Welcome to Spotted, our current, our ever-evolving top-favorites lists from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics. We launch this edition with an erotic auction at Sotheby’s.
Sex Pots at Sotheby’s
This February, auction house Sotheby’s launched it’s Erotic: Passion & Desire. The auction sales total ended at over 3.7 GBP ($5.1 million), with items up for auction such as Italian painterJacopo Amigoni’s late-Baroque Venus and Adonis and Austrian artist Gustav Klimt’s Freundinnen (Girlfriend)(1913) as well as several photographic works by Robert Mapplethorpe.
But we know you’re here for the ceramic offerings, many of which we were particularly taken by including this Roman terracotta plaque featuring Brothel Scene (c. 1st Century A.D.).
Moulded in relief with an apparent narrative unfolding in three scenes from left to right and divided by architectural elements, the first vignette depicting the encounter of a man and woman accompanied by a dog, a phallus on a column at left, the second showing a man and woman embracing in a doorway, and the third two couples engaging in sexual activity on couches, egg-and-dart moulding along the lower edge, a fragmentary Latin inscription engraved prior to firing above the scenes.
With some not as subtle as others, we also Spotted this Colima ithyphallic figure.
Ithyphallic figures are often dwarves such as this figure, showing the distinctive compressed facial features. He wears the insigna of rank or shamanic status with the disk leg and armbands, crested turban with long backflap and a short sleeved tunic with applied pods, possibly cocoa; the oval medallion is prominently placed on the center of the chest. Gallagher (1983:40) notes that Colima small solid figurines depict ritual performers with enormous phalluses, likely in ceremonies with symbolic connections to fertility.
We absolutely love this rose-adorned mirror by contemporary artist Barnaby Barford. Titled That’s Amore! from his Love is… series, upon closer inspection, the confetti-like backdrop reveals itself to be hundred of miniature ceramic replicas of pornographic magazines.
Regarding Barford’s Love is… series, his artist statement says the artist explores the sexualization of society, its youth and the corresponding loss of innocence.
In his new body of work Barnaby Barford tackles these thorny issues around sex in the twenty-first-century head-on with a pithy directness and, crucially, a sense of humour. There is no room for prudery around Barford’s work, for part of its power is in its exploration of the margins of what is socially acceptable. Barford brings society’s anxieties around sexuality into the open in perhaps the least likely of artistic mediums: ceramic tableaux. With concise visual wit, Barford subverts the over-wrought sentimental ceramic groupings from which his characters are drawn, with subtle interventions that radically change their saccharine narratives to explore the ambivalence between innocence and depravity.
On display at KW Institute for Contemporary Art (February 10 -April 15, 2018) Judith Hopf‘s latest exhibition Stepping Stairs features brick sculptures which aims not only to delineate and divide the gallery’s physical space, but also acts a physical representation of the systems which color our everyday experiences, the gallery writes.
Her works are deeply rooted in the use of everyday materials, like brick, concrete, glass, packaging, and plausible manufacturing processes. They speak of the things, which form and influence us in our everyday lives, while also reacting to what could be described as a contemporary condition. Her works draws references to the effects that developments in economics and technology have had on our bodily and mental composition.
Ravit Lazer’s Ruins
Biographical details, historical events or memories and imaginings have become in the course of the 20th century highly significant, legitimate and even central to the interpretation of artists’ personal language. Consequently, in its broadest sense, the term “raw materials” seeks to lace, together with the “materials” in the simplest sense of the word, a fabric of sociohistorical meanings woven with personal and intimate meanings as integral to the process of interpreting the artwork.
This fabric of meanings is the main key for understanding Ravit Lazer’s entire oeuvre. Lazer is an artist and designer who combines the diverse disciplines of ceramics, photography, texts and personal interpretation in an attempt to capture real-life moments in a photographic manner and present them in three dimensions.
The works in Ruins refer to situations of destruction and ruin in deconstructed urban spaces that often seem like archeological findings in a crumbling present. Buildings, streets and neighborhoods scarred with violence and might, emptied out of the life that used to inhabit them not long ago. The boundaries between private and public, political and apolitical seem to have never been charted. Therefore, the context of destruction she constructs deludes and engages the viewer.
Text (edited) From:
Destroyed Present: On Ravit Lazer’s exhibition Ruins
Periscope Design and Neo-Craft Gallery, Tel Aviv Israel
By: Shlomit Bauman
Behind original, rugged brick walls, the old shipyard was once defined by a 12 by 30-meter grid, which allowed for massive interior spaces to hold ships. In this industrial-style, adaptive reuse project, Kuma was careful to preserve the building’s structural and material integrity.
The structure’s north facade was restored while its south wall was demolished years ago. For the west facade, though, Kuma designed a pixelated brick system which appears to float above the street below.
Suspended by 8-millimeter-thick stainless steel cables, large clay bricks, in four shades of red, gradually fade in permeability toward the transparent South facade.
You can check out the rest of the article here.
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