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sculptural ceramics

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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  • Jun Kaneko: Black & White / Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona

    Jun Kaneko Black and White ceramics exhibition at Bentley Gallery

    Jun Kaneko: Black & White / Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona
    January 9 - February 28, 2014

    Many Arizonans are familiar with Jun Kaneko’s large-scale ceramic dango sculptures (Japanese for dumpling) at Sky Harbor Airport, and his ceramic tile wall in front of Phoenix Art Museum. Bentley Gallery will be exhibiting his monumental glazed dangos and heads covered in geometric shapes and pure color. The sculptures are made with large amounts of clay, slowly built by hand using the slab technique. The glazing on Kaneko’s new works are reminiscent of his classic dangos, punctuated by graphic polka dots, spirals, stripes, and zigzags in pure black and white. These rhythmic designs are analogous with the Japanese Shinto concept of the Ma, which loosely translates into “attachment through space.”

    Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942, Kaneko came to the U.S. in 1963 and studied at the Chouinard Institute of Art. His innovative work is in more than 70 international museum collections including Arabia Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Detroit Institute of Arts; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Los Angeles County Art Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Art and Design, NY; The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum and Smithsonian American Art Museum. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art in London.

    This past summer, a large scale outdoor exhibition of Kaneko’s Tanuki sculpture (a symbol of fertility and prosperity) was installed at Millennium Park in Chicago. In 2012 his costumes, sets and lighting designs were featured in the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Magic Flute. He has also created costumes, sets, and video backdrops for Madame Butterfly, which began touring in 2006 and is still in production today. The artist lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

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  • Yô Akiyama exhibition / ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka, Japan

    Yo Akiyama exhibition, ARTCOURT Gallery Osaka

    Yô Akiyama exhibition / ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka, Japan
    December 3, 2013 - January 25, 2014

    Yo Akiyama established his signature style of sculptural ceramic creation while still in school. His creative mind lies beneath the awareness by facing the nature and energy of clay, expressed through large scale works. We are excited to introduce Akiyama’s new works in this exhibition showcasing the roots, that is the artery of Akiyama’s powerful creation as well as Akiyama’s now as his next step in his career.

    Akiyama’s early works were mysterious objects created through black pottery. His student works done in black pottery show influences from primitivism that he was interested in, modern sculptors such as Brâncuşi and Arp, and his professor Kazuo Yagi, but yet to discover his own expression or concept through clay. Those early pieces are gone; however, Akiyama recalls that he can see the presence of Akiyama that has lead to himself now. This discovery lead him to the new set of works, in which the artist re-creates his early black pottery works with his current skillsets and by revisiting his own 1970s. Akiyama titled this new challenge of regenerating or redeveloping his roots “Incubation” (or Houran no Katachi in Japanese) and introduces about 10 new pieces in this exhibition.

    Akiyama developed several series of works that express the ever-changing shape of earth with unique creative challenges such as nature vs. human, birth vs. decay, internal vs. external by fusing the phenomenon of soil and thoughts on creation. The series titled “Metavoid,” which began in 2003, puts focus on an enclosed space where objects intervene and how we perceive such space. Akiyama would make a large bowl on a potter’s wheel, then reverse its inside and outside. This act brings a change in spatial relation of the bowl and the space it holds within (the void). The artist would then place this bowl in an even larger vessel – an exhibition space, the other void. Akiyama uses clay as a vehicle to explore physical shapes to his pursuit ranging from multi-layered texture in motion to human perception of space. We are introducing 5 new large scale pieces ranging from 100 cm to 180 cm from the series “Metavoid.”

    Akiyama began making a series of slabs with prints of spider webs as his side work around 1993 where the artist began to depart from his signature black pottery works. The series captured the natural beauty of spider webs Akiyama found almost every morning around his home from early summer to fall. About 50 creations from this series will gather in our gallery for public viewing for the first time. They can be seen as an organic map that connects the roots and current of Akiyama’s creation.

