Saturday, October 14, 2017

Art Axis

A great resource of contemporary artists. 

The mission of Artaxis is to provide a peer-reviewed source of contemporary artwork in ceramics and sculpture. Utilized as a resource by instructors, students, gallerists, curators, the general public, and contemporary artists, strives to promote and enrich the field, while functioning as a direct and unobtrusive conduit between viewer and artist.

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Naomi J. Falk, Artist

Field, 2003
Field continued the extension of self. Through the repetitive gesture and obsessive task of throwing large blocks of clay, I outlined the circumference of the area under my influence.

Swallow(ed) | 20' diameter | Porcelain, saltwater, reclaimed wood | 2006 - 2013 | Installation view | The Gallery at the Macomb Center for the Arts | Macomb Community College | Macomb, MI | Mar 2006 

Swallow(ed) began as a tribute to the individuals affected by 2004's tsunami in Southeast Asia. In 2005, while continuing to build the piece, Katrina, and several others hurricanes, hit the Gulