LOS ANGELES—Artist Julia Haft-Candell‘s most recent exhibition the infinite at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery (July 8 – September 2, 2017) features more than 20 ceramic lemniscates—the ubiquitous mathematical symbol representing the concept of infinity. But Haft-Candell’s works go beyond the symbology of the lemniscate itself, instead, becoming a vehicle of transfiguration turning relatable symbols and patterns into abstractions which resonate far more deeply.
Focusing on a litany of historically resonant lines and patterns, Haft-Candell’s myriad scale and material considerations both introduce themselves as an accessible guided tour as well as a final destination, bringing both an immediacy and an elasticity that echoes the resonant nature of the material.
Translating, simplifying, and reinventing the casual or insignificant, Haft-Candell offers us a different way to view accepted structures and icons. Chain Infinity, 2017 is one of the many forms Haft-Candell has brought to life that appears as one thing but connotes a broad range of other possibilities. The sculpture itself is solid: grounded, and plastered with chain imagery on its surface, but the play on its form leads the viewer into the artist’s fascination with the realm of infinity:
“The infinite exists because the linear dimension does not offer enough. I want to provide the infinite as a refuge for myself and anyone else that feels alienated.”
The artist has produced a glossary of terms as a supplement to her pieces, a vocabulary of rhythm, repetition, and ritual that reference the central designs in her work such as knots, combs, braids, chains, and loops: shapes of familiar objects that are the basis of her sculptural oeuvre. Within these definitions, Haft-Candell categorizes her separate forms into two basic components: the torus or ring, and the dash or line, both providing what she likes to describe as “hermaphroditic attributes” existing in the in-between.
Drawing clear inspiration from the era of Ken Price and Peter Voulkos, Haft-Candell answers to her predecessors as well as to her contemporaries who share both a vivid love for clay as the material it is and an ardent desire to push the material forward.
About the artist: A native of Oakland, CA, Julia Haft-Candell began her interest in ceramics under the teaching of Annabeth Rosen at the University of California, Davis before graduating from the MFA program at California State University, Long Beach in 2010. In 2016, she was a summer resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Madison, ME, and has been awarded multiple grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation. Haft-Candell recently ended a three-year teaching fellowship at Scripps College, Claremont, CA, where she helped to curate the Scripps College 71st Ceramic Annual in 2015. In 2018, she will be participating in the Lefebvre & Fils residency in Versailles, France.
Text (edited) from the gallery.
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