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MAASTRITCH, Netherlands–––Flemish artist Johan Tahon’s exhibition Wir überleben das Licht at Bonnefanten Museum consisted of new and existing works (January 26 – February 12, 2018).

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Translated into English as We Survive the Light, the exhibition features achromatic, monumental figurative sculptures imbue a reverential, monastic feel. Fantastic, mythic, even biblical, with their twisted limbs, wings, horse and golem-like torsos, each appears to be the physical manifestation of its own psychology. Each, introspective and alluring.

Tahon likes the combination of tangibility and spirituality, believing that this link forms a necessary completeness. The ceramic work is remarkable for the way it is bathed in glaze, lending it a ritual character in Johan’s eyes. Cut-outs, perforations and distortions refer to the deepest psychology.

The works were constructed from a combination of different materials: plaster and ceramics, ceramics and bronze, and bronze and plaster.

Inspired by Tahon’s work, German musician and poet Till Lindemann, frontman of the band Rammstein, wrote five poems for the occasion, which were shown alongside the exhibition.

Princessehof photos by G.J. van Rooij

The artist’s contemplative figures and albarelli (apothecary jars) were also featured at the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics December 2, 2017 – November 25th, 2018. Johan Tahon: Monk was the artist’s first solo museum exhibition.

About the artist: Since 1994 Johan Tahon exhibits his work on a regular basis in Belgium as well as abroad. In 1996, he caught the attention of Belgium’s most influential curator and museum director Jan Hoet (e.g. Documenta 9), who made it possible for Tahon to interact with world level artists in the internationally renowned exhibition De Rode Poort in the Ghent Museum of Contemporary Art (with a.o. Luc Tuymans, Vito Acconci and Sam Taylor-Wood). From then on Tahon got the full support of Hoet and Tahon started exhibiting his work at different galleries and in prominent museums across Europe, solo or combined with works of a.o. Ilya Kabakov, Günther Förg, Tony Cragg and Stephan Balkenhol. 

The post Feature | Johan Tahon’s ‘Wir überleben das Licht’ appeared first on CFile - Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design.

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NEW YORK—The Metropolitan Museum promised a highly anticipated major retrospective exhibition of Lucio Fontana, Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold, at their soon to be vacated Met Breuer satellite (January 23 through April 14, 2019), curated by Iria Candela and Estrellita B. Brodsky, Curator of Latin American Art in The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. Did the show deliver?

Lucio Fontana, Spatial Environment in Red Light (Ambiente Spaziale a Luce Rossa), 1968, Spatial Concept, New York Lucio Fontana, Spatial Environment in Red Light (Ambiente Spaziale a Luce Rossa), 1967

For American audiences, to see any survey of work by this artist is a rare treat. So, in a purely literal sense, yes, they delivered. We got to see a lot of work. On another level, excitement, empathy for the artist, imaginative installation, not so much.

One steps out of the elevator in the 5th floor and is met by Spatial Environment in Red Light (Ambiente Spaziale a Luce Rossa), 1967/2019; carnal, sumptuous and dizzying in its Cardinal scarlet. Lucio (which means light) was pioneer in light sculpture beginning in 1948 with his Spatial Environment in Black Light.

Excited and ready to be challenged one moves downstairs (and downhill) to main exhibition on the third show. It is underwhelming, which with an artist like Fontana seems impossible. Cotter writes in his New York Times review,“Lucio Fontana made abstraction dangerous”. But in this curiously bland curatorial exercise and risk-free installation, one never feels that threat. 

Installation

An antiseptic white-box and empty spaces would have served the detachment of Ellsworth Kelly, but neuters the heated, erotic theater of Fontana. Clusters of violent paintings close together, colors clashing and knives slashing would have better communicated the artist’s passion. The many paintings in brown, olive green, tan and a group of somewhat scruffy white canvasses did not reveal an exciting colorist. 

A few paintings almost make the visit worthwhile with the best being the frenzied pair of Buchi (Holes), Spatial Concept, The End of God,” 1964 and Spatial Concept, The End of God, 1963. Cotter described them as “Paintings in sculptural form resemble giant Easter eggs blasted by shotguns”. The key words in that comment are “in sculptural form”.

