This exhibition marks a point of reckoning in the oeuvre of Nicola Tassie, one of London’s most sought-after studio ceramicists and teachers. Drawing on three decades of experimentation, consolidation and reflection, this exhibition pushes newly-made and older works up against one another. The installations and displays of functional, functionally ambiguous, and overtly sculptural works show Tassie investigating with renewed clarity the questions she has posed and re-posed in regard to the practice and reception of ceramics throughout her career.
Alison Britton & Jim Partridge: Cut and Run / Marsden Woo Gallery, London October 14 - November 15, 2014
Alison Britton has returned to making pots after a year of working on her book, Seeing Things, Collected Writing on Art, Craft and Design. (Occasional Papers, 2013)
Picking up the threads in the studio she has resolved to work with a basic simplicity, making a series of tall jars, painted white and black over the buff clay body. Her casual mode of slab building, the balanced irregularity of planes, columns, cut off cones, and facets, is still in play. Pouring slip, a loosely controlled process, continues to be important, as well as working with a brush.
Tommaso Corvi-Mora is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work Simon Carroll. Born in 1964, Simon Carroll died in 2009 at the age of 45. He was one of the most talented and inventive potters of his generation.
After the clean slate brought about by the generation of postmodern potters of the 70s and 80s (Alison Britton, Elizabeth Fritsch, Walter Keeler, Jacqui Poncelet), whose work developed also in reaction to Bernard Leach’s lasting influence, potters working in Britain divided themselves into two separate camps: those who could be called the “apollonians” (Julian Stair, Edmund de Waal, Ken Eastman), who privilege clean lines, muted colours, an interest in modes of display and an approach to ceramics influenced primarily by minimal and conceptual art, and those who could be identified as the “dionysians” (Gareth Mason, Ashley Howard), more focused on the object presented individually and on an approach closer to “art informel” and abstract expressionism. Simon Carroll’s work places itself firmly in the latter group; however the exuberance and eruptive force of his forms is always tempered by a thoughtful and affectionate reverence for the tradition and history of pottery, especially for 17th- and 18th Century slip-decorated Staffordshire wares.
"I fell in love with both the material and the vessel as a magical form; but it was a long time before I realised how I wanted to use it… I was seduced by the alchemy of change where you take a material…and it is transmogrified into something else."
Born in Staffordshire in 1934, Henderson became interested in painting and sculpture while working for a timber company in Cardiff and started attending evening classes at the local art school. In 1964 Henderson began a foundation course at Goldsmiths College in London where he first encountered clay. Later he would study ceramics under, among others, Hans Coper and Lucie Rie, at the Camberwell School of Art. But he always made time to draw and paint. He graduated in 1968 and continued his studies at Edinburgh College of Art before returning to London.
Sara Radstone describes her work as ‘a lifetime obsession with things that are overlooked or discarded’. Thoughts of archived objects and the traces or fragments of long redundant artefacts all haunt her work; they represent, as she puts it, the ‘frozen remains of what might have been.’
Bertozzi & Casoni: Regeneration / All Visual Arts, London October 13 - November 10, 2012
Private view: October 12, 7-9 pm.
All Visual Arts are proud to present Regeneration, a unique installation from Italian artists Bertozzi & Casoni. The artists are acclaimed for their delicate depictions of a culture in decay, deftly rendered in fragile ceramic clay. Their latest work Regeneration queries the hierarchy of aesthetics, revealing the beauty in the neglected and discarded ephemera of our seamless culture. The pieces compel the viewer to confront the visceral decay of contemporary society, to expose the cracks between the artifice of the world we are presented with and to explore what lies within these fissures. With this imaginative approach to their practice, Bertozzi and Casoni align the traditional with the experimental, and allow us to construct our own narrative around their evocative scenes.
Bertozzi and Casoni manipulate the indistinction between the real and the simulacrum in their work, an obsession for detail which evokes the Decadent taste for imitation and crafted artifice as superior to the natural. In fabricating these visually and emotionally compelling still-lifes, the artists engage the viewer in deeper themes of impermanence and mortality. Through rendering the abject and overlooked in such exquisite detail, Bertozzi and Casoni signal the return of the repressed, the avoidance of our own mortality. In one piece in which the memento mori is explicitly rendered, an ox skull is dominated by a vivid monitor lizard, symbolic of both death and rebirth in its habitat across Asia and Australia. In the antonymously titled DisGRACE, vibrant blooms sprout from the polluted detritus of a decadent and avaricious society, a scene of nature triumphing over the excesses of hyper-capitalism.
