Appropriate means of creatively adapting to continual changes have been expressed though practices of art, architecture, science and technology. In this new body of ceramic works, entitled “Tectonic Perceptions”, the intentions are incorporating methodologies and theories from the mentioned practices to create a “new nature” in structural design for ceramic objects. The pieces seek to celebrate the versatility of clay with an aim of fostering new realizations of architectural space. Travels throughout Asia and an array of rich cultural experiences in China have brought about new realizations within the artist’s mind and perceptions of cultural identity, history and space.
These relationships have allowed the artist to explore relationships between the strong elements of tradition and modern identities rapidly evolving around the world. Explorations of these interrelationships and the intentions of the maker and his material have led to the new structural ceramic designs. Through his aspired process of invention, it is the artist’s intent to find a natural form by staying true to chosen materials and their inherent properties. The artist is in pursuit of finding and establishing a formal vocabulary that allows sculptural vessels to exhibit qualities of both unique and handcrafted objects of traditional cultures with that of machine made and mass-produced objects of our contemporary society.
Brian Kakas is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Northern Michigan University. He received his MFA in ceramics from The University of Notre Dame in 2007.
Ceramics Now Magazine: We know that you are a successful ceramic artist and also a scientist. How do you find time and motivation for both of your jobs?
Simcha Even-Chen: Science is a continuous stimulus for me; it has broadened my creativity thinking; it has pushed me to experiment and taught me that patience and perseverance lead to improved results. Art and science are integral parts of my life; although following both careers involved hard work (nights and weekends are dedicated to ceramics). I’m not preparing to give up one or the other. My analytical mind is well attuned to intuitive and creative possibilities; they successfully combine and complement each other.
Ceramics Now Magazine: Your works are investigating the elements of ambiguity and dynamic of opposites, or in other means, they try to mislead the viewer. Can you tell us more about this?
I have always been fascinated by the elusive harmonies created when a precise controlled architectural element is brought together with intricate surface designs and colors to generate the complete object and induce an aesthetic as well as intellectual stimulus. My body of work deals with construction of architectural geometrical shapes, their fragmentation, and the rapport generated when they are combined to form an assemblage. The use of the geometric design on the surface adds another dimension to each object on it own, but also has an impact on the fractures between objects in a group, as the flow of lines and shapes redefines the significance of each shape and gives a visual perception of unity and harmony to the work. The division of the body surface between white and black as well as the use of lines softens the shape. Placing the grid or lines on the edge of the shape, so that the shape flows, completely dissolves the hard lines. Viewed from different angles, surface and volume are blurred, giving an illusion of flatness. While the black sculptures may seem massive and heavy, their weight is light when actually lifted. Their stance appears fragile when placed on their convex side, but they are full of energy and movement. Once again, the duality of heavy-light, stability versus instability, negative and positive shapes, produce contrast between appearance and reality. I am starting on a new line of works dealing with balance, flow and motion. A dialogue between the inside and the outside of the object exists in each work creating flow motion in addition to the dialogue between the objects that developed through the way the objects are placed.
Wim Borst became a professional ceramist at a rather advanced age. At the age of 31 he exhibited for the first time. As a self taught artist he took lessons in ceramics from Ru de Boer and Emmy van Deventer a.o.
His oeuvre and career are characterized by a great accuracy and a persistent mentality. His ceramics has its roots in the Dutch geometrical abstract tradition, although he uses the idiom in a non-academic, refreshing way. Within the boundaries of the self chosen restrictions of the geometric abstraction, he takes liberties with colors, materials and themes. His objects are (generally) made up of different parts.
Wim Borst is exhibiting regularly in the Netherlands and abroad. He is a member of the NVK (the Dutch Society of Ceramic artists) and of ‘de Vishal’, (a local society of artists in Haarlem, his native town). He is part of a group of Dutch ceramists, CeramiCVision.nl who regularly join to discuss their profession; they are looking for opportunities to attract the attention of the public for their works and they are organizing exhibitions as a group.
His work is in private collections and in museum collections in the Netherlands and abroad, such as Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Boston Museum of Fine Arts in Boston USA, Frans Halsmuseum in Haarlem, Museum Keramion in Frechen Germany, ‘Magnelli Museum’, the Ceramics Museum of Vallauris, France, Museum Het Princessehof in Leeuwarden, and Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.