Adam Shiverdecker is an artist, crafstman and teacher who obtained his MFA in Studio Art from the University in South Carolina in 2009. This year he finished a residency at Greenwich House Pottery in New York and exhibited On a Grecian Urn (July 10 – Aug. 7, 2014) at the space’s Jane Hartsook Gallery.
Of his work, Shiverdecker states:
“My work imagines what would happen if the entire military arsenal were simply pushed into the ocean. I’m a committed pacifist, but I am also drawn to the sleekness, the power, and the materiality of machines of war. My work attempts to represent my ambivalence to icons of military might by taking the forms of fighter jets, submarines and drones and denaturing their surfaces. By reforming weapons out of wire, I reference both the practice of children’s war games and modeling, as well as everyday forms of construction like fence-building. I then coat these structures in irregular amounts of clay, allowing for an arbitrary amount of decay. It is this fantasy of decay – of a culture that could regard weapons of war as follies, as disintegrating monuments to an earlier era – which my work tries to trigger.
“I also apply this logic to historical forms, specifically Greek ceramic vessels. I’m interested in these Greek vessels because of the way they represent a culture that venerates war and conflict, as this seems to anticipate elements of our own bellicose culture.”
The gallery stated of the exhibition:
“An artist with a unique approach to material, Shiverdecker takes advantage of the “shortcomings” of the clay’s materiality. Wrapping it around high temperature wire and the subsequent heating it to temperatures beyond inhabitable to sustain life, causes the ceramic to wither and crack along the armature. The result is a look of artifact and antiquity which makes the work all the more tragic and haunting.”
More pictures of the exhibition follow.
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