Ceramic artists list
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figurative

Klara Kristalova: Underworld / Galerie Perrotin, New York

Klara Kristalova Underworld exhibition at Galerie Perrotin New York

Klara Kristalova: Underworld / Galerie Perrotin, New York
February 27 - April 12, 2014

Opening reception: Thursday, February 27, 6-8 pm.

There is something fascinating about circuses, not the big productions kind, but the small family type that travel around the countryside. They aren’t perfect but you get a sense that they really try; the kind of atmosphere were strange things can happen but we are still close to ordinary life. – Klara Kristalova

Galerie Perrotin, New York is pleased to present “UNDERWORLD”, its first solo exhibition by Klara Kristalova in New York and the artist’s fourth solo show with Galerie Perrotin.

Klara Kristalova constructs a dark, odd, and yet familiar world. The characters that inhabit her universe are peculiar, alone, quiet, perhaps lost, as if they have just escaped from a cruel tale, waiting for a passer-by to stop and indicate the way. Made from glazed ceramics, Kristalova ‘s figures carry a raw, vulnerable, human feel to them. Drawing from Nordic storytelling and traditional myths, Kristalova manages to convey basic human emotions such as fear, love, sadness and guilt, which emerge from her work like memories from our own childhood.

For her first exhibition at Galerie Perrotin, New York, Kristalova presents a series of new characters who form an ambiguous circus cast: performing acrobats, a bird with a girl’s face, a boy with mosquito wings, a magician’s daughter. How they ended up together is for us to guess though don’t be fooled by their seemingly innocent look. As with “Double Face”, they all carry their own enigma of good and evil. Perhaps they deserve their fate; perhaps they are unaware of their own condition. Kristalova crafts their portraits at a specific moment of their mysterious lives, providing us with a few elements before the curtain drops and the show begins, leaving us to write the rest of our their narrative.

Kristalova was born in former Czechoslovakia in 1967 and moved to Sweden with her parents when she was only a year old. She studied at the Royal University College of Fine Art in Stockholm and lives in Norrtälje, Sweden. Recent exhibitions include the Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Sweden (2012), Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2012), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2011) and SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico (2009), among many others.

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  • Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form / Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City, Tennessee

    Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form at Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City

    Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form / Slocumb Galleries, Johnson City, Tennessee
    January 21 - February 14, 2014

    The ETSU Department of Art & Design and Slocumb Galleries in partnershp with the Urban Redevelopment Alliance present “Earthen Bodies: Ceramics as Sculptural Form” from January 21 to February 14, at the Tipton Gallery. Some of the participating artists will discuss their work during the reception on February 7, First Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.. In addition, the ArtIfact gallery talk is scheduled on February 13, Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss the exhibit as it explores the diverse sculptural forms created by artists working on figurative clay in the region.

    Most often, ceramics is associated with vessels and utilitarian objects, and has provided an excellent array of functional forms overshadowing its aspect as equally remarkable medium for other sculptural configurations. This show is curated to celebrate the figurative and non-utilitarian form of ceramic as art form. Ceramics is one of the more popular and established craft media in Southern Appalachian region, and this malleable medium has evolved to various permutations and tactile experimentations. The exhibition “Earthen Bodies” features works that provide diverse perspectives and a range of styles and utilization of ceramics as medium for sculpture.

    The invited artists from the Tri-states of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia are Sally Brogden, Melisa Cadell, Carol Gentithes, Mindy Herrin, Kevin Kao, Richard Kortum, Val Lyle, AJ Masterson, and Ed Miller.
    Curated by Karlota Contreras-Koterbay.

    ETSU faculty Mindy Herrin and alumni Melisa Caddell both create meticulous and complex figurative sculptures, mostly investigating the female body fabricated with other media such as encaustics and metal works. Herrin describes her work as depicting dialogue as surfacing in the “guise of affliction or struggle.” Her anatomical heroines illustrate women’s physical struggle and mental perspectives in its aspiration to overcome the body’s limitation. In parallel, Cadell’s elongated, and at times emaciated or mutated figures are visualization of her thoughts on “confinement and transcendence of the human body”, often as efforts to provoke dialogue on issues such as mortality and the unexpected consequences of genetics and technology.

    This common thread of employing the female body is also prevalent on the works of Val Lyle. Lyle’s ceramic torsos made from clay are gestural forms that are characterized as sensual, organic and emotive as the artist strives to relate to the viewers on a “primitive level”.

    Last year’s Positive Negative national juried exhibit’s Best of Show awardee Kevin Kao’s work also explores the human form, yet his figures portray a very different crowd from the female sculptors in the exhibition. Most obvious are the androgynous or male subjects and its uncanny statement on race and identity. Kao’s “character-objects are surreal images that portray whimsy, pain and satisfaction,” at times reminiscent of ‘super flat’ aesthetics and anime generation. This younger generation of Kao, Ed Miller and AJ Masterson employ humor on their work, at times anthropomorphing animal figures. In this era of social networking, artists like Miller who considers his work as form of journalism as he “observe the world and report my findings through sculpture”, it is not surprising to find quirky LOL animals and complex ‘selfies’ in 3D.

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  • Interview with Els Wenselaers, Belgian ceramic artist

    Interview with Els Wenselaers / Spotlight
    By Ileana Surducan
    Published in Ceramics Now Magazine Issue 2

    What made you choose ceramics as a way of expressing yourself?

    Clay is as good as any other medium, it is a material with lots of possibilities but it doesn’t influence my personal perception of art. Sometimes because of its limitations in format, in height, due to the measures of my kiln I have to find other solutions than I used before, but that are technical issues. I have also used other materials like papier maché before but the outcome of my figurines would be the same.

    What is for you the importance of figurative representation?

    It’s the essence of my work. It wouldn’t be possible for me to make work if my thoughts and feelings are not involved. All of them have a meaning and reflect my personal view on society. It’s not necessary for the public to understand it, you can enjoy them without knowing the background, but I need to be able to make them. Some of my works have a spiritual dimension. Love, understanding and insight, the meaning of existence - of evil, the happiness of life and the tragedy of death affect us, but are by themselves invisible. You can see it as a spiritual quest in which I will not flee, but indeed want to decompose and play with. The human figure in this case is the most suitable.

    Els Wenselaers Contemporary Belgian Ceramics - The brain controller

    Els Wenselaers: The Brain Controller, 2009, Ceramics, used materials, 25 x 29 x 16 cm.
    > View more works by Els Wenselaers


    Art no longer has to be “beautiful”, since the beauty of an object is derived not only from its appearance, but also from it’s concept and use. Tell us more about the aesthetic categories embodied by your work, and your motivation in choosing them.

    The followers of modernism only repeat a trick, a cheap shock effect - desecrating the beauty. It has been repeated so many times and now it belongs to the popular circuit. An authentic artist is always looking for new styles, new forms to express himself and will not be guided by expectations. The emptiness of existence can contrast strongly with its beauty and vice versa. Beauty, ugliness, two sides of the same coin. It’s the perception of it that counts; something very beautiful can be experienced as ugly when you discover the essence, the inner side of it. Art exists in many layers, for those who want to see it. My work can be considered as superficially aesthetic, but the deeper meaning is of a different order. There isn’t much beauty in the emptiness of an existence as in the Sisyphus series. “L’existence précède l’essence”. Existence precedes essence. (Jean Paul Sartre)


    The Human Hybrids series emphasizes a new twist of an old idea. Humans with animal characteristics have been a constant presence in many cultures since thousands of years ago. Compared to their traditional representation, what do you want to express with your works?

    Indeed, one of the oldest known is an ivory sculpture, the Lion man of the Hohlenstein Stadel, Germany, a human-shaped figurine with a lion’s head, determined to be about 32,000 years old. Anthropomorphism is assigning human (behavioral) characteristics to animals. After reading an article about genetic engineering, I started on human hybrids. You can make goats, produce cobwebs or grow a human ear on the back of a mouse, etc. These techniques don’t stay within the walls of a laboratory. Since a number of years, you can find genetically manipulated fish in the aquarium trade. A familiar example is the glowfish: a gene of coral polyps was implanted in a zebrafish so that the fish has become luminous. Wherein ancient civilizations, men thought that they could get the spirit of the animal at their sides in the hunt by performing rituals, men now literally attempt to change certain qualities or appearances of people through genetic modification. Currently one is allowed to blend DNA of humans and animals and keep this hybrid alive up to 14 days, and this with the purpose to investigate the study of human bred organs for organ transplantation. There are both positive and negative elements to this evolution, but you can wonder who will eventually be the freak in the future: modified or unmodified humans. I want to start a dialogue about it with the Human Hybrids.

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  • In memoriam Eugenia Pop / Interview

    ROMANIAN CONTEMPORARY CERAMICS, October 2012

    In memoriam Eugenia Pop
    Eugenia Pop lived and worked in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where she graduated from the Ceramics Department of “Ion Andreescu” Arts Institute in 1971. Over the course of 40 years, she had exhibited in many countries and has been awarded for her career by the Romanian Government (Order of Cultural Merit) and the Fine Arts Union.

    Eugenia Pop Romanian ceramic artist

    Two days after our meeting in February, Eugenia Pop went to the Copăceni alms house, near Turda, to read in peace a book by Zhi Gang Sha. She wanted to learn how to communicate better with her guardian angel. She told us that the spirit must be cleaned more frequently.

    We thank Jeni Pop from our hearts and promise to carry her optimism out in the world.

    Interview by Alexandra Mureşan and Vasi Hîrdo for Ceramics Now Magazine, Issue Two
    February 2012

    How did the fascination for ceramics started?

    I graduated Ceramics at the Fine Arts Highschool in Cluj. In the twelfth grade I had an excessive curiosity to do work as much as possible, that’s why I chose ceramics. I was a colleague with Arina Ailincăi for 6 years. We were also six in the department. Our personalities were very different, and they remained the same. A sculptor inoculated me the idea of versions. He gave me a theme, a ceramic piece in an architectural environment. After a few sketches, he told me to do more versions. I didn’t like the idea – why make more versions when the first one was good enough? But, if the master told me, I had to do it. I did lots of versions and sketches, from bad to worse. He chose from the first two, and I remained very sad because I worked so hard on so many. After a while, the seed sprouted in my mind. I was at a Communist party meeting, and I got very bored. I had my sketchbook at me and I was doing all sorts of sketches and drawings. The expression was changing with little diversity if terms of form. I showed the sketches to my professor. It remained my method over the years.

    Now I stopped doing more versions on a theme. I read books, for example those written by Rudolf Steiner, and I make illustrations on the pages. When reading a book twice, the images speak to me a lot more and I feel the text very differently when it’s illustrated, just like a plastic commentary.

    What are your main sources of inspiration?

    I broke up with the illustrative image of the exterior form. I adhered to the archetypal forms, which are interior forms of the soul, forms that kids use when drawing, but also used in the antic culture.

    Mihai Oroveanu said “Look how monumental your works are,” even if they were very small. Dan Hăliucă said the contrary: “That’s how it should be – plenty and small.” I used this thing with plenty and small a lot, because that’s how the image of the soul is. The soul is very capacious. From it’s ampleness you can make plenty and small.

    A moment of crystallization appeared when I found my personality – when I said that this is how I want to express myself. It was the humanity theme, the man. The mother man, the old man, the child man. Mother Earth. These are themes that I feel I synthesized.
    When I was young, my mother used to call me “little golden thorn” – she couldn’t tell me that I was not right, but I was also very determined. I was telling the truth.

    Eugenia Pop - Mother Earth, ceramics
    Eugenia Pop, Mother Earth, 1985, Soft porcelain

    What is your dearest part in elaborating a new work?

    Each part has its own magic. The first one is sketching the idea and choosing the right drawing, then follows the modeling and making the negative. After that, the fascination of the firing starts. It is like when a mother gives birth – she doesn’t know how the child will look like or what color his eyes will be. It is just like that after the firing, when you remain charmed by an object, and you say to yourself that this is mine! – its color has changed and it shrank. After you inspect it for a while, you adopt it or not. Sometimes you have to say I’m sorry – this is not mine.

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  • CONCEPTION - Part Two / Canvas Galleries, Belfast

    CONCEPTION - Part Two at Canvas Galleries, Belfast with Patrick Colhoun and Darren MacPherson

    CONCEPTION - Part Two / Canvas Galleries, Belfast
    September 27 - October 11, 2012

    Opening Reception: Thursday, September 27, 6.30 - 9.00 pm.

    Following on from Conception Part One London in June, Darren MacPherson and Patrick Colhoun introduce the second part of a two part exhibition of work from two very different but complimentary artists. Two mediums, MacPherson’s vibrant, acid coloured figurative paintings alongside Colhoun’s dark, brooding, somewhat disturbing contemporary sculpture.

