fully engaged in the making – that the forms present themselves. There is an intuitive process of discovery – of wondering, of noticing, of physically or intellectually feeling the forms. I work on many pieces at once to enable me to become lost in the process - freely moving from one form to another. There is a complete acceptance in the process. Faith. That is the guide. We work together, informing and reacting to each other.

There are four distinct series in this body of work. The sculptures are the most ambiguous and poetic for me. Drawn from a multitude of sources, industrial detritus, tools and abstracting the fragments of a vessel. The vessels are rooted in more of a pottery vernacular. They are there to nourish. We are comforted. We have a sense of place. The cups are individual intimate moments. Each one is a separate story. Held. Caressed. Nourishment. Life-affirming. The boxes may be urns. Shelters. Forced to touch in order to experience the inside. Containment. Security. Protect me. What is revealed?

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Object Focus: The Bowl / Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland

Object Focus: The Bowl at Museum of Contemporary Craft Portland

Object Focus: The Bowl / Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland
March 7 - September 21, 2013

Curated by Namita Gupta Wiggers

The Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) opens the second exhibition in its Object Focus series, Object Focus: The Bowl, on March 7, 2013. This two-part exhibition, featuring nearly 200 bowls, focuses attention on the most commonplace of objects, asking us to consider the ubiquitous bowl in new ways. As artist and PNCA professor M.K. Guth has pointed out, the history of the bowl is the history of civilization. Yet because it holds our cereal, our soup, our tea, our spare change, it becomes so familiar as to be overlooked. Through a variety of engaging activities, Object Focus: The Bowl invites the viewer to connect the work on display in the Museum with the bowl in his or her everyday life. The bowls on view range from the functional to the decorative, industrially produced to handmade, and span the globe geographically and culturally.

Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Common Things, Andrea Zittel’s A-Z Container, and conversations with artists, craftspeople, and designers about how they consider this archetypal form in their own work, inspired the thinking around this exhibition. Deyan Sudjic, Director, Design Museum London, has written in The Language of Things that everyday objects like the table, chair, and lamp have been pulled into the realm of Design to become the Noguchi Table, Eames Chair, and Ingo Maurer Lamp. The bowl, perhaps too commonplace and familiar, has stubbornly refused to be co-opted in this way. 

To invite a deeper consideration of the bowl, Object Focus: The Bowl will feature a number of participatory projects in the Museum and in the community, many of which engage the public in collaboration.

In Part One: Reflect + Respond, March 7-August 3, 2013, Director and Chief Curator Namita Gupta Wiggers has kick-started this process by inviting anthropologists, artists, poets, novelists, curators, and more to write 500 words on a bowl of their choosing from the exhibition. This is only the beginning. Throughout the exhibition, the Museum invites viewers to write their own 500-word pieces on the bowl in an effort to gather 50,000 words by August, 2013. 50,000 words is the average length of a novel, according to the popular National Novel Writing Month project. All contributions will be made available online at www.objectfocusbowl.tumblr.com

There will also be a drawing station in the Museum. Students from PNCA’s BFA in Illustration program will be contributing works on the bowl, and visitors are invited to contribute drawings to the exhibition as well.

The second part of the exhibition, Part Two: Engage + Use, May 16-September 21, 2013, explores the social role of the bowl through artist projects, performances, a symposium, through contributions by the region’s chefs and a project in partnership with Portland restaurants.

Ayumi Horie will create a bowl lending library that will allow visitors to handle handcrafted bowls in the museum and borrow objects to be used at home. For his project, Bowls Around Town, Michael Strand has created traveling trunks that contain a ceramic bowl, digital camera, and recipe book to circulate among some of Portland’s communities that come together around mealtimes. Area chefs, cookbook authors, bakers, and candymakers will make bowl selections and offer recipes at the Chefs’ Table. In addition, there will be a reprisal of Transference by Andy Paiko and Ethan Rose, as well as a series of performances by Craft Mystery Cult. Finally, there will be a symposium on Craft and Social Practice featuring some of the artists featured in Object Focus: The Bowl, planned in conjunction with Portland State University’s Open Engagement Conference.

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Ancient Southwest: Peoples, Pottery and Place / University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

Ancient Southwest: Peoples, Pottery and Place University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

Ancient Southwest: Peoples, Pottery and Place / University of Colorado Museum of Natural History
February 21, 2013 - February 14, 2014

Curated by Steve Lekson, this exhibition features more than 100 rarely exhibited ceramics from the museum’s celebrated southwestern collection and takes visitors through more than 1000 years (AD 500-1600) of southwestern history. Photographs of ancient southwestern ruins by noted aerial photographer Adriel Heisey provide a visual and dramatic frame of reference for the exhibition.

Lekson explains, “The striking pottery on display illustrates the remarkable range of Native societies, and their dramatic stories. The exhibit offers a new history of the ancient Southwest based on recent research and new insights.”

With captivating and informative narrative provided by Lekson, the exhibition reduces one thousand years of what Lekson calls, “glorious, messy, and complicated human history,” into a short, coherent, and enjoyable experience that challenges the conventional views of the ancient Southwest.

The exhibition is divided into seven areas representing the primary cultural groups that defined the ancient Southwest: Hohokam, Early Pueblo, Chaco, Mesa Verde, Mimbres, Casas Grandes, and Pueblo.  Senior Exhibit Developer Charles Counter explains, “With an entire gallery devoted to a vast display of pottery and images of the limitless Southwest landscape, that has always been a part of the human experience in the Southwest, the exhibition will take visitors through the rises and falls, kings and commoners, war and peace, triumphs and failures of the ancient Southwest.”

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Three Decades of West Coast Ceramics, 1956–1986 / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Three Decades of West Coast Ceramics, 1956–1986 / Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Three Decades of West Coast Ceramics, 1956–1986 / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
February 23 – June 30, 2013

The years between 1956 and 1986 witnessed a fundamental shift in American ceramics, one that took place mainly on the West Coast in California and Washington. Freed from the constraints of making functional objects, ceramics artists began experimenting with abstract and figural forms, radical building techniques and surface treatments. The resulting sculptural pieces were groundbreaking, and the search for a new aesthetic changed international ceramic art.

Key figures in this revolution were Peter Voulkos and Robert Arneson. Voulkos founded the ceramics program at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis Art Institute) in 1954 and established California as the center for avant-garde ceramic art in the mid-20th century. Arneson, an admirer of Voulkos and a teacher at the University of California, Davis, was associated with the Funk art movement which is characterized by deliberately unpolished style, over-scaled imagery and rejection of formal sculpture. While coming from different perspectives, both artists established similar atmospheres of innovation at the programs they led in California. Their respective ethos spurred ceramics artists across the state and beyond to embrace this new philosophy, leading to a 30-year period of intense creativity that produced remarkable works of sculpture.

Three Decades of West Coast Ceramics, 1956–1986 showcases works from the rich MFAH collection of American ceramics made during this important period. Specifically, the exhibition focuses on teachers and students from seminal ceramics programs at four universities:

The Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis Art Institute), Los Angeles
At the Los Angeles County Art Institute, Peter Voulkos created an open, experimental atmosphere that encouraged radical form and innovative glazing. Voulkos’s first students and colleagues included John Mason, Ken Price, Michael Frimkess and Paul Soldner, whose work can be seen in the exhibition.

University of California, Davis
In 1962 Robert Arneson, an admirer of Peter Voulkos, began teaching ceramics at the University of California, Davis. During his 30-year reign there, Arneson, his colleagues and his students, including Clayton Bailey, David Gilhooly, Richard Notkin, Lucian Pompili and Richard Shaw, created one of the most internationally recognized, revolutionary ceramics programs in the United States. Its legacy stems from its focus on figurative ceramics and the atmosphere of innovation and experimentation that Arneson fostered.

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International Glass and Clay Exhibit 2013 / Pepco Edison Place Gallery, Washington DC

International Glass and Clay Exhibit 2013 at Pepco Edison Place Gallery, Washington DC

International Glass and Clay Exhibit 2013 / Pepco Edison Place Gallery, Washington DC
March 1-23, 2013

Artomatic, Inc., the Office of the Secretary for the District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), and Sunderland, England City Council, are proud to present an international fine arts glass and clay exhibit, International Glass and Clay 2013, hosted at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery in downtown Washington, D.C.

International Glass and Clay 2013, which will run from March 1 to 23, debuts as the third Artomatic international collaboration with District of Columbia Sister City, Sunderland, England. Located in the heart of D.C., the Pepco Edison Place Gallery will display vibrant works of glass and clay.

Coming off the success of Glass3 in 2008 and Artomatic 2009, this will be Artomatic’s third international exhibit and the first to feature fine clay art. This exhibition will present expressive glass and clay artwork as well as narrative sculptures that blend traditional craft materials such as glass and clay with digital technologies, removing the boundaries between the traditional categories of craft, art, and design.

The exhibition will display international glass and clay artists from Sunderland’s Cohesion Artists and the University of Sunderland, and Washington, D.C.based artists from the Washington Glass School and Flux Studios.

Each arts organization has selected the artists whose work will be on display during the 20 day exhibit. Artwork will also be for sale, with all proceeds going to the artist.

To complement the artwork, International Glass and Clay 2013 will host panels at Pepco Edison Place Gallery all month long meant to inspire indepth conversation about cultural diplomacy, Fulbright exchanges and international artists residencies and the arts. The events will include representatives from cultural institutions in the nation’s capital, including embassies, government entities, think tanks and local arts organizations.

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Marie Torbensdatter Hermann exhibition / Galerie Nec, Paris

Marie Torbensdatter Hermann exhibition Galerie Nec, Paris

Marie Torbensdatter Hermann exhibition / Galerie Nec, Paris
October 26 - November 24, 2012

"The work reflects on some kind of strange family of domestic objects, they are bound together by a form of action, something undefinable but with a hint of a purpose. As if they are there for one very specific reason, each with a small specific individual function, but on their own they are un-significant, it is as a group how they become useful and self-sufficient. It is in the choice of grouping certain objects with each other and in the spacing of them, that they come into existence. I also see a big part of my practice as an arranger. Someone arranges objects and creates small details, small shots taken from a lager scenario. As if we have the time line in constant flux, I make the decision on where to cut out one image and create that as a memory of what ones was, before it moved on to become something else." Marie T. Hermann

“Looking around Marie T. 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. As is true of most potters, even those working in the manner of installation artists, daily use is constantly at issue for her – either as a haunting presence or a conspicuous absence. The inclusion of two plates, one sunk into its shelf and the other just emerging, gratifies our expectations on this score, even as the closing off of vases at the mouth refuses it.

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.

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Francesca DiMattio: Bloemenhouder and Kandelaar / Pippy Houldsworth, London

Francesca DiMattio: Bloemenhouder and Kandelaar exhibition Pippy Houldsworth Gallery London

Francesca DiMattio: Bloemenhouder and Kandelaar / Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London
October 10 - November 17, 2012

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present young New York artist Francesca DiMattio’s first solo exhibition in Europe from 10 October to 17 November 2012, and her first showing in London since her large scale canvases were seen in Saatchi Gallery’s Abstract America in 2009. Bloemenhouder and Kandelaar offers us the opportunity to see DiMattio’s vibrant and painterly sculptures standing on their own, showing the vitality and eccentricity of the large-scale ceramic pieces she has been developing over the past two years.

DiMattio’s paintings have often made reference to feminine craft techniques such as sewing, weaving or quilt making. In an attempt to shift the assumption that these crafts are most often delicate or small-scale domestic creations, she scales them up and uses a rougher, more masculine hand. Keeping with an interest in domestic craft, it is fitting that her sculptures are formed from ceramic. Using a material deeply ingrained in rules, craft and history, she turns it on its head by irreverently pulling from its history and pairing extravagant reference with crude slabs marked by fingers and punch marks.

In this exhibition, DiMattio investigates the history of porcelain to examine the ways in which visual iconography moves through culture. She looks at how porcelain’s visual history is one of copies, fakes and re-makes; how a revered technique such as the blue and white design found on a Ming Vase was copied by the English, Dutch and French, morphing and changing slightly through each iteration, and can now be found on a kitsch object in a gift shop. Like her paintings, the sculptures here juxtapose conflicting historical references, from 18th century English Wedgwood, French Rococo and Ming Dynasty to kitsch animal figurines. These are grafted objects, fusing disparate elements into a curious new whole. Each piece is made completely as one, rather than from found forms put together after the firing. The different passages affect one another, with glaze from one element interrupting, transforming and connecting multiple facets of the same sculpture.

