Spotted is our weekly survey of work from the world of contemporary ceramic art. This week we’re profiling pieces of contemporary ceramic art we saw at ZsONA MACO, a large contemporary art fair recently held in Mexico City from February 3 – 7.
Working in a broad range of media including sculpture, installation, and video, Simone Leigh has consistently focused on issues of race throughout her career. Leigh mines the rich history of West African and Native American ceramics searching for vessels and objects to be used as vehicles for conversations on race and identity. Leigh lives and works in Brooklyn, New York where she is represented by Tilton Gallery.
Théo Mercier was born in Paris and is represented by Marso gallery, Berlin. Now living in Mexico City, Mercier creates assemblages from a personal collection of objects as well as local materials. The wooden blocks in Sculptures pour temblements de terres can be read as shifting plates in the earth, colliding and cracking under the stress of an earthquake. Stacked earthenware vessels allude to skyscrapers, vulnerable to such natural disasters. Easy to miss are four white eggs precariously placed at the apex of each tower.
Ceramic is not the first material that comes to mind when designing functional stools, but Esrawe Studio, based in Mexico city, produced Ceramicables, a unique line of ceramic and oak stools. These gumdrop topped, peg legged creations hit a sweet spot and come in a 1970’s kitchen appliance color scheme.
Since its beginning in the 1970’s BD Barcelona has always found points of intersection between art, design and architecture. BD has manufactured and reproduced a number of furniture designs by Salvador Dalí, Antoni Gaudí, and Oscar Tusquets Blanca. The Showtime Vases by Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon present themselves as design objects, but they also take on a figurative quality with alien antennae extending outwards from the head.
Better known for his portraits of fellow artists, musicians and pornographic film stars, Robert Mapplethorpe also had an interest in still life. Typically these photographs captured sparse bouquets or singular flowers in vases. Here, a full flower rises above the clay vessel, offsetting the vase’s slender neck.
What do you think of this collection of contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments