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installation

Richard Slee: Camp Futility / Studio Voltaire, London

Richard Slee: Camp Futility exhibition at Studio Voltaire, London

Richard Slee: Camp Futility / Studio Voltaire, London
April 25 – May 26, 2012

Opening reception: Tuesday, April 24, 7–9 pm

Studio Voltaire presents a new commission by Richard Slee, comprising of a series of objects and installations made specifically for the exhibition. Slee is an important figure within contemporary ceramics and the exhibition will be his first presentation in a public gallery since From Utility to Futility, a solo exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2010.

Central to Slee’s exhibition at Studio Voltaire is a number of works based on vernacular objects such as wood saws, hammers, pick axes and camping equipment. Inspired by a recent residency at Alfred University, in upstate New York, the works investigate particular myths and the symbolism of our ideas of America such as the great outdoors and the pioneer spirit. Lashed together workbenches that refer to old mining equipment, various scattered tools and an abandoned camp-fire can be read as an allegory to abandoned industries where whole communities move on to find employment elsewhere.

Ideas challenging the economy of productive labor are implicit in Slee’s combination of the hand-made and the found object. The uncanny hybrid of the de-skilled ready-made and the crafted object convey a subversive humourous vision that playfully investigates the limits of the ceramic tradition. Mass produced, everyday objects are meticulously realized with highly glazed, bright colors. These seductive surfaces recall a Pop or post-modern aesthetic that belies the more psychological, underlying cultural references of an object’s utility.

Slee (born 1946, Carlisle) works and lives in London. He studied Ceramics at Central School of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art. Until last year, he was a senior Professor at the University of the Arts in London. His work has been shown in London and internationally since the late 1970s and recent exhibitions include Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970 – 1990, V&A Museum, London (2011-12), The Peir Arts Centre, Stromness (Solo, 2004) and Tate St Ives (Solo, 2003). Slee is represented by Hales Gallery, London.

Sponsored by SIMONE.
Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation.

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  • Jenni Ward: Branch Series (installation), 2011, ceramic & high temperature, wire, variable dimensions

  • Dimitrios Antonitsis: Sarmale with Ketchup / SABOT Gallery, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    Dimitrios Antonitsis: Sarmale with Ketchup exhibition at SABOT Gallery, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    Dimitrios Antonitsis: Sarmale with Ketchup / SABOT Gallery, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    March 21 – May 5, 2012

    Sleek show fitting the sleek space of Sabot and breathing contemporary air into the Transylvanian folklore.

    A graduate of the New York Film Academy and a former fashion photographer, Antonitsis is keenly aware of the different ways reality can be manipulated or exaggerated. (Tina Sotiriadi | Art in America, April 2002)

    The Folklore, as a term of Dimitrios Antonitsis’ personal vocabulary, is invariably concerned with the practice of handcrafts. Always manifesting a soft spot for the discarded and the rejected, the artist easily fell for the triviality of Romanian fleamarket-stands, where he purchased used ceramic pots and vessels, woven rugs and bedspreads, and even some coarse wood-crafted decorative objects. These forsaken, modest artifacts became the chosen ingredients for his challenging task of pursuing a juicy aesthetical discourse and transforming them into his own contemporary dish.
    The mundane titles “Sarmale with Ketchup” (for his solo show at Sabot), and “Panache de Papanași” (for the concomitant exhibition at the Museum of Art in Cluj-Napoca), should be therefore read as an act of resisting social formatting.

    Antonitsis uses his latest sculptural work as a sharp metaphor for leisure, fun and luxurious consumption. Bonus, a giant canine treat in aluminum and Bunny Labyrinth, a kids game silk-screened on a woven rug comment on our complicated and troublesome relation with over-achievement, social power and reward. His aesthetic language stretches from an attractive and minimal object making to an overcharged and exaggerated folklore design, always responding to the goal of articulating the concepts as accurately as possible. After all, Antonitsis is an artist who feels responsible for bringing truth to his audience. He can be wrong or misunderstood, but he must struggle to reflect reality in a way that speaks out the truth, whether we comprehend it or not.

