Ceramics Synthesized is on view at Blumenfield Projects, Santa Monica, CA
February 12 – March 1, 2022
Ceramics Synthesized is the first in a series of pop-up exhibitions surveying artists whose embrace of clay pushes beyond the traditional bounds of ceramics. Traditions informed by function with aesthetics defined by customs, the upholding of these rich histories create fruitful and stabilizing ground for these artists to rebuild contemporary discussions.
Imbued with memories of our cultural pasts, ceramics today touch upon themes within clay as a medium of communication, ritual, storage, and identity. There are few earthly materials that can take on abilities of expansion and contraction, fluidity, and rigidity, and are as vital within industry as clay. Isamu Noguchi phrases it best: The attractions of ceramics lie partly in its contradictions. It is both difficult and easy, with an element beyond our control. It is both extremely fragile and durable. Like ‘Sumi’ ink painting, it does not lend itself to erasures and indecision.
The inaugural group show, opening February 12, highlights the works of fifteen US based artists and one Japan based potter who use the medium of clay to express their personal identity within the social histories of ceramics, while reinterpreting traditional ceramic motifs. The works included, exhibit a technical prowess of form and surface decoration, with some artists transcending the idea of function, formalism, and architecture by offering an alternative connection to its materiality and history. Not typically shown together, objects for the home and garden are blended into a highly stylized space where works that are typically identified as Craft and Design, take on notions of conceptual and theoretical sculpture.
The exploratory magic that these artists working in clay represent, serves as a reminder that there is significantly more to articulate within the realm of ceramics. It is a conversation that was more critically enforced in the boom of studio-pottery discourse within the 1950’s and 60’s and deserves to be the driving baseline in ceramic conversations today. The undeniable commonality is that the lines that divide the realms of Craft, Design and Contemporary Art should function as one.
Participating artists: Akihide Nakao, Anabel Juárez, Cammie Staros, Cody Hoyt, Ebitenyefa Baralaye, Gabriella Picone, Jenny Hata-Blumenfield, Jinsik Yoo, Kiyoshi Kaneshiro, Linda Sormin, Lizette Hernández, Michele Quan, Mustafa Ali Clayton, Olive Diamond, Peter Shire, Sissòn
Ceramics Synthesized is curated by LA based ceramic artist Jenny Hata Blumenfield under the curatorial guise of Blumenfield Projects.
Blumenfield Projects is artist Jenny Hata Blumenfield’s curatorial response to upending limiting ceramic narratives in order to further the advancement of ceramics within contemporary culture. Stemming from her long-time pursuit of subverting ceramic ideologies within her own practice, she brings disparate representations of ceramics together to better highlight the evolutionary themes at play today. The landscape for ceramics to express itself within is vast and Blumenfield Projects is committed to expanding while deepening the space in which it creates.
2900 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA