Laura Van Duren is an abstract sculptor born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, now based in Oakland, California. Her work has been shown throughout California and the United States. She is one of the founding members of Mercury 20 Gallery, situated in the heart of Oakland California’s art scene. She received her BFA in drawing from Carnegie Mellon University and completed her MFA in sculpture at San Francisco State University in 2017. She works with the Peter Voulkos family helping to manage the archival aspect of his collection which has had a profound influence on her practice. She is an adjunct professor teaching ceramics and sculpture at multiple community colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Conceptually, I am interested in reflecting the unconscious dialogue between the brain and the body, drawing upon the theory of embodied cognition. I am curious about the role the body plays in our emotional perception of the world. How do our bodies influence our minds? How does our corporeal wisdom influence our perception of the world? Investigating these questions through the process of casting, cutting, and reassembling, I mirror the act of adaption, letting my intuition shape the work. I tap into the unconscious guidance of my own body, creating abstract sculptures that reach beyond the rational mind. My materials are a combination of clay, glycerin, found furniture and thread. The forms I create have a unique interdependence with each other, weaving a seductive language of unpredictability and playfulness.”