    Artist and curator, Dimitrios Antonitsis is the founder of Hydra School Projects, a cutting edge international platform for the visual arts set up in an elementary school on the Greek island of Hydra.

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  • Liliana Folta: An Abstract Poem of Freedom, 2009, (on going) traveling/interaction/installation: ceramic chain, bullets & bowl; white gesso, ink, wooden chair, white sheets, rug, soldier boots, paper, high temp wire, 3x7x2 ft.

  • Liliana Folta: Oíd el Ruido de Rotas Cadenas (Hear the Sounds of Broken Chains), 2010, Installation for the 1st Biennial of the Americas, unglazed ceramic chains, cotton canvas chains, wood, mirror, iron, high temp wire, 13ft. x 56in Diam.

  • Liliana Folta: Oíd el Ruido de Rotas Cadenas (Hear the Sounds of Broken Chains), detail, 2010

  • Liliana Folta: Inhale-Exhale-Explode, 2009/10, ceramic installation, oxides, glazes, wood, high temp wire, 14x12x4in (each)

  • Annie Woodford: Piercing Rim, detail, 2007

  • Ebru Özseçen: True Love Soul Mate / RAMPA Istanbul, Turkey

    Ebru Özseçen: True Love Soul Mate exhibition at RAMPA Istanbul, Turkey

    Ebru Özseçen: True Love Soul Mate / RAMPA İstanbul, Turkey
    March 02 — April 07, 2012

    Ebru Özseçen combines her experience in the fields of architecture, design and contemporary art to explore different aspects of psychological and sociological relationship between space and body. Her work presents great diversity; ranging from urban intervention to sculpture and objects, from photography to video, from film installations to drawings. The artist is concerned with the dualities of inside/ outside and public/private; and explores individual memory in contemporary society. Ebru Özseçen investigates the seemingly mundane to expose its magical and unseen aspects. She reveals a space where fantasy and memory hide in plain sight.

    It is impossible to disregard the gender aspect in Özseçen’s work, in which she indiscriminately plays with the androgynous form – the phallus, vulva, uterus or scrotum. At times pushing the boundaries of pornographic obscenity, the artist always places erotic intensity in the foreground. On the other hand, in many of her works it is possible to see Özseçen driven by her deep-seated admiration for the tradition of artisanship. The artist is drawn to the sensual quality of the form and the beauty of a well-accomplished object. This approach invites us to interpret the artist’s practice from a new perspective. Özseçen’s sharp gaze on the form, and her romantic obsession with the beautiful, the pure, and the unsoiled confront us as sharp yet sensitive, violent yet graceful works that have been refined in the hands of a craftsman.

    Özseçen’s new work, Gerçek Aşk Gönül Eşi / True Love Soul Mate (2011), which will constitute the backbone of the exhibition at Rampa, is comprised of over 100 separate glass pieces. This work is realized in collaboration with Mayer of Munich and Glasshütte Lamberts, which are among the most prominent handmade glass studios of the world that has for the first time opened its doors to contemporary arts for this work. Each piece is produced in different sizes and forms with hours of effort in 1450-degree ovens. Recalling many of Özseçen’s work, heat once more emerges as a dominating component in this work, both as a physical force and as an allegory. For this work, the artist divulges that “the concept of true love and soul mate employed in the title should be sought not in the realm of romantic love, but rather in companionship, camaraderie as signified in the craftsman’s delicate touch on the objects he has amorously devoted himself to.” Installing two of her works of the same form together, one from the beginning and the other from the most recent phase of her career, Özseçen incites the audience to trace a playful phantom form.

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  • Seiko Mikami - Desire of Codes

    This installation by Seiko Mikami, consisting of three parts, is currently set up in YCAM - Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media. Large number of tentacles-like devices with built-in cameras are placed across a huge wall, while six robotic “search arms” equipped with cameras and projectors are suspended from the ceiling tracking the visitors. Data is collected and assembled, presenting elements of past and present back to the viewer. Video

    (via amslu)

  • MODERN TALKING, Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    MODERN TALKING group exhibition, Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    MODERN TALKING, Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    February 15 - April 15, 2012

    The Museum of Art in Cluj-Napoca is hosting the group exhibition entitled “Modern Talking”, featuring contemporary artists whose works are challenging the conventions of painting and its legacy. Through the work of the invited artists, the visitor will be able to re-conceptualize the traditional acception of painting, which is no longer restricted to the oil-on-canvas formula, but offers a multitude of other alternatives. Fabric, metal, found objects, conceptual statements, flamboyant actions, installations and sculptures, all of these are putting forward an extended understanding of the medium; today, painting is expanded, painting is overall.