Left: Spatial Concept, The End of God, 1964. Right: Spatial Concept, The End of God, 1963.

Paintings in sculptural form resemble giant Easter eggs blasted by shotguns.

The showy Spatial Concept, New York 10, Concetto spaziale, New York 10 (1962), copper with slashes and scratches, is literally dazzling and its polished surface throws a golden reflection on the gallery floor. This series was inspired by the high-rise canyons of New York City and the way light reflected from the buildings’ glass sheaths.

Concetto Spaziale, New York 10),” 1962. Copper with cuts and scratches.

Enough about flat art, my focus is his ceramics. When Mark Del Vecchio and I ran our gallery we held the first survey exhibition of ceramics in the US and launched an interest in this work that quickly priced us out of this market. My book on Fontana’s ceramics will be published (Italy willing) in 2021. Given that were my expectations were maybe too high. No, the bar here was set very low. It is sad to see a major exhibition like this, from a major institution, fail so miserably.

What went wrong at the Met Breuer? Well, just about everything. There is no sign of due diligence in research and the quality of the work ranges from poor to great, with the focus on the former. I do not believe that the curators really knew the difference. After all its just ceramics, what is there to know.? And then again, the installation.

Installation

For decades museums have believed that ceramophiles have eyes somewhere around mid-calf and have shown ceramics in clusters on low platforms. The Met it seems, still subscribes to this fiction. This means that we are looking down at the tops of objects. This deforms their shape and, most importantly, denies us their linear anchor, silhouette.

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, 1962/65

This sculpture for instance Concetto Spaziale, (1962/65). It is captured perfectly in this photograph. The outline begins with a flat plane, curves up a fecund orb, then to the hole that pouts greedily. It’s languid, sexual and provocative and with the luster surface, decadent. You can only get this near eye level. Also the luster was barely visible, mostly a dull green.

Clam and Coral (Vongola e Corallo),1936 6 11/16 × 12 3/16 × 9 1/16 in. (17 × 31 × 23 cm) Private collection

Isolating it gives individuality, herding ceramics together treat like a collective class of object.

Lucio Fontana, Crocifisso, 1948. 16 9/16 × 10 5/8 × 4 1/2 in., 22 lb. (42 × 27 × 11.5 cm, 10 kg). Courtesy Karsten Greve, St. Moritz Lucio Fontana, Battle (Battaglia), 1947. Glazed ceramic. 2019 Fondazione Lucio Fontana/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome

Had the curators taken the twelve or so masterworks in the exhibition and offered them as serious pieces of sculpture, the impact would have been different. Because glaze is so complex, in one piece, one running coulee of colors, minute but key globules of gold flashing light, transparent gloss over matte engobes, patches that were cork dry others that showed a scattershot of grog.

This is almost like looking at jewelry, one needs to be close. Light has to be penetrating. Close up one can appreciate Fontana’s baroque, frenzied surface, modeling done with indecent haste. Again I will be pedantic because I have spent my adult life showing ceramics, let’s say 18 inches away.

Lucio Fontana, Il Guerriero (The Warrior), 1949, incised with the artist’s signature and date ‘l. fontana 49’ (on the reverse of the base) gold paint on glazed ceramic, 46 ½ x 18 1/8in. (118 x 46cm.)

The master works were few. However, to give credit, one of his top five works Il Guerriero (The Warrior) is well displayed with its kryptonite green glaze glowing with a toxic urgency through a black shroud. Thank you Karsten Greve. The figure is dripping like something that has just stepped out of the primordial ooze: fierce, bizarre and organic. It is powerful sculpture

There are few others that rate an A or at least B+. That is not the worst of it. The Natura series Fontana’s is most important piece of sculpture outside his spatial installations (a large example is on show at El Museo del Barrio because Lucio was born in Argentina) or his light work (another of these is show at the Met on 5th Avenue).

Lucio Fontana, Light, Neon Structure for the Ninth Milan Triennial (Struttura al Neon per la IX Triennale di Milano), 1951/2019. © 2018 Fondazione Lucio Fontana/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome. Reconstruction authorized by Fondazione Lucio Fontana.

Fontana’s Natura series, giant ceramics resembling meteorites with powerful gashes (Fontana crudely called them “balls”) were shown in Venice in 1959 and were a mixed sensation. The ceramic Natura found a new life in bronze and are among Fontana’s most iconic works. This show is represented by two puny Natura pushed up against the wall without any context. Thus is a shameful omission.

Lucio Fontana, Natura, Venice

Maybe it happened because the curators have made the error of thinking of him as a painter, and of course, what could be more important in art’s hierarchy. Fontana was a sculptor from the beginning to the end of his life and his painting is informed by that sensibility as Cotter wisely noted. Fontana also thought of ceramics as being as significant as any other aspect of his art.

Lucio Fontana, Spatial Concept, The Bread (Concetto Spaziale, Il Pane) Lucio Fontana (Italian, 1899–1968) | Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan

Too many ceramics came from the Fontana Foundation in Milan, works such as Spatial Concept, The Bread (Concetto Spaziale, Il Pane) that have been trolled out every exhibition for decades and appear in every book. This repetitive one-stop-shopping at the same store suggest his ceramics are few.

In fact Fontana made ceramics from 1926 to 1968. His first exhibition as a sculptor in Milan in 1931 was of painted earthenware slabs with drawings cut into the clay and paint. Where were they on the show? Ceramics was his primary medium between 1935 and 1947. He worked in ceramics his entrue career and in porcelain for the first time in 1968 the year he died, he produced a number powerful Spaziale editions in white black and gold. And scholars ignore that the cuts and holes prevalent in this pre-war ceramics fed his Buchi and Tagli.

It’s finally dawning on the ceramic world that Fontana not only made ceramics but that he is the most innovative and important ceramist of the 20th century. Yes, ceramist. No else one even comes close. (Sorry Peter Voulkos.) Does one get that from Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold. No.

The curators did do one thing right, possibly by default. Ceramics was spread around all over the show and this ubiquity, despite the kamikaze installation and uneven quality, at east gets a viewer to feel that it was somehow central to this artist’s career. “Until I found ceramics”, he wrote, “I did not know what I wanted to do.” Sad that the exhibition misses the key role, the glory, passion and physicality of his art of fire.

TEFAF Meet the Expert - Galerie Karsten Greve - YouTube

Love or loathe this review from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics? Sound off in the comments below.

The post Review | Garth Clark: The Met’s Survey of Lucio Fontana’s Art Informs, But Does Not Excite appeared first on CFile - Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design.

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Clay lends vintners a hand. Ken Price is at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. It’s Monday…This is NewsFile––your go-to round-up of newsy tidbits and happenings from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics. Enjoy.

Clay May Stave Off Deadly Grape Disease

One winery is California is finding that a dusting of the fine, soft white clay Kaolin––an essential ingredient in the manufacturning of china and porcelain––may prove fruitful in staving off Pierce’s Disease, according to Wine Searcher. A bacterial infection, the disease is spread by bugs that feed on grapevines, particularly the “glassy winged sharpshooter causing them to become sick and die.

The insects especially love the soft candy-like leaves of Chardonnay.

The insects don’t like the white color of the clay and, if they try to feed on the sap of treated vines, which is how they spread the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium, “they get a mouthful of clay, and it chokes them”, says Eric Baugher, CEO and winemaker, with some satisfaction. But it’s such a thin, transparent layer that it apparently doesn’t affect photosynthesis.

Wine Searcher

Read more here.

Ken Price at Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe

As part of its ongoing Contemporary Voices series, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is exhibiting works by Ken Price (1935-2012) (Santa Fe, June 9 – October 23, 2019), the gallery writes.

One of the foremost American sculptors of his day, Price was also an accomplished graphic artist. Ten ceramic sculptures by Price, a longtime resident of Taos, New Mexico, will be displayed on pedestals throughout the Museum’s galleries. The organic, sensual forms, and chromatic complexity of Price’s sculptures will be paired and juxtaposed with O’Keeffe’s still life and landscape subjects, inviting visitors to view both artists in a new light. Watercolors by Georgia O’Keeffe will be presented alongside kindred works on paper, an homage to the high desert, by Ken Price.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Garth Clark held a conversation with Ariel Plotek, Museum Curator of Fine Art, about Ken Price June 6 at the El Dorado Hotel in Santa Fe.

Explore more here.

Stay tuned throughout the week as we continue to update this list of newsy finds from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics.

The post NewsFile | Fruitful Kaolin, Ken Price + more! appeared first on CFile - Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design.

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, England––For Michael Eden‘s ambitious exhibition last year (May 25 – October 21, 2018) Michael Eden: Form & Transform, the artist created new pieces responding to objects from Waddesdon’s collection, and displayed them throughout the Coach House Gallery at the Stables in a theatrical setting, Waddesdon writes.

Exterior view of Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

Journal 18 describes the Renaissance style Loire Valley château, built in the 1870s and 1880s, as overflowing with beautiful and sometimes bizarre objects.

Elephant Vase Elephant Vase Original

Eden created the specially commissioned works by using 3D scans of the historic objects, then 3D-printed re-imgained objects for today, the Manor adds.

 These unique pieces are the result of technical innovation combined with extraordinary levels of skill using revolutionary tools and pushing materials and digital technology to their extremes. He describes how he has appropriated digital manufacturing processes: ‘Three-dimensional printing has given me the freedom to create works of art impossible with the wheel and clay’.

Michael Eden, Nautilus II, 2018

Read more at Journal 18 here.

Read more at Culture Calling here.

Read more at Waddesdon here.

The post Feature | ‘Michael Eden: Form & Transform’ at Waddesdon Manor appeared first on CFile - Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design.

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NEW YORK––Opening earlier this month, Ron Nagle: Getting to No at Matthew Marks (May 2 to June 15, 2019) features a showcase of the artist’s latest works: 26 new sculptures––ceramic, wood and resin mixed media––and fifteen related drawings.

Ron Nagle, Solomon’s Option, 2018, Catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and cellulose acetate, 5 1/4 x 4 x 4 3/4 inches Ron Nagle, Borderline Happy 2018, Wood, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and acrylic, 4 5/8 x 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches Ron Nagle, Chef’s Discretion, 2018, Wood, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and acrylic, 4 x 3 1/8 x 5 3/8 inches

Most are no larger than six inches in any dimension, but at this scale, Nagle says, an object “can allude to a much bigger place, because it’s so small your imagination has to fill in all that space that’s not there.” Nagle makes his exquisitely crafted, jewel-like sculptures by hand, and although he works in traditional mediums like ceramic and porcelain, he combines them with other materials, including epoxy resin and catalyzed polyurethane, to create forms that cannot be achieved in clay alone. This merging of incongruous elements also extends to his titles, which are loaded with puns and wordplay: Egregious Philbin (2017), for example, or Quartersan (2018). “I’m trying to create a hybrid,” he explains. “You can’t quite put your finger on it.”

Ron Nagle, Offline Connection, 2018, Ceramic, glaze, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and acrylic, 5 1/4 x 6 x 3 1/4 inches

Inspiration for Nagle’s work often comes from unusual sources, like the roadside tombstones of Hawaii, the custom paint jobs of 1960s hot-rod cars, or the stucco houses of the San Francisco neighborhood where he grew up. Even a deformed tree or a stain on the sidewalk can spark an idea. But his work is also grounded in tradition. He frequently cites the influence of shibui, an aesthetic of contrast and balance that is highly prized in Japan. When Nagle makes a sculpture, the proportion of each color is essential; the most vibrant hue might be confined to a thin stripe along its base. “That’s the zinger,” he says. “In music they’d call it a hook. Your eye will go there in reference to the other colors.”

Throughout his life, Nagle has tried to make three-dimensional forms appear flat, while still evoking rich, microcosmic landscapes, taking cues from the Italian artists Giorgio Morandi and Lucio Fontana, who challenged the dimensional constraints of painting on canvas in the ’50s. Often installed in peep-hole-style wall recesses or gleaming glass vitrines, like specimens dropped down from another planet, his works mix elements of allure and repulsion to enigmatic effect. Named with tongue-in-cheek puns like “Pastafarian,” “Urinetrouble” and “Karma Gouda,” they are also extensions of his irreverent sense of humor.

The New York Times
Ron Nagle, Getting to No, 2018, Bronze, 4 1/8 x 5 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches Ron Nagle, Conversation Peace, 2018, Ceramic, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and acrylic, 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches

Nagle (born 1939) lives and works in San Francisco and began working with ceramics in the 1950s, while still in high school. He apprenticed to Peter Voulkos in 1961 and later exhibited alongside Voulkos, Ken Price, and other innovative West Coast artists working in clay. His first one-person exhibition took place in 1968, and since then his work has been shown at numerous museums, including one-person exhibitions at the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Later this year the Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany, and the Secession in Vienna will open exhibitions of Nagle’s work. Early next year the Berkeley Art Museum will present a survey of his work, which will later travel to the ICA in Boston.

Text from gallery.

Read the rest of the related article from The New York Times here.

Ron Nagle, Flatpoint, 2018, Ceramic, glaze, catalyzed polyurethane, and epoxy resin, 5 1/4 x 6 x 4 1/8 inches Ron Nagle, Virtual Valet, 2018, Ceramic, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and acrylic, 5 x 5 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches Ron Nagle, Conversion Immersion, 2018, Catalyzed polyurethane and epoxy resin, 4 3/4 x 4 3/8 x 6 1/4 inches Detail Ron Nagle, Egregious Philbin, 2017, Wood, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and acrylic, 9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches Detail Ron Nagle, The Leper’s Con, 2018, Ceramic, glaze, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and acrylic, 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 5 1/8 inches Ron Nagle, Untitled, 2019, 18kt gold leafing pen, acrylic, and graphite on craft paper, 12 x 9 inches
Ron Nagle with Gretchen Atkins, former Assistant Director of Garth Clark Gallery, which represented Nagle.

The post Feature | ‘Ron Nagle: Getting to No’ at Matthew Marks appeared first on CFile - Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design.

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We periodically feature the work of studio potter and fellow ceramics journalist Ben Carter, who hosts the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler podcast, which includes interviews with artists and culture makers from around the world. Join host Ben Carter as he talks with his favorite artists about their creative practice.

In this latest edition, Carter speaks with artist Matt Wedel.

He uses a gestural sculpting style and vibrant glazes to create ambitious large-scale works around the themes of the figure, landscape, and what he calls “Flower Trees”. In the interview we talk about keeping up with the speed of his imagination, understanding color and surface, and the place of ceramics in the art world.

Check out more featured episodes on Cfile here.

Check out Carter’s episodes guide here.

The post Podcast | Tales of a Red Clay Rambler: Matt Wedel appeared first on CFile - Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design.

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Daniel Rozin | Sol

New York
February 8 – March 17, 2019

In his latest exhibition at Bitforms the effects of climate change are causing lakes to warm faster than the oceans and air, leading to a vast increase of dried riverbeds. As the gallery points out:

“Cracked Mud (2019) emulates this environment with a large-scale floor installation. A barren landscape illuminated by a glowing sun is suddenly transformed into dynamic, undulating motion by sensors that transmit the observer’s gestures into gradual ripples across the ceramic landscape. The work performs as both an interactive and generative experience through programmed periods of activity. Although the artwork is intrinsically mechanical, the rippling effect gracefully echoes the fluidity of nature. Rozin’s ceramic fragments marry the handmade qualities of natural materials with the exactitude of kinetic technology.”

Sunset Mirror (2019) is a screen-based software mirror that displays a sunset in a time-lapse sequence. When a viewer approaches the piece, their image is recreated on screen by a manipulation of the sunset. The timing of the sunset can further be controlled by the viewer’s proximity to the screen.

Read more here.
Visit Bitforms gallery here.
Visit the artist’s website here.

Simone Leigh | Loophole of Retreat

New York, NY
April 19 – October 27, 2019

An exhibition in New York by artist Simone Leigh, Loophole of Retreat, will be on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Leigh’s presentation will encompass a suite of sculptures and a sound installation, as well as a text by the renowned historian Saidiya Hartman that will be available as a broadsheet. Selected by a jury of international critics and curators, Leigh is the twelfth artist to receive the biennial prize, which was established in 1996 to recognize significant achievement in contemporary art.

Over the course of a career that spans the mediums of sculpture, video, and social practice, Leigh has continuously and insistently centered the black female experience. Her sculptural forms, rendered in materials leading with ceramic and bronze, unify a timeless beauty with valences that are both deeply personal and piercingly political. Summoning the ancient archetype of the female nude and inflecting it with vernacular and folk traditions, Leigh merges the human body with domestic vessels or architectural elements, evoking the immeasurable labors of care and protection that have historically fallen to women.

Read full article in Art and Object here
See timeline on the Hugo Boss Prize here
Visit the Guggenheim here

Steven Young Lee | APEX

Portland, OR
February 23 – August 11, 2019

Taking inspiration from two significant works from the Museum’s Korean collection of 19th-century Joseon dynasty art, Steven Young Lee reconsiders these objects with a contemporary twist. For the APEX exhibition series, Lee visited the Museum this past summer to research objects in the Korean collection and specifically to focus on Dragon Jarand Tiger and Magpie, a common theme in Korean folk painting. At once fascinated by the excellence of these objects, Lee overturns these pristine examples in his own practice—perfection becomes failure, classical motifs become popular characters, and elegance resides with kitsch. They are objects in navigating Lee’s own experience in Korean-American, cross-cultural identity and upbringing.

In the context of these new bodies of work, Lee will be adding an older installation from 2005, of a pagoda of rabbits. The work stems from Lee’s evolving awareness of his place in the Chinese zodiac: Having first believed himself to be born under the zodiac sign of a rabbit, only to learn in his visits in East Asia that he is really a tiger, Lee turns the imagery into a preoccupation of form—a tower of many taunting rabbits.

PAM

Read more of the article here
Visit Lee’s website here.
Visit Archie Bray here.

Miquel Barceló

Faenza, Italy
June 1 – October 6, 2019

The International Museum of Ceramics will present, Time is a river which sweeps me along,  but I am the river an outstanding solo exhibition to the Spanish artist Miquel Barceló. The exhibition in Faenza, curated by Irene Biolchini and Cécile Pocheau Lesteven, is the first anthological event devoted to his ceramic production, from his debut to nowadays, a special project created by the artist for the MIC. 

Barceló, multifaceted artist, able to match different artistic languages, is mainly known to the public for his pictorial-gestural research and his closeness to the group of the Italian Transavanguardia and to the German Neo-expressionism. In the early 1990s, during his long stay in Mali, he made his first earthenware works through the ancient technique “dogon”. From 1996, he again began ceramics in his birth isle, Mallorca, where, still today he still creating his works.  

Visit the Museum here.
Visit the artist’s website here.
Read Cfile.Daily posts about the artist here.

Ian McDonald |In No Particular Order

Bloomfield Hills, MI
January 19 – March 10, 2019

In No Particular Order at the Cranbrook Art Museum features new work made within Ian McDonald’s first year as Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Ceramics department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. The exhibition, seen as more of an installation (superbly realized by curator Jon P. Geiger ) is strong, clean, precise and quietly winning. As curator Geiger states, “he is able to create a seamless relationship between parts, pieces, objects, and the space between”.

Andrew Blauvelt, the museum director sees in this debut exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum, another exhibition from design history:

“In 1934, architect Philip Johnson, as the first Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, debuted his pioneering exhibition Machine Art. Composed of hundreds of examples of industrially produced machines, objects, and mechanical parts, the show announced the arrival of modern industrial design as an art form deserving of museum study and appreciation. Relieved from their ordinary functions and removed from their everyday contexts, these products were now visually consumable as objects—beautiful forms delineating a new, emerging landscape of modern life.”

The exhibition’s success dispels skepticism at McDonald’s appointment as Artist-in-Residence replacing Anders Ruhwald in 2017. Everyone was expecting a more obvious superstar. In hindsight McDonald met all requirements. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Japan and  appeared in numerous publications including Art Forum, Wallpaper magazine, and The New York Times. He has a successful career and is represented in New York by Patrick Parrisch. Lastly, and his aesthetic dovetails neatly into the Cranbrook aesthetic roots, on the cusp of art and design. Good choice.

Visit Cranbrook Art Museum here
Visit the artist’s website here
Visit his dealer Patrik Parrish here

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Tony Marsh’s crystalline and terrestrial vessels don’t shy away from their material. Appearing of the earth, encrusted, amorphic––each is an alchemical concoction of glazes, slips, englobes, raw powdered materials, minerals and cement––their evocative forms command the viewer with their singularity. A monolith on the mesa.

“There are real and imagined allusions to the physical sciences, earth formation, geographic phenomenon, force, time and landscape in my work. Ceramics is a transformational art which is dynamic in every phase of the process and I fully embrace that phenomenon. I set up conditions wherein unexpected results occur that lead to discovery which stimulates curiosity and innovation.”

Tony Marsh

At Frieze New York, Marsh’s Crucible ceramic vessels are cleverly presented alongside “the eye-bending optical paintings of Anoka Faruqee & David Driscoll at Koenig & Clinton,” The New York Times writes.

We aim to bring together two distinct mediums, focusing on materiality and the control of natural forms through traditional applied techniques.

Artsy

Grouped along a large table display, the Crucibles themselves are distinct: tall, slight, stout, and playfully obstructing one another. In presenting the work in such a way, each appears to elevate and exalt their neighbor, even those relegated to the wall.

Frieze New York, Courtesy Koenig & Clinton, New York

At Santa Fe-based Peters Projects’ VISCERAL CLAY exhibition (March 29 – June 8, 2019), Marsh’s solitary Crucible brings to the forefront the artist’s process, and how the manifestation of that process, with its earthy, knobby limbs, elicits an intimate and visceral reaction to reach back. It’s no wonder the gallery had to add “look don’t touch” to the title of its exhibition.

Tony Marsh, Crucible Series, 2018, ceramic, 19 x 15 inches

The pocky pots were also spotted at Peters Projects last year in Tony Marsh: American Moon Jars and Crucibles (March 23 – May 25, 2018). This time displayed in contrast to a series of crystalline “American Moon Jars.”

Not only did each moon jar take on a more fantastical endeavor than its milky globular Korean cousin, but unlike the Crucibles, their cantilevered protrusions delicately presented a small, often colorful, gem-like offering. Again, Marsh’s works, powerful and alluring, dare us draw in closer.

Tony Marsh, Crucibles #46, 2018, ceramic, 20 x 24 inches Left: American Moon Jar, 2018, terra cotta, porcelain, glass, stone, gold leaf, 22 x 24 inches; Right: American Moon Jar, 2018, terra cotta, porcelain, glass, stone, gold leaf, 15 x 20 inches. Images courtesy Peters Projects, Santa Fe American Moon Jar, 2018, terra cotta, porcelain, glass, stone, gold leaf, 22 x 22 inches. Images courtesy Peters Projects, Santa Fe

Following this alchemical journey, Marsh’s newest encrusted pots can be seen in Cauldrons & Crucibles: in search of the sublime at Lora Reynolds Gallery (Austin, March 28 – June 08, 2019).

Part alchemist, part scientist, part shaman—Marsh says he is always looking for magic in his work, and he hopes there is “at least something small of an eternal truth encoded in what I make.” Crucibles are fixtures of science, cauldrons of sorcery. Truth and magic, science and sorcery—with his Cauldrons and Crucibles, Marsh is asking questions, making connections, and solving problems that are as old as thought itself.

Lora Reynolds Gallery
Tony Marsh: Cauldrons & Crucibles: in search of the sublime Tony Marsh: Cauldrons & Crucibles: in search of the sublime

Watch a discussion between Marsh and our own Garth Clark:

Marsh’s 2017 Crucible is available for bid in our Garth x 50: CFile Benefit Auction, which honors Garth Clark’s 50 years of ceramic scholarship.

Tony Marsh, Crucible Series, 2017

The post Feature | Tony Marsh’s Alchemical Concoctions at Frieze New York + more appeared first on CFile - Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design.

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Social media sites like Instagram are changing the way art is made and consumed as the art world appears to be shrinking, Penn Station’s arches immortalized in mosaic and more. This is your go-to round-up of newsy shards and happenings from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics––this is NewsFile.

34th Street Penn Station Stop Mosaics Recall the Past

As New York prepares to demolish the current Penn Station, artist Diana Al-Hadid strives to remind passengers of “a bygone America that once engineered its infrastructure for ease, aesthetics, and scale” in her painterly mural and permanent installation The Arches of Old Penn Station at at the 34th Street Penn Station Subway stop, Hyperallergic writes.

But this work is not a painting at all, but rather a remarkable mosaic featuring long, thin “strokes” in a ghostly white and turquoise palette.

“The Arches of Old Penn Station” is an impressionist work of fluid line and turquoise tiling that recalls the latter-day bravura of the 1910 building, which was designed by the architecture firm McKim, Mead, and White.

Hyperallergic

Another corridor-length mosaic by the artist The Arc of Gradiva is based on the literary work of the German author Wilhelm Jensen. The works were commissioned by the MTA Arts+ Design.

Reviewed as a diptych, each mural clarifies the other’s intention. The arches of old Penn Station reference our will to recreate history; by contrast, Gradiva is an expression of our collective longing for the past, which remains as elusive and ill-defined as ever. What shape will the new Penn Station take when it comes, if it comes? And will we love it as much as the old station, which the majority of us have never personally experienced? The results are unclear, but Al-Hadid’s new mosaics keep the dream alive.

Hyperallergic

Learn more about Al-Hadid’s mosaics.

Technology Transforming Art Market

As NPR’s Sam Sander’s discusses with Morning Edition host David Greene, “the social media platform really seems to have changed how museums and guests are interacting and how they’re sharing art with the world.”

Take a listen:

For a transcript of this report, visit NPR.org.

Missing Audiences: Our Required Reading

The number of Americans who visited art museums dropped from 40.8-percent to 32.5-percent over a two-decade span from 1993 – 2012, according to a 2015 report from the National Endowment for the Arts. Along with the rise of social media exposure, that’s pushing museums to rotate their exhibitions more often, brick and mortar galleries to shut their doors, while others try to execute more collaborative––and old-school––efforts like gallery walks, fairs and studio tours. Meanwhile, others are working to save the art world by subverting it.

  • ArtNet––”The End of Exhibitions? As Attendance Plummets, New York Dealers Are Scrambling to Secure the Future of the Art Gallery”
  • The Pasadena Star News––”Pasadena Museum of California Art board votes to close down”
  • Freight + Volume––’The Decline and Fall of the Art World”
  • The New York Times––”A New Art Season, a New Test of Survival”
  • ArtNews––”Report: Art Museums See Marked Drop in Fund-Raising Return on Investment”
  • Intelligence Squared U.S.––”The Art Market is Less Ethical than the Stock Market”
  • Cfile.Daily––”Talking Points | Brick-and-Mortar Art Galleries are Closing, Why + What’s Next?”

Stay tuned as we continue to update our NewsFile featuring news and happenings from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics?

The post NewsFile | Instagram Vibes, Missing Audiences + more! appeared first on CFile - Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design.

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To honor Garth Clark’s 72nd Birthday we launch GARTH x 50: CFile Benefit Auction celebrating Garth’s 50 years of ceramic scholarship. Featuring 28 Lots of Artist and Collector-donated works all in support of CFile.Daily keeping it free to all! Auction is LIVE now, 10 days only, ends noon Saturday May 25!

Below you’ll find image previews of this exquisite collection of works available for bid. Happy Bidding!

Zemer Peled Zemer Peled, Black Dreams, 2016 Black Porcelain, 10.5 x 10.5 x 5 inches detail

Tony Marsh Tony Marsh, Crucible Series, 2017, Ceramic, 19 x 18 inches From the American Moon Jars & Crucibles Exhibition at Peters Project, 2018 detail

Roberto Lugo Roberto Lugo, Stunting: Pump (1), 2018, Porcelain, China Paint, Luster, 5 x 5 x 10 inches
detail

Aneta Regel Aneta Regal, Red Tree, 2016, Stoneware, 22 1/2 inches long

James Marshall
James Marshall, Orange #201, 2016, Whiteware, 29 x 27 x 4 inches

Richard Notkin Richard T. Notkin, Profilo Continuo del Trumpolini, 2017, Study #5, Ceramics, Glaze

The post Auction | ‘Garth x 50’ Honors Garth Clark’s 50 Years of Service appeared first on CFile - Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design.

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