Mischievous Wedgwood-esque mash-ups, Sèvres spottings and more. This is Spotted, your go-to round-up of our favorite finds from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics.
Resurrectiononlyfans by Darren Neave
We’ve fallen in love with Darren Neave‘s clever Wedgwood mashups in his Resurrectiononlyfans series.
The practice uses elements of display and displaying, and the meanings that come from this, an emotional and theoretical ‘rinsing’ of the choices made, the objects employed, their qualities and cultural associations.
There is excessive embellishment, recalcitrance, compulsive ordering and hoarding. Mixed with contradictions, revulsion and revelry. Mixing and remixing help transform spaces and places, flipping roles and rules… The plinth becomes the sculpture, the frame becomes the plinth… The crepuscular tension beckons mischief and mayhem.
Mischief and mayhem indeed!
A Tale of Garth’s (Many) Books
The title above has a backstory. When Garth Brooks appeared on NPR’s WAIT, WAIT… DON’T TELL ME! the country superstar was quizzed on three other notable Garths. Under the topic Garth’s Books, he was asked what book did Garth Clark write? He got it wrong. It was The Eccentric Teapot. It was published in 1989 which reminds us that books matter and survive. And they can grow in value. This $29 book can now be bought on Amazon for a mere $851.
Last month (9 April 7, 2020) Artnet Magazine added more proof about enduring volumes. Its editors selected 17 books from its editors to read during the pandemic they chose among the others Calder: The Conquest of Time, Painting in Florence and Siena after the Black Death (timely), Dorothea Lang Words and Pictures and to our surprise, Garth Clark’s George E. Ohr the Mad Potters of Biloxi from 1989.
Ohr was Caroline Goldstein’s choice and she writes:
“These are strange, strange days, and if you feel like a bit of a mess, this story of a misunderstood artistic genius is just what you seek. George Ohr, the self-proclaimed “mad potter” of Biloxi, is now considered a peerless sculptor who pushed the boundaries of the medium to an extreme. I’ve been wanting to take up pottery for a long time now, and just as I was about to sign up for classes (I was so close, I swear) the quarantine measures have thwarted my plans. Luckily, the gorgeous photographs of twisted clay Ohr kneaded and coaxed into impossibly thin-walled vessels is a perfect antidote to my malaise.”
Together with his awards for Human: The Art of Beth Cavener (Fine Art category from the Independent Press Award and the top honor, an IPPY Gold Medal, from the Independent Publishers Association) his writing is drawing a lot of old and new attention.
Curious Sèvres Vases
In 1918, the U.S. House of Representatives accepted two Sèvres vases from France as a thank you for America’s help during World War I. Today, one might spot these gifts during the Capitol Hill milieu.
The vases are excellent examples of the luxurious, high quality ceramics produced in France in the Art Nouveau style between the 1880s and 1910s. Standing nearly six feet tall, the coordinating pair was made at the Sèvres manufactory, a state-run facility in operation since 1740. In addition to their exceptional size, the vases also have a distinctive crystalline glaze, a difficult technique developed in France in the 19th century. The unpredictable nature of the glazing method makes each piece unique. The multicolored, iridescent, frost-like patterns that cascade down the surfaces of the vases were created by mixing zinc oxide and quartz crystals into the glaze, and then firing the stoneware pieces at extremely high heat. The resulting random patterns successfully reflect the nature-inspired forms and organic aesthetic of the Art Nouveau style.House History
Explore more here.
Moustache Mug gets Boozy Update
Hipsters and quarantined males have created an unexpected resurgence of antique drinkware which protects their new facial adornment: Moustache Mugs. And, of course someone would apply this same approach to booze––because why not? Now, the aforementioned demographics can find solace at the bottom of a bottle without sacrificing a single drop of their libation of choice to their upper lip rugs. Let us introduce the Whisker Dam.
Love or loathe this edition of Spotted. Have some of your own Spottings? Sounds off in the comments section below.