Welcome back to Spotted, our weekly roundup of some of the best contemporary ceramic art grabbing our collective eye over the last week from the worlds of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics.
Above image: Penny Byrne,Vintage porcelain figurine, ball point pen, pencils, paint brushes, vintage action man machine gun and boots, epoxy resin, enamel paints, 16 1/2 × 8 7/10 × 5 1/2 inches. Offered by Coates and Scarry.
Let’s kick this week off with Australian artist Penny Byrne’s work. Byrne specializes in reconfiguring kitsch figurines from salvaged ceramic objects into often politically charged artworks.
Robert Harrison has created his Potters Shrine, which includes a memorial to late contemporary ceramic legend Akio Takamori. Cary Esser’s little blue tile peeks out from behind Takamori’s work, which cantilevers out from the kiva-like brick shrine at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.
Man Ray was one of the key American figures of Dada and Surrealism. Artsy writes he drew influence and inspiration from his interactions with Europe’s avant-garde artists.
Ray was exposed to European avant-garde artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque at Alfred Stieglitz’s New York gallery and at the 1913 Armory Show. Ray’s photographic works are considered his most profound achievement, particularly his portraits, fashion photographs, and technical experiments with the medium, such as solarization and rayographs (an eponym for his photograms), which were celebrated by the Surrealists.
Late Brazilian multidisclpinary artist Tunga once said that his works strives to activate unlikely scenarios.
“For me, to connect such unlikely things produced activated spaces, or rather, psychoactive spaces. I am thinking of it more in the sense of an action or transition, mental and physical, an activation that integrates both body and mind.”
Liselotte Watkins is known for her cutout-like illustrative fashion work, which she has now transposed onto second-hand ceramic forms resulting in a stunning series of ceramic Portraits at CFHILL Art Space (Stockholm, Sweden, November 10 – November 25, 2016), The Last Magazine writes (a must read).
Her scrappy shapes and feverish scrawls subvert the supposed frivolity of fashion, colored with a wit that can conjure a living, breathing person from pen and ink. But hers is a hand that could not be contained by the flat plane of the page; for the past year, Watkins has been dreaming up a world outside the lines, hijacking antique ceramics to create an army of earthenware women, abstracted in the image of her hallmark clipped collages.
This latest work has evolved from the desire to bring the sculpture “upwards”, creating an elevated form which allows the viewer to look ‘through’ rather than ‘at’ the work…His signature assemblage of different thrown pieces and added slabs has over the years become more complex. Despite appearances, one can still trace back the making process to the potter’s wheel. With this new work he has almost separated each element of the traditional vessel to reassemble as a sculpture.
The Haas Brothers
The beloved Haas Brothers’ stamen-like phallic Double Bulb Father Accretion has creeped its way onto our Spotted list again. The work is part of The Haas Brothers’ King Dong Come (no subtlety to see here) exhibition at R & Company (New York, November 15, 2016 — January 5, 2017).
Explore Cfile’s previous musings on the Haas Brothers.
Lorren Lowry is a newcomer to our Spotted list as her work piqued our dark, morbid curiosity. Imbuing rawness and sensationalism, Lowrey’s spliced (even hacked) anthropomorphic creatures simultaneously reveal something far less sinister, but no less challenging for the viewer.
From Lowrey’s Artist Statement:
Much of my artwork pivots on the use of symbolism and narrative to draw attention to the phenomenological. I primarily use animal imagery to symbolize the particulars of the human experience. Through animals I can express complex or sensitive issues that would be difficult for viewers if the subjects were human. By using anthropomorphic symbolism, I am able to blend the familiar with the unknown, the self and the other. I am putting together sensations and information. My current work speaks to my appreciation for taxidermy and science. In taxidermy, once living creatures are forever immortalized in beautiful statuesque objects. In my sculptures I am exploring beauty and death, because in death there is also beauty.
Check our more of Lowrey’s work on Instagram.
Do you love or loathe our Spotted selections of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.