Welcome to our first Exhibition Digest of 2019. In our digests––design, architecture and exhibition––zero in on projects and artworks and plant a seed of inquiry for you to explore and delve as deep as your heart desires. Eat your heart out in this month’s Exhibition Digest with throwback (2017-ish on) works from Adriana Varejão, Anders Ruhwald, more recent works from Peter Pincus and more!
Featured image: Peter Pincus, Contrasting Gradient Vases, 2018, colored porcelain, 11.5 x 4 x 6 inches each
Peter Pincus | Channeling Josiah Wedgwood
November 10 – December 29, 2018
Peter Pincus debuted his new collection of cast vases for his first solo exhibition at Ferrin Contemporary. In the range, Pincus interprets the historic Wedgwood Collection, while using his own characteristic dynamic color palette and innovative use of pattern and form.
In an aptly titled article “Not Your Grandmother’s Wedgwood,” by The Berkshire Eagle, author Jennifer Huberdeau writes Pincus’ works challenge today’s perception of Wedgwood and his legacy, while also providing a contemporary perspective of those historical and important works.
“People have misconceptions about what that work is all about. People understand it in its current form — in plates and cups with very polite patterns,” Pincus said. “At one point, Josiah Wedgwood said he wanted to be ‘vase maker general to the universe.’ He was pretty intense. His vision was to be the maker of this ceramic ware that had appeal to all different sorts of cultures and classes.
“He made decorative arts for the home for all class systems. He believed he could use the imagery on the surface to inform them. He made a teapot to be used by the middle class with imagery [showing] the upper class and how they would use the pot. It was sophisticated imagery. Now, of course, he’s gone and there’s a different vision — a watered-down post-studio world of ceramics.”
Explore more at Ferrin Contemporary.
Ai Weiwei | Life Cycle
Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
September 28, 2018 – March 3, 2019
Up next, we have Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei’s first major institutional exhibition with the Marciano Art Foundation. Life Cycle features the new and unseen work Life Cycle (2018)––a sculptural response to the global refugee crisis. The exhibition will also present iconic installations Sunflower Seeds (2010) and Spouts (2015), which features a boneyard of thousands of broken porcelain teapots, within the Foundation’s Theater Gallery, as The Los Angeles Times reports.
This work merges the traditional Chinese identification with porcelain, as old as the Han Dynasty 2,000 years ago, and its proliferation around the world through international trade, especially after the 16th century launch of Europe’s colonial adventuring.
Read more at The Los Angeles Times here.
Anselm Reyl | Laguna Sunrise
Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels
September 7 – October 5, 2017
Laguna Sunrise was Anselm Reyl’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, celebrating almost a decade of collaboration.
Monumentally presented on plinths, the handmade vases in the ceramic style of Fat Lava are larger than life-size. This way, at eye level, the glazed drippings can be appreciated like paintings, and the vases are relieved of their utilitarian status. Individual drippings form layers, and at times the colors flow into one another with a marble-like quality, while in other places, the rough lava-like surface is prominent, with the anthracite-colored encrustations and crater-like pores contrasting the strong colors underneath. Regarding the form, Reyle orientates himself by the shape of original Fat Lava vases, which he simplifies and enlarges to a great degree.
Explore more works from Reyl’s Laguna Sunrise.
Group Exhibition | Fire and Clay
September 25 – December 15, 2018
The group exhibition features works of modern and contemporary artists working with the form of the ceramic vessel including Sylvie Auvray, Shio Kusaka, Takuro Kuwata, Grant Levy-Lucero, Ron Nagle, Sterling Ruby, Peter Voulkos and Betty Woodman.
From Mayan to ancient Greek pottery, African clay art to the Arts and Crafts movement in England and the United States, ceramic traditions have long united utility and artistry while shedding light on the needs and cultural values of civilizations. Fire and Clay explores the evolution of the ceramic vessel in art from the mid-twentieth century and the California Clay Movement up to the innovative approaches of the present moment.
Delver deeper at Gagosian here
David Zink Yi
Carlone Contemporary Hall, Vienna
October 10, 2018 – April 3, 2019
The anatomically precise, cast tentacles of a dissected octopus will make for an unexpected sight amidst the baroque splendor of the Belvedere. The antecedent violence of dismemberment stands as a symbol for the process of artistic creation and human appropriation.
Despite comprising head and limbs, squids are creatures most dissimilar to humans. They have the power to light up their skin and extremities and change their body shape and appearance in a matter of seconds. Living in the eternal darkness of oceanic depths, the light they are accustomed to is solely their own. As the antipode of the human, for Zink Yi they intrinsically represent the alien. These objects of his, in addition, explore the limits of ceramic as material; in working with it, the process of transformation is never predictable and always contains an alchemical element.
Explore more of Zink Yi’s dismembered octopus and beached squid.
Adriana Varejão | Interiors
Gagosian, Beverly Hills
September 14–October 25, 2017
An oldie, but a goody. Gagosian present Interiors, an exhibition by Adriana Varejão in the fall of 2017. One of Brazil’s most renowned contemporary artists, this was Varejão’s first-ever West Coast exhibition.
In “Interiors,” the spatial drama of the Baroque assumes many forms: from the guise of Minimalism’s cool geometries; to the uncertainty that disrupts the seamless logic of the painted surface; to the ruins of Euclidean architecture, thick with flesh, blood, and fat. In the Sauna paintings, Varejão invents chambers tiled in intricately painted monochromatic gradations, recalling the perspectival grids underlying Renaissance masterpieces, as well as the geometries of the modern digital realm.
Anders Ruhwald | The Hand is the Mind is the Bomb that Blows
September 9 – October 7, 2017
Morán Morán, Los Angeles
Anders Ruhwald‘s 2017 solo exhibition The Hand is the Mind is the Bomb that Blows at Morán Morán featured a new series of 25 large ceramic sculptures.
On the surface, these works focus on one of the most basic interactions – an artist’s hand shaping a material. Through Ruhwald’s hands and the process of firing, matter solidifies into meaning. He created these objects during months of focused studio work, which was a complete immersion and embracement of the metamorphic nature of clay. There was a sheer physicality to his process as he transformed tons of clay and gallons of glaze with minimal use of tools and through countless firings.
Delve deeper at Morán Morán.
Hostler Burrows, New York
November 9 – December 14, 2018
Finnish artist Kristina Riska’s solo exhibition is her second with Hostler Burrows. A senior member of the Arabia Art Department Society in Helsinki and one of Scandinavia’s foremost contemporary ceramic artists, Riska has been exploring and redefining ceramic sculpture since the 1980s. Her unconventional works, often monumental in scale, are exceptional examples of the rigorous and physical approach that she takes in her practice.
Check out more of Riska’s work.
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