We did alert you! When we showed Brian Rochefort’s cups at our Shop (to support our educational programs) we pointed out this was a remarkable talent who was going to soar. To emphasize the point the largest group sale of his work went to an internationally known couple in the fine arts. Those who believed us responded and they were all sold. As America’s first Pop art collector, Betty Asher, was fond of saying, “you snooze you loose.”
Three months later Zachs Feurer has just given Rochefort his New York debut at The Armory Show. His prices have risen five-fold and Feuer sold 16 works at the vernissage.
Rochefort is one of the most impressive new entries into the growing field of what we are for the time being calling “baroque glazing,” an over-the-edge ascent of the phoenix from a volcanic cauldron of pyrotechnic maximalism.
Given his success you can understand why we differ with Hyperallergic’s Jillian Steinhauer giving the “Best Lumpy Ceramics Award” to Benedetto Pietromarchi at Josh Lilly Gallery. “But I do enjoy these pieces by Pietromarchi; they strike just the right balance between beautiful and weird.”
Both the “award” and our reaction is tongue in cheek. To her credit she did admit that she had not seen Rochefort’s work or “any other lumpy ceramics on view at the fair” so this may be an unfair contest.
Steinhauser also missed out on one of the kings of lumpy, O’Brien who overwhelmed the Boesky Gallery with his massive polymorphically perverse glazed art. It was chosen by Artsy as one of the 11 must-see booths on the fair. We found it horribly installed, much to the detriment of the art. One thing about lumpy ceramics, they need space.
A critic for New York Times, Martha Schwendener, chose as her favorite ceramic a large totem by the 78-year old Iranian-born artist from Vancouver, Parvoz Tanavoli, entitled Beloved King (see below). It was in in the fair’s Pier-92 Special Projects with the Grey Art Gallery at New York University.
For those who do like lumpy (it’s almost a real genre) and those who do not, scroll down, the fair has a wide range of ceramic work on offer to satisfy any taste from crisp Pop to oozy expressionism. This includes in no apparent order: Louise Bourgeois, Richard Slee, Mona Hatoum (glass, but it’s a cousin), Lidya Buzio, Daisy Youngblood, Arman, Anne Agee, Manjunath Kamath, Yeesookyung and a 2D work by Ekart Kahn that just seemed to fit the suite.
After following fairs here and abroad for two years it is becoming apparent that American fairs have seized the ceramic baton with greater gusto and a sharper eye than their counterpoints in Europe (although Asia is a close second). Maybe it’s because we prefer ceramics and they prefer the clay look? Either way look at the post on the Arco Madrid fair and see if you agree.
Garth Clark is the Executive Editor of CFile.
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