    Part one in June was London, MacPherson’s base; part two is Belfast, Colhoun’s hometown.

    Part one, described as ‘Art with balls’ by Cool on Demand Culture blog, showcased the work in a gritty industrial setting in South East London. The second venue will be a contemporary white cube gallery in Belfast, a city really starting to find its feet in the genre of contemporary art.

    Two artists, two cities, two cultures, two mediums.

    Darren MacPherson has a growing reputation as a contemporary figurative artist whose acrylic and spray paint works are bold and full of colour.

    His frequent use of high key colours can be jarring, even startling to a first-time viewer. The negative space in the composition used merely to emphasise the foreground; this is the part of his work that he spends most time on, adding layer upon layer of content. Darren’s colours bounce off the canvas and his chaotic, sometimes erratic, strokes make for abstract suggestions of the male and female form.

    Inclusion in prestigious events such as FLAGSTOP in Los Angeles, the inaugural Other Art Fair in London and the 2011 National Open Art Exhibition are cementing MacPherson as an artist with a growing reputation.

    Patrick Colhoun is a contemporary sculptor living and working in Belfast. His irreverent approach and ever darker subject matter make for work that is anything but traditional ceramics. His use of other materials such as latex, hosiery and piercings add to the mix.

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  • Arina Ailincai: IN-SCRIPTED BODY / Art on the Avenue Gallery, Philadelphia

    Arina Ailincai IN-SCRIPTED BODY exhibition Art on the Avenue Gallery, Philadelphia - Contemporary romanian ceramics

    Arina Ailincăi: IN-SCRIPTED BODY / Art on the Avenue Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
    September 14 - October 7, 2012

    Opening Reception: Friday, September 14, 5:30 - 8:30 pm.

    Art on the Avenue Gallery, at 3808 Lancaster Avenue, is pleased to present Arina Ailincăi: IN-SCRIPTED BODY, a solo sculpture exhibition featuring recent works in clay of this noteworthy international artist.

    Arina Ailincăi is a truly international artist. Raised and educated in Romania, she began her artistic career in Eastern Europe. In the 1980s she crossed the Atlantic and settled in Canada, where she was soon acknowledged as one of its most talented artists working in clay. At that time she also exhibited and lectured in the United States. Over the last several years, she has been invited to work, exhibit and lecture at major ceramic art centers and international events throughout Europe, including Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Turkey. Most recently she has held residencies in China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

    Arina Ailincăi’s art focuses on the human figure, with the body cast using real bodies - often her own. The closeresemblance of the ceramic sculpture to the actual body is only a starting point for her deeper exploration of the universal human condition as an embodied self. Ailincai’s sculptures in clay are philosophically and metaphorically charged. The markings on the outer surface and the mysterious inscriptions in the hollow interior of the body transform the replica of a particular individual into an archetypal human vessel, holding the traces of inner life, time, place and history.

    "My desire is to “write” a three dimensional poem to both the fragile physical body and the intangible world of our inner existence. I translate this desire into ceramic sculpture through the use of faithfully replicated, life-size clay body-casts and fragments. I press the clay into the plaster mold to create ”the shell," a hollowed out body shape: an empty vessel containing the inner self, with its personal and universal history. The scripts imprinted on the interior walls of the shell, acquire symbolic and metaphoric dimensions, becoming a palimpsest of the entire human existence.  While most of my works are made in clay, I make use of other materials and techniques, often combining drawing and photography in my installations. I want to synthesize two-dimensional and three-dimensional vocabularies into a visual language charged with meaning, which directs the viewers to sense their location, both within and without.” Arina Ailincăi

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  • Figure/Figurine / The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, USA

    Figure/Figurine Exhibition at the The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, USA

    Figure/Figurine / The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, USA
    April 6 – April 29, 2012

    The Clay Studio - Philadelphia’s premier non-profit ceramic arts organization is pleased to present Figure/Figurine. The exhibition, taking place in the Harrison Gallery of The Clay Studio’s Old City home at 137-139 N. Second Street, runs from April 6 – April 29, 2012. The public is cordially invited to attend.

    For many contemporary artists working in clay sculpting representations of the human figure, associations with and references to the figurine are natural. Figurines, diminutive tabletop sculptures, representing man and or beast have lived in almost every home globally, regardless of place, culture or time. Early clay examples date back some 30000 years. Throughout time these figures have represented many things. From fertility icons to religious symbols, common man to Kings, from singular figures to ornate and complex compositions, these intimate sculptures commemorate(d) everyday and heroic acts, modern day folk and pop cultural figures, and historically significant events.

    Artists participating in Figure/Figurine include Christyl Boger, Ann Agee, Jeremy Brooks, Carole Epp, Anna Noel, and Debbie Kupinsky. Each of these makers uses the history of the figurine to create works that live comfortably in our contemporary world.

    The Clay Studio
    Founded in 1974, The Clay Studio is a non-profit educational art organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the ceramic arts and the work of new clay artists. The Clay Studio supports the ceramic arts through its artist residencies, gallery, studio space, school, and outreach programs. The Clay Studio believes in promoting broad access to the ceramic arts and gears its programs to all levels of interest and proficiency.

    Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11 am - 7 pm, and Sunday, 12 - 6 pm.

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  • Liliana Folta

    Liliana Folta Contemporary Latin American Ceramics

    Liliana Folta's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

    “The potential ability of the imagination has an important impact in our lives.  Minds have visual images that we collect through our lives.

    These inner-images that represent my works are examinations of my existence. However, in this bank of memories I cherish every possible emotion; happiness, growing pains, family loss, first love, motherhood, sexuality, multicultural experiences, frustration, social-political issues and most importantly the celebration of life.

    As an artist I like to work with different mediums, especially ceramics and acrylic paintings. Lately I have been experimenting with ceramic installations and mixed media. The freedom of expanding my work in another dimension makes me feel more connected with the viewers.
    The process of my work mostly is very spontaneous. The rest comes along with what my subconscious has been saving in my bank of memories, throughout my life and the happening of the moment.” Liliana Folta

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  • Liliana Folta: Memories & Flowers of a Warrior in a Sandbox, ceramic, oxides, glazes, high temp wire, 8x5in.

  • Melissa Stern: The Talking Cure / Fetherston Gallery, Seattle, USA

    Melissa Stern: The Talking Cure exhibition at Fetherston Gallery, Seattle, USA

    Melissa Stern: The Talking Cure / Fetherston Gallery, Seattle, USA
    March 9 – April 7, 2012

    Artist Reception: Thursday, March 29, 5.00 – 8.00 pm

    The Fetherston Gallery is proud to present “The Talking Cure” exhibition, by New York artist Melissa Stern, a groundbreaking interactive art exhibition integrating sculpture, contemporary literature, online audio and Smartphone technology.

    Smartphone Meets Sculpture
    “The Talking Cure” exhibition consists of ten of Stern’s sculptures each accompanied by an interactive audio track created by one of ten literary collaborators. Stern’s sculptures, fabricated figures combining mixed materials and found objects, with deeply drawn surfaces, possess an abundance of personality. Stern has collaborated with ten contemporary writers - poets, novelist, screenwriters, and playwrights - to each choose a sculpture and write his or her monologue of the goings on in the sculpture’s mind. The monologues are transformed into audio recordings, stored “in the cloud,” and triggered via a QR tag imbedded in the sculpture. When the viewer points a Smartphone, Blackberry or I-Phone at the QR tag it will trigger audio to hear the inner voice of the sculpture.

    Interactive Multimedia in the Manner of Sigmund Freud
    The viewer will also have the opportunity to record his or her own imagined monologue for the sculpture. These recording will be available for playback, creating an added interactive dimension to the work. Viewers will be creators as well as receivers of the back-story for each sculpture; the exhibition takes its title from Sigmund Freud’s original name for the practice of psychoanalysis.

    Melissa Stern has worked in both sculpture and drawings for over twenty years, living and exhibiting in California, Europe, and New York City. Her work is featured in a number of prominent corporate and museum collections including Dow Jones, JP Morgan, The Arkansas Art Center and the Kohler Corporation, where she was an artist-in-residence. She has also had residences at the Serenbe Institute outside of Atlanta Ga. and at The Washington School of Glass in Washington DC. Her artwork was has been featured in Trans- Ceramic Art, 500 Figures in Clay, and American Illustration 26 – The Best American Illustrations of 2007.

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  • Kimberly Cook: Trophy, detail

  • Kimberly Cook: Superstition of Security, 33.5” x 23” x 16”, stoneware, glaze, mason stain, gold luster, 2011

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