Regeneration contemplates the possibility of change through rebirth, rediscovery and reappropriation, manipulating earth into elegant and fragile structures. In one piece, a cluster of butterflies flock to raise the severed head of a deer from an ornamental platter, recalling the Renaissance representations of John the Baptist or Holofernes. In a similar echo of classical scenes, and dominating the Regeneration is the serene image of a silverback gorilla resting in the Buddhist lotus position on a bed of discarded mattresses. A roe deer lies prone across its body, while wrens and goldcrests commune around the pair. The piece is an evocation of symbolic power, from the visceral confrontation of our Darwinian descendent dying out in front of our eyes, to the shift between the viewer and sculpture, object and subject as we find ourselves caught in the compassionate gaze of the animals. Our own mortality is inscribed in the tableaux where urban structures, religion and the animal world collide to reveal the grace in disgrace which Bertozzi and Casoni seek to capture.
It seems appropriate that the duo push their material to its limits and question the possibility of representation in their work at every turn. Their liberal accumulation and compilation of cultural references is evident in the playful amalgamation of objects in a work where a swordfish’s head juts from a guitar case; the shapes tessellating the natural with the cultural. Their curiosity and playful approach to objects creates a process of continual experimentation and discovery, freeing themselves from convention and the stereotypes of the ornamental and domestic associated with the ceramic medium, and producing unexpected moments of pathos and humour through their synthesis of past and present, nature and artifice. The artists subvert the established rules about the perception of applied arts through inverting the symbolic power of their traditional medium, exceeding the inherent conservativism of ceramics to sculpt fantastic and grotesque scenes that liberate both the artist and viewer’s imagination.
Artists interpretation of the living world in Sculpture, Painting & Installation.
The wild life of wildlife. A flower growing through the crack in the pavement, the ivy scaling the fascia of a building, camouflaging, cloaking, pulling it to the ground, the tree growing around a concrete pillar, engulfing it slowly, morphing year on year. The birds nest in the rafters of a roof, made up of twigs and plastic ties, the nested young being fed the preservative pumped, calorie powered garbage bin rewards. These are glimpses of wildlife interacting, adjusting, adapting to the environment that we’ve created, over, around, on top of it, the once green meadow now a sea of steel work, glass and poured concrete, trees confined to their architect planned and perfectly aligned boxes. But our wild life, this wildlife is playing a slow game, a slow deathly dance between the static, lifeless concrete structures we’ve built and the unstoppable force of nature. Adapt or be adapted, adjust or be adjusted, remember me? I was here before you, I’ve always been here, you need me, I am life. Is mother nature reclaiming our temporary oasis or is it adapting to the obstacles that we’ve put in its way or are we now having to listen to the reminder that this place is not ours, we are simply borrowing it?
Confirmed Artists: Josie Morway (Painter) Rose Sanderson (Painter) Jennifer Murphy (Collage) Kelly Allen - (Painter) D*Face (Mixed media) Dan Witz (Mixed media) Jake Wood Evans (Painter) Roxanne Jackson (Sculptor) Kelly McCallum (Sculptor) Jessica Joslin (Sculptor) Kai & Sunny (Mixed media) Katja Holtz (Painter) Renhui Zhao (Mixed Media)
In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life. If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. - Charles Lindbergh
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Paul Carey-Kent’s Top 10 London Shows for April
The most literal kind of figurative is figures themselves: they haven’t always been fashionable but there are plenty around at the moment, ranging from Nancy Spero at the Serpentine to Bill Viola at Blain/Southern to the examples (more to my taste) with which I start, before moving on to works which evoke people less directly… (via)
Showdown, an online tournament where Saatchi Online artists can showcase their work and go head-to-head with other artists on the site. Saatchi Online members can vote for their favorite works of art and give one winner and one runner-up a chance to display their art at the Saatchi Gallery in London and other possible venues in major art markets. The winner will receive US $1000, the runner up US $500, and all the winning works will go on display at the Saatchi Gallery in London.