Welcome to Spotted, our weekly highlights reel featuring our favorite ceramic finds from the worlds of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics. The works noted this week take on themes of advocacy and social justice. We know our readers understand that in a time when the world feels so uncertain, art serves as a important reflection, and even social critique, of our sociopolitical reality.
Santa Fe-based Joe Bova’s latest exhibition Archetypes at Sherrie Gallerie (Colubus, Ohio, April 23 – May 28, 2017) uses animal imagery to unpack themes of social and political commentary, eroticism and humor similar to the sacred clowns of Native Americans.
While I am interest in form and the vitality of expression, decoration, for its own sake, has never interested me. I look to the masterworks of the past for inspiration, particularly the Moche of Peru, Han Chinese, African Art, early Mediterranean ceramics, and lately, the powerful artistry of the Native Americans of the Southwest.
Hungarian sculptor Laszlo Fekete large-scale works were showcased at Hungary’s National Ceramic Quadriennale, which opened April 23, 2017. The works are larger reimaginings of his previous works from 1999-2000, which were on display at the Museum of Art and Design in New York.
It was always my dream to make similar ones in big scale.
His largest piece is nearly 5-feet tall.
Fekete says having his work recognized aids his “quite big revolt” against the nationalist rulers of his country.
Brazilian-born Santa Fe-based artist Ligia Bouton’s Bleeding Bowl for Franz Kafka, 1904 watercolor uses the unique author’s famous words as measurement markings in a ceramic bowl commonly used to collect blood during bloodletting – an unsound practice used to treat a wide range of diseases and medical conditions. The words are from a letter Kafka (1883 – 1924) wrote stating he believed society should seek out challenging and pensive prose.
Altogether, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book we are reading doesn’t shake us awake like a blow to the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as you put it? Good God, we’d be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, also write ourselves. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is what I believe.
– From a letter to Oskar Pollak dated January 27, 1904
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