DiMattio’s new work incorporates bases and handles of various forms, from gilded heaps of clay to delicately sculpted adorning flowers. Bases of piled up clay are reminiscent of Chris Ofili’s elephant dung, whilst a slumping torso-like coil pot seems on the verge of collapse. Debris made by sculpting animalia has been collected and put on the adjacent surface, creating a rough texture made of dust, chunks and trimmings, and elements in high gloss sit next to bright matte colour. DiMattio creates unstable and shifting objects that are a combination of various logics of taste. In Cuvette à Tombeau, one moment the china-painted landscape is beautiful and the bright rough-textured yellow feels broken, crude or flawed, and on a second look, the texture becomes vibrant and rich, whilst the landscape becomes something you might find in a thrift shop. The changeability of taste is heightened and examined through DiMattio’s uncanny pairings that ask the viewer to look closely at and interrogate these new abstract and de-hierarchised forms.

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The Open West 2012 Award Winners exhibition / Gardens Gallery, Cheltenham, UK

The Open West 2012 Award Winners exhibition Cheltenham

The Open West 2012 Award Winners exhibition / Gardens Gallery, Cheltenham, UK
November 15-20, 2012

Private view: Thursday, November 15, 6 pm.

Artists: James P. Graham, Haruka Miyamoto, Koji Shiraya.

Following the open west’s acclaimed exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral earlier this year, curators Lyn Cluer Coleman and Sarah Goodwin are now presenting an exhibition of the three award winners, James P Graham (University of Gloucestershire Award) Haruka Miyamoto (Ecotricity Award) and Koji Shiraya (Curators Award).
This year’s award winning artists are connected by their concerns for the environment, showing acute awareness of the origins of the materials they use, from base metals to volcanic rock, leather, waste rubber and plastic, porcelain and feldspar.

James P Graham lives and works in Italy and London and exhibits internationally. Originally trained in film and photography, James’ recent sculptural work is informed by landscape and nature. His new sculpture, Golden Cage, coming to Cheltenham directly from the Chelsea Physic Garden, uses volcanic rocks from the active crater on Stromboli, which have been wound and suspended with gold thread. The work “symbolises man’s attempts to imprison and control nature,” (CNN, Eco Solutions, 20.7.12).

Haruka Miyamoto lives and works in London. Her training is in textiles (recently graduated from Chelsea College of Art & Design) and she works as a fashion, shoe and product designer as well as an artist. “The idea of my work is based on lifecycles in nature. I rescue materials from the bin and give them a second life, so they don’t end up in landfill. The impact that humans have on nature can be devastating. The dodo, which became extinct due to human activities, is a symbol of extinction.” Haruka showed in British-ish, the best of the UAL design graduates at the V&A for London Design Festival, and auctioned her work ‘Extraordinary Rubbish’ in the Faberge Egg Hunt 2011.

Koji Shiraya who works in London and is soon to return to Japan, is an artist who completed his MA in Ceramics and Glass in 2010 at the Royal College of Art. His work After the Dream shown in the darkened crypt at Gloucester Cathedral captured an intriguing ambiguity, using porcelain spheres as metaphors for the mind, and its Gardens Gallery setting will stimulate a new language. In his sculpture Trinary 2011 all of the samples in the jars are filled with some of the main components of the earth’s crust. Koji has shown work at Einfall: Beyond Spontaneity at the Freud Museum and at Designers & Makers at Somerset House.

Applications for the open west 2013 will be received from December. See theopenwest.org.uk for full details.

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Caroline Andrin and Francois Ruegg / Puls Ceramics, Brussels

Caroline Andrin and Francois Ruegg / Puls Ceramics, Brussels
October 13 - November 17, 2012

Caroline Andrin exhibition Puls Ceramics, Brussels

Caroline Andrin
Swiss ceramist Caroline Andrin maintains her studio in Brussels as well as holding the Ceramics Department chair at La Cambre. Widely traveled and exhibited, this is her second Puls exhibition. Andrin has entitled this series of work Skin Game.

Much of Andrin’s art has been inspired by the examination of the intimate relationship that we have with the objects in our everyday environment, objects that we wear or use. Throughout her career, Andrin’s work has developed from one object to the next, sometimes by taking into consideration the function of the original object and sometimes by a larger context. She has been inspired by the principle that every form hides another form within it and that through a process of her own using clay, both the inside and the outside of an object can be made visible.

The title of this series is particularly apt. It asks many questions. Skin: what is it, when and where do we encounter it, and what deeper consequences does it hold for us as individuals and our values. We seldom pause to remember that the skin of a mammal—and specifically humans—is the largest organ in the body. As for game, is it the mere entertainment of stalking and bringing back a trophy to hang on a wall or the hides that kept our prehistoric ancestors alive through the Ice Ages?

The series consists of an ensemble of Trophies and Accessories. Game here of course assumes its double meaning, referring to play as well as hunting.

Andrin pits our visual perception against our sense of touch. She has captured the visual qualities of skin and then assaults the innate coordination of our sense with entirely the wrong texture. The work certainly has the look but not feel. She is challenging the very essence of the materiality we expect.

Each Trophy originates from a pair of leather gloves. The gloves are turned inside out, cut up and sewn back together in order to make a mold into which clay is poured. This process involves the casting of clay slip. Traditionally clay is cast in plaster molds. Since 1996 however, she has used material for molds that leave a trace on the final object. This is a verification of the idea that one form contains another.

The manipulation of the original object (the leather glove) creates an imaginary bestiary which speaks of the skin. Andrin examines our emotional relationship with objects and in this case, all that the objects represent.

Francois Ruegg exhibition Puls Ceramics, Brussels

Francois Ruegg
Francois Ruegg is an award winning Swiss ceramist exhibited at Puls for the first time. Ruegg intentionally uses allegory to color the figurative presence of his objects and their complex allusions. He plays with our innermost expectations, our stereotypes, and sends us on strange trains of thought. Ruegg deliberately leads us astray as he challenges our internalized landmarks and creates confusion in our perceptions. This is work that provokes, destabilizes, and opens up only enough to give up a few clues to understanding.

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Melissa Stern: The Talking Cure / Smart Clothes Gallery, New York

Melissa Stern: The Talking Cure exhibition Smart Clothes Gallery, New York

Melissa Stern: The Talking Cure / Smart Clothes Gallery, New York

Opening Reception: November 8, 6-9 PM.

Smart Clothes Gallery and its founder Paul Bridgewater are pleased to present “The Talking Cure,” by Melissa Stern, a multi-media art exhibition integrating sculpture, original contemporary literature, and audio technology.

The Talking Cure, takes its name from Sigmund Freud’s original description of psychoanalysis. The exhibition consists of twelve mixed material sculptures by Melissa Stern, each accompanied by an interactive audio track created by a literary collaborator. Stern asked twelve writers- poets, novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights- to each chose a sculpture to which they relate most intimately. Each has written his or her imagined monologue of the goings on in the sculpture’s mind. The written work was then transformed into audio recordings by actors. A QR tag accompanies each sculpture. When the viewer points a Smartphone, Blackberry or iPhone reading device at the QR tag it triggers audio to hear the inner voice of the sculpture.

"I have long been fascinated by what goes on in people’s minds when they look at art," said Stern. "What stories do they tell themselves? What emotions and memories are triggered?" In this project we will have a chance to hear what others think goes on in the minds of these sculptural people. Viewers will also have the opportunity to record their own imagined interior monologue for each sculpture.

The exhibition will also feature twelve drawings to accompany the sculptures. These pieces address psychological states and experiences in a non- narrative, image based way. They are the dreams that accompany the sculptures.

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Anne Tophøj and Marianne Nielsen: Elitist Folklore / Copenhagen Ceramics

Anne Tophøj and Marianne Nielsen: Elitist Folklore exhibition Copenhagen Ceramics

Anne Tophøj and Marianne Nielsen: Elitist Folklore / Copenhagen Ceramics
October 25 – November 17, 2012

Artist talk: Saturday, October 27, at 2 pm.

The dish, the plate, the table and the flower. These common everyday objects and the most beloved iconic shapes from nature are framing in the lives of most people. For their shared exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics Marianne Nielsen and Anne Tophøj are investigating why and how we value these universal expressions of culture and nature. But what is elitist folklore? What does it look like from their point of view?

Marianne Nielsen occupies a very special position in Danish Ceramics. She takes interest, in an almost nerdy way, in the role of nature in our culture. In recent years her work often has concluded in definite renderings of natural subjects: mountains, feathers, leaves and now flowers and plants. As a kind of souvenir they refer to something beyond ourselves, being continuous, universal and something which, through its authenticity, contains an essential beauty. Yet, the representations of nature are about ourselves, since they only acquire their meaning through our very own gaze.

Marianne Nielsen articulates this: ’Flowers hold a modest position in the arts as something banal, soft, often assigned the subordinate part. For these pieces I have let the flower be on its own, allowing it to make up the entire work. The works are about what is not directly present – the references linked to flowers, both as representatives of beauty and natural souvenirs. But they also deal with that particular application that has worn down the flower-motif and turned it into a cliché.’

In a similar way Anne Tophøj is working with the values and inherent meanings of things. Either because the artifacts contain specific images or symbols that pass on a story or message, or by suggesting a particular use or way of handling.

Characteristic of her work she investigates the dish and the plate, objects that we are all very familiar with and make daily use of. As she herself puts it:The plate and the dish are signs of human culture and how we raise ourselves above the animals; they are pivotal in all eating rituals and our daily meals. Artefacts that we all have in common – universal, banal, indispensable tools helping us to sustain life. They are beloved and treasured objects that different cultures and times have shaped endlessly for use and for ornamentation, for the table and for the wall.”

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Ceramics Now Exhibition, 3rd edition / Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

Ceramics Now Exhibition - International contemporary ceramics exhibition, third edition

Ceramics Now Exhibition, 3rd edition / Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
November 8-26, 2012

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 8, 6:00 PM.

The international Ceramics Now Exhibition is an itinerary exhibition of contemporary ceramics which presents works of artists that are featured in Ceramics Now Magazine’s platforms or are invited. The exhibition reunites artists from different countries and communities, and facilitates contact between them and the public. Ceramics Now Magazine and Exhibition operate as an exchange platform between artists, galleries, museums, collectors and people passionate about art.

In the context of the globalization of arts and of rapid exchange of information, it is more and more necessary to make a serious coagulation of what is contemporary ceramics. The incorporation of many diverse subjects, working techniques and mediums in creating a ceramic object, are more and more frequent, risking if not counterbalanced, to take this domain back to crafts. The harmony between the compositional elements and concept can be realized through exercise, and this exercise is a reference point for contemporary artists. In creating a contemporary ceramic object, an equilibrium can be reached by those who feel the need to create and who create with depth. Originating either from Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia or America, practice, delicacy and accuracy are characteristics that unite them. The Ceramics Now Exhibition reunites these artists and brings their work together aiming to create an open platform between them and the public. The third edition of our main event will be held between 8-26th of November 2012, at Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, and will present the works of 22 world-renowned contemporary ceramic artists.

EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Steve Belz (USA), Gherghina Costea (Romania), Kimberly Cook (USA), Ossama Mahmoud Emam (Egypt), Nato Eristavi (Georgia), Jason Hackett (USA), Teresa and Helena Jané (Portugal), Brian Kakas (USA), Yoichiro Kamei (Japan), Kentaro Kawabata (Japan), Allison Luce (USA), Nicolae Moldovan (Romania), Akio Niisato (Japan), Heide Nonnenmacher (Germany), Szilvia Ortlieb (Austria), Barbara Schmid (Austria), Avital Sheffer (Australia), Suzanne Stumpf (USA), Kouzo Takeuchi (Japan), Shinya Tanoue (Japan), Kwok-Pong Bobby Tso (China), Gavril Zmicală (Romania).

Curator: Vasi Hîrdo
Coordinator: Cristina Popescu Russu

Ceramics Now Magazine is a comprehensive and innovative publication & online art platform specialized in contemporary ceramics. Founded in 2011, the magazine celebrates the creative field of ceramics through publishing interviews, reviews and works of new and world-renowned ceramic artists, and providing information on contemporary ceramic art exhibitions.

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