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  • Susanne Silvertant / Terra Delft Gallery, Delft, the Netherlands

    Susanne Silvertant exhibition, Terra Delft Gallery

    Susanne Silvertant / Terra Delft Gallery, Delft, the Netherlands
    November 30 - December 31, 2013

    Connection is one of the most important themes of Susanne Silvertant’s work. Art is a language for her. With her art she tries to communicate and show who she is. This vision is enhanced by scratching signs in some of her pieces. Signs refer to language that cannot be understood instantly. This is the most intense way of expressing herself.

    Inspiration she gets in the beauty of rugged nature, a garden, a landscape or the structure, atmosphere and colour of a city. During her travels in Spain and Portugal, Susanne was inspired by in the architecture of ancient civilizations, translating it into her own free way into contemporary and personal designs. In her pieces, Susanne tries to reproduce this layeredness and erosion caused by the passage of time.

    Susanne has restricted herself to the raku technique. Since then, this has determined the character of her work to a great extent. Besides her characteristic box shapes, she also makes objects constructed from separate parts. If an object consists of several parts, these must all come out of the kiln intact. If one part breaks, the entire object must be made all over again. Risk, unpredictability and chance are very close in Susanne’s work.

    From 2007 onwards she has added sparkling elements of self-cast glass. The clay seems to form itself around the glass. Weathered glass, found along the coastline, served as the inspiration for this development. By melting the glass in fine sand, Susanne succeeds in approximating this weathered look very closely.

    The combination of ceramics with copper foil or wire cast in glass, resulting in a visual continuity of the separate elements, enhances the layeredness of her pieces. She adds details from nature to her pieces, for instance a twig, a bud or a beautifully weathered tree trunk, imprinting it into porcelain or glass and incorporating it in her pieces. This way she emphasizes the organic nature of her work.

    Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11.00 - 18.00; Saturday, 11.00 - 17.00.

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  • Arina Ailincai - Romanian ceramic artist, October 2012

    ROMANIAN CONTEMPORARY CERAMICS, October 2012: Arina Ailincăi

    Arina Ailincai - Romanian ceramic artist, Romanian contemporary ceramics special feature

    Interview by Vasi Hîrdo for Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue Two
    Translation by Anca Sânpetrean

    What was your first contact with ceramics?

    The first meeting with ceramic took place when I entered the university, as I decided to take the admission exam for the Ceramics Department. The reason for this option was the liberal reputation held by the Ceramics Department, mainly due to the young teachers of various formations, who were encouraging the free investigation subordinated to an “interdisciplinary” that at that time was quite attractive.

    Because originally I had a sentimental inclination for Graphics - I was more familiar with expressing myself through lines and white / black tonal values. My way of perceiving the world and building volumes remained indebted to the graphic vision.

    After graduation, due to my job as a designer at the porcelain factory in Cluj, I familiarized myself with the subtle expressivity of porcelain and its processing technology, practicing with this material for a long time, and ending up loving it.

    You have participated in many competitions and international group exhibitions. What are the most important things you have learned by taking part in these events?

    For me they represent a form of self-assessment and validation of my personal approach to ceramics in a context of ongoing dialogue with other colleagues. As for the residences and symposiums, they are extremely benefic cultural exchanges for the refreshening of one’s ideas. They also bring the sense of being an ambassador of one’s own culture and historical traditions who makes a personal contribution, no matter how small, to the international artistic context. These kinds of events are especially significant for Romanian artists who have suffered, as we all know, from a period of political restrictions that had made the direct contact with the cultural world outside the Communist Bloc almost impossible.

    What message or feeling do you want to convey to your viewer through your works? The portraits and the imprints that constitute your work are part of the artistic approach, or they are simply the result of a process of searching?

    I find it hard to give a clear answer to this question, because it implies a number factors of which an artist is not always aware. Maybe is best to say that my works are the imprint of my inner trials and tribulations. In other words, they are a way of sensitively relating to the socio-cultural climate that surrounds me.

    How the viewer can “read” my work, depends on one’s cultural heritage or current state of mind, and on other many things… but the perception with its various interpretations will always remains an open question. But oh, what joy we experience when the viewer interpretation comes close to the intended meaning, proving that our discourse is not just a monolog lost in void. 

    [] Read the full interview in Ceramics Now - Issue Two

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  • Brian Kakas: Tectonic Perceptions - Hull Series, side view, 2011. White stoneware, slab built, 31” H x 21”W x 24”L, Anagama Fired

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