SANTA FE, New Mexico — Peters Projects is pleased to invite CFile’s readers to two events this weekend. The first is a solo exhibition of ceramics, bronzes, steel and drawings by Christine Nofchissey McHorse (Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 12 – November 5, 2016) with a preview reception to meet the artist this Friday, August 12th, 5 to 7 pm. In addition, there will be a discussion with the artist, with the chief editor of cfile.daily and the leading scholar in modern and contemporary ceramics Garth Clark, and with the exhibition curator Mark Del Vecchio, on Saturday, August 13th, at 11 a.m. This will be Mark Del Vecchio’s inaugural exhibition of the new Peters Projects Ceramics & Design program.
Above image: Christine Nofchissey McHorse
On the heels of her highly successful traveling exhibition DARK LIGHT: The Micaceous Ceramics of Christine Nofchissey McHorse, McHorse is having her first solo gallery exhibition at Peters Projects, Santa Fe. Navajo artist McHorse is one of the most innovative contemporary forces in Native American pottery. Working from traditional materials and techniques, McHorse’s vessel-based art pushes the boundaries of pottery and sculpture, erasing the line between function and form. The show exhibits the unadorned sophistication of the sultry curves, black satiny surfaces and modern forms of her Dark Light series, created from 1997 to present. An amalgam of Puebloan, Navajo, and contemporary influences, each sculpture possesses a cultural splendor that is as fertile as the Northern New Mexico forest where McHorse harvests her clay.
Through the unadulterated beauty of micaceous clay and with Puebloan construction techniques learned from her Taos mother-in-law, McHorse transforms her sketches into voluminous shapes that swell upwards like a natural spring. Dismissing the rudimentary forms that define Native American ethnic identity in craft, she returns to primordial shapes, akin to the modern aesthetic of Henri Moore and Constantin Brancusi. Experimenting with shape, mass, volume, and line, she creates organic vessels in the vein of her ancestors, who recognized the spiritual power of water, air, and earth.
To complement her natural forms, McHorse gives each piece its own unique skin by pushing the boundaries of a raw material. Micaceous clay permits McHorse to build thin-walled structures that can withstand high temperatures, yielding a black satiny finish. The darkness of the fired clay provides a dramatic contrast to the tiny bits of reflective mica, glistening as light dances across each piece. Using light gradation as her palette, McHorse controls the presence of light by creating differently textured surfaces that either catch or reflect the light. When combined with the elegance of each sculpture’s form, the element of light in McHorse’s works renders a captivating visual experience.
McHorse’s award-winning book Dark Light with an essay co-written by Garth Clark and Mark del Vecchio is available in cfile.library. If you are a member view the catalog, or begin your 14-day free trial.
Are you attending this event of contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.