CEDAR CITY, Utah — Southern Utah Museum of Art recently wrapped up an exhibition by artist Andy Nasisse, Badlands (Cedar City, September 23 – October 31, 2016). The exhibit paired sculptures and photographs that explore the desert areas of Utah, one of the most fascinating landscapes in the country.
The university states of the show:
Through many years of working with clay, Nasisse was able to develop a method of working with the material that enhances its natural qualities. Nassise said, “By multiple firing, and layering of slips and glazes, I try to make objects that have stratified active surfaces [which] snap and crackle with energy. I am looking for meaning and content in the dynamics of the process and trying to apply this to my general aesthetic or world view.”
Nassise uses figures, vessels, and landscapes to explore the tension between opposites in his work. Some of his topics of exploration include light and dark, male and female, ration and intuition, night and day, and matter and spirit. He said, “The notion that our lives are bound by a mythic drama that unfolds spontaneously, and that there is an underlying geometry, hidden patterns, and layered meanings to all we see, is a preoccupation that informs much more than just my work.”
When asked about his Badlands exhibit, Nassise said, “The essence of this exhibition is to present an aesthetic approach to making art that emerges in two rather different media, but that shares a common vision. When I choose to make a photograph, I look for aspects in the landscape that suggest faces and figures that are hidden in the natural forms. Likewise, when I create a piece of sculpture, I work in a way that allows me to find similar images in the clay. I think most of your viewers will see and enjoy the relationship between the photographs and sculpture. I also think they will enjoy the individual pieces and understand the relationship to the land and spirit of the great western landscape.”
About the Artist
Colorado born, Andy Nasisse had his first ceramics class at the age of 21 at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. In 1973, he studied photography and completed his MFA in Ceramics at the University of Colorado. Nasisse went on to become a full-time professor of ceramics at the University of Georgia for thirty years, where he also served as the gallery director for ten years. He owned and served as a gallery director for Trace Gallery in Athens, Georgia. Nasisse currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and works as an independent studio artist.
Text (edited) and images courtesy of Southern Utah University Museum of Art.