    Artists:
    Sonia Almeida (PT); Mark Barrow (US); Baldur Geir Bragason (IS); Vittorio Brodmann (CH); Ana Cardoso (PT); Aline Cautis (US); Radu Comşa (RO); Ann Craven (US); Francesca DiMattio (US); Ida Ekblad (NO); Enzo Giordano (IT); Heather Guertin (US); Davíð Örn Halldórsson (IS); Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttir (IS); Jacob Kassay (US); Gilda Mautone (IT); Florin Maxa (RO); Dan Măciucă (RO); Elizabeth Neel (US); Ylva Ogland (SE); Paloma Presents [Urs Zahn & Roman Gysin] (CH); Zak Prekop (US); Jo Robertson (UK); Małgorzata Szymankiewicz (PL); Patricia Treib (US); Daniel Turner (US); Garth Weiser (US).

    Special project by Sarah Ortmeyer (DE).

    Organizers: Nicola Trezzi and Daria D. Pervain, in collaboration with Ewa Gorządek, Helena Kontova, and Giancarlo Politi.

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  • Interview with Marianne McGrath - Ceramic Installation, January 2012

    Interview with ceramic artist Marianne McGrath - Ceramic Installation, January 2012

    → Subscribe to our monthly newsletter if you want to receive news and interviews with ceramic artists.
    → The full interview with Marianne McGrath is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue Two.

    Ceramics Now Magazine
    : Before starting a career in ceramics you studied Biology. In relation to your line of work, how would you characterize the relationship between Biology and Ceramics?

    Marianne McGrath: I believe my study of biology helped create the artist I am today: one that works by questioning what surrounds me, and by creating objects based on observation in a very systematic manner. Artists, like biologists, work from direct observation and immersion in the environment around them, and are forever attempting to interpret this world.
    Both groups employ creative means to achieve this. I grew up on a farm in Southern California, one my family had farmed for four generations, surrounded by this natural world that was under the direct manipulation of the human hand to serve human needs. I believe I was drawn to study biology in college because growing up immersed in this agrarian landscape and was incredibly interested in the idea that we, as humans, have this ability to define, control, and use the natural world that surrounds us, yet we also have an imperative responsibility as a species to maintain this world.

    In my final semester in college, I took a ceramics class, the first art class I had ever formally taken. I was immediately overwhelmed by the questions I found artists asking, by the responses that they drew from their audience, and the simple fact that they were using dirt, one of the most basic components of the natural world, to create. This type of communication and way of thinking drew me in and I decide to completely change the direction of my life. I found that my voice was much more attuned to express my concerns of the livelihood of the natural world through the means of art than through my study of biology.

    In the studio today, I find myself working in much of the same manner as I used to in the biology lab: trying to find the answer to a particular question. I also recognize my history as a student of biology in my draw to clay’s ability to be manipulated at all levels of its creation, whether its in the mixing and altering of a slip, or in the potential of atmospheric firings. I use this characteristic of clay as the basis of communication in my works.
    Marianne McGrath Contemporary Ceramics
    What I See, What I Saw II, 2011, unfired earthenware, plywood, steel rod, wax, 4’h x 10’l x 20’x
    - View her works

    You use unconventional techniques in very interesting ways, like unfired earthenware and wax. Tell us more about these methods and the creation process.

    The medium of clay itself creates a very heavy material metaphor. Artists, I believe, are drawn to it for it’s malleability, its ability to record the touch of the human hand, and the sense of permanence it retains once fired. Unfired clay, especially at the bone-dry stage, is incredibly fragile and ephemeral-it can be dissolved or broken down immediately. The impermanence that clay retains at this stage struck me as incredibly meaningful, and I thus employed it to convey the meaning that I wished for in my work.

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