The Cfile Exhibition Digest is the place to find the best ceramic exhibitions that we can’t stop talking about right now. Dive in to our selection of the top 5 exhibition from around the world.
1 | Alev Siesbye Ebüzziya: Resilience in one of her Best Shows
Pierre Marie Giraud, Brussels, Belgium
December 17 — February 1, 2020
The exhibition by Turkish born Alev Ebüzziya Siesbye at Pierre-Marie Giraud, is a marvel. At 80 Siesbye has delivered one of her best shows ever from her Paris studio. The red glaze is recent, almost neon, but with a soft erotic edge. When paired with yellow bowls the two colors charge each other with electricity, while her forms are as classically pure as ever, caressed by the potter’s hand. Some think her vessels are thrown, given their perfect silhouette whereas each is hand coiled. The tiny foot gives the impression that these forms hover in space, existing in permanent stasis. Her years in Denmark are evident in the work’s crisp modernity but at its root draws as much from ancient, minimalist Turkish pottery. Siesbye creates her iconic vessel that is timeless in is charm and power, again and again, each one as fresh as the next.
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2 | Mncane Nzuza: Vessels From the Far Away
Lisa Sette Gallery, Phoenix AZ
November 2, 2019 through January 4, 2020
The beer pot is at the center of Zulu daily life. It’s one of the most classically beautiful vessel from the rich tradition of pottery in Africa. The applied beads and textured drawing on the clay began life as a functional element. When filled with beer the outer wall develops a slippery condensation. The “decoration” provides traction so that the vessel does not slip from the drinker’s hands. This exhibition shows work by the masterful Mncane Nzuza. The Lisa Sette Gallery writes that in addition to its delivery of beer, pots connect past and present:
Traditional Zulu blackened earthenware vessels function as potent connectors between ancestors and the living. Most are made for either brewing or serving a mild beer which is communally consumed at important occasions and reinforces social connections. Even though Zulu potters work within a traditional artistic canon of process, form and surface treatment, there is, nevertheless, considerable avenue for individual expression. It can be a vehicle for women to assert and increase prestige within Zulu society. Mncane Nzuza’s pots, which are remarkably accomplished both technically and aesthetically, are a testament to this dynamic.
Mncane Nzuza lives in South Africa in a kraal—the ancient, traditional compound of round, earthen houses, and she is 69 years old.
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3 | Lisa Holt + Harlan Reano: Recalling the Great Ollas
Jane Hartsook Gallery, New York City
Through August 8, 2019
The Jane Hartsook Gallery presented new work by Lisa Holt and Harlan Reano. They work as a couple like Maria and Julian Martinez. Traditional Cochiti ceramic techniques and a re-imagined use of the Pueblo’s decoration is how Holt and Reano ensure the tradition keeps moving forward, encouraging younger generations to do the same. Holt comes from an illustrious potting family, Her grandmother is the well-known Cochiti potter Seferina Ortiz, her mother is Inez Ortiz, and she is the niece of Virgil Ortiz. Reano also learned his craft from Holt’s mother.
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4 | Basquiat x Warhol: Making Dinner Plates During Dinner
The School, Jack Shaman Gallery, Kinderhook NY
June 1 through September 7, 2019
Five years since the opening of The School, Jack Shainman Gallery presented Basquiat x Warhol, an extensive examination of the compelling, albeit complex relationship between two master artists during the final years of their lives. On display are paintings produced collaboratively, as well as works created solo by both artists, among them photographs by Warhol.
The Gallery sates that, “The exhibition contains lesser-known works on view, such as Warhol’s torso line drawings, stitched photographs and Polaroids, along with Basquiat’s marker drawings on porcelain plates. Legend has it that the plates were drawn in a restaurant while the two were dining. One plate in particular exemplifies the artists’ alliance, in which Basquiat portrays Warhol, designating him: “BOY GENIUS” – a descriptor generally reserved for wunderkind Basquiat, himself”.
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