Alfred Ceramics MFA Graduates 2022 is on view at Sculpture Space NYC, New York
May 27 – June 24, 2022
The New York State College of Ceramics and Sculpture Space NYC, once again mark their commitment to promote a new generation of artists working in ceramics through this annual exhibition, showcasing a diversity of works and techniques by recent MFA graduates of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Through this exhibition, Sculpture Space NYC wishes to highlight emerging directions within the ceramics field.
This exhibition is made possible by the support and commitment of Johnathan Hopp, Walter McConnell, Corwyn L. Lund and Caitlin Brown of Alfred; Magda Dejose, Andrew Kennedy, Graham Marks and Nicholas Touron of Sculpture Space NYC, and most of all the artists exhibiting their work who are an example of resilience, having made extraordinary work in extraordinarily challenging times.
Featuring works by Cory Lund, Brady McLaren, Noah Greene, Katie Fee, Jolie NGO, Jackie Head, Tony Baker, Margeaux Claude
About the artists:
I think a lot about the power and meaning of recognizable objects. Throughout my installations, I use objects that have influenced me, been imprinted into my memory, formed me into who I am, and perhaps changed the direction of my life. Time capsules of memory. A single recognizable object is more powerful than one might think. They are charged with meaning of culture, class and stereotypes. Nostalgic. When a person sees an object that they know and understand it triggers memories, and to each person the meaning and their connecting with the object is different. Attraction and repulsion. There is a magnetism. A powerful force outside of your control
I am revitalizing the metaphoric potential of the vessel form by utilizing technologies of clay 3D printing and rapid prototyping, to create bright cyborgian pottery objects that acknowledge early ceramic traditions while smiling towards the future. Working with tools that are digitally forward, I am deeply engaged in exploring the tension between past and future, probing the synergy between handmade arts and technology. Maintaining a sense of tactility, intimacy and sensitivity often achieved in traditional handworks is paramount to my practice. I lovingly dress these familiar forms with hand painted geometric patterns or hazy gradients and affix embellishments all over their surface to bring my hand back into the process. This interplay of the machine and my hands results in creation of objects that resist definition.
My vessels are future-forms that are designed to hold ideas or memories of the past. Influenced by the aesthetics of the earliest digital spaces I inhabited and the nostalgia I feel for those virtual worlds conditioned me to become a “world builder”. This concept is reflected in the microcosms constructed within the vessels as they stand in for the scale models of imaginary architecture, maquettes for future furniture, rolling strata of rice terraces and landscape paintings.
I am an emerging visual artist specializing in three-dimensional ceramic paintings. I am currently exploring the integration of painting and clay to create work representing Queer Theory and Identity. Drawing upon my understanding of ceramics, wood and modern technologies, I build large-scale ceramic slabs that are used as canvases and painted with glazes and specially formulated underglaze oil paints to represent scenes that refer back to my own experiences as a Queer individual in today’s society. Taking from my observations as a transgender, gay man my ambitions are to further a discourse between the viewer and myself in the hopes of creating a more compassionate, fact driven conversation about the intersectionality of Queer bodies, mental health, trauma, community and culture.
I make vessels at the intersection of individual, ecological, and geologic meaning. As the common ground between body, living system, and terrestrial environment, clay emphasizes the relationships between all three. It does this concretely, through materiality, and poetically, by integrating each of these spatial scales. Ceramic pots mirror personal, bodily space. Equally, a ceramic vessel can be ecologic in its manifestation of cyclic use and intentional structure. Finally, clay is deeply terrestrial comprised of a weathered amalgam of igneous rock, and ingrained in our geologic environment. In carrying and linking these realms, a pot exists between deep time and lived time.
Making this body of work is a means for me to contemplate and explore the connections and interstices between three scales of identity and perceived time: personal, systemic, and geophysical. My work conveys the emotional impact of lived space and dynamic geology together in an intimate form.
My recent ceramic works establish relationships between intense heat, architecture, and photography as a reflection on solastalgia, the distress caused by the mounting global environmental crisis. Often using large architectural tiles as the surface and support for wall and floor pieces, I strive to evoke the all-pervasive, destructive forces of fire, flooding, contagion, and radiation. Current global conflicts and environmental catastrophes are provoking an anxiety about the future of the Earth and humanity that I have not felt since the 1980s growing up under the threat of nuclear conflict arising from Cold War tensions. As a teenager whose political worldview was shaped by the punk subculture that stood in opposition to this and other social and environmental ills, I understood little beyond the gestalt of songs like Crass’ Nagasaki Nightmare. Now, as a mid-career contemporary artist I am using my ceramic art practice and research to grapple with the historic atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the contemporary effects of global warming alike. Glazed ceramic proves an apt medium to do so, given the molecular chemistry and cosmological force of fire integral to the ceramic process, which I choose to make evident in the resulting work.
Often strewn about my studio are sliced, bitten, and partial pieces of dried, curling, and withering fruit and fruit skins. I am informed and inspired by how fruit captures the movement and cycles of life and energy. I become informed yet confused about my ideas around potential and wasted energy when I watch them drying and shriveling around me and consider the efforts and resources expended already through the supply chain for them to arrive fresh at my doorstep in the first place. The dimples, juice, capillaries and withering skin are so relatable and give them a likeliness to our own existence. The individual ego subject exists separated from other objects of the world by a layer of skin which eventually dries out and decays through pressure and time becoming one with the environment and no longer separate at all.
The piece titled Withering exists comfortably within a transitional or liminal space; in a place of becoming or undoing; a place where concepts begin to blur. The large shell is round and proud yet incomplete; porous and partial. The exterior of the piece is unglazed, unresolved and vulnerable revealing marks of the tool and subtle details of the bisque ware clay. The open shell allows the viewer to lean in and observe the powdery yet womblike interior colored with bright pink, orange and yellow sidewalk chalk; an unfixed and delicate surface requiring attention and protection.
I create wall installations crafted from slipcast porcelain components that are designed utilizing a myriad of pattern making methods. These wall tapestries, mandalas, quilts, tiles, and wallpapers are a culmination of my research into pattern, perception, play and pleasure. The eye-catching colors, compositions, and scale of the pieces draws the attention of the viewer, and with time they are rewarded by the surprises and
complexities that lie within the work. The art of noticing is rewarded within the work with subtle glaze drips squeezed between crevices, both delicious and naughty.
I started throwing stoneware pots on a kick-wheel at 14 and at 16 was working in a solo studio in New Zealand with icy white porcelain. Later I went on to complete a BFA in Ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute. With a passion for product design and development, travel and cycling.
I have worked with eastern European educators and designers at the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary where she observed European ceramic design and learned to turn plaster. In 2015 I completed research and imported plaster turning equipment as part of my Jerome Foundation Award.
SSNYC Curatorial Program is dedicated to promoting contemporary visual art focusing on the research and exploration of three dimensional work with an emphasis towards ceramics. Sculpture Space NYC’s mission is to stimulate creativity, new ideas and collaboration in ceramics-based investigations. Artists, designers and craftspeople of all backgrounds converge in this center to experiment, learn, make, reflect and grow artistically.
Sculpture Space NYC
47-21 35th Street
Long Island City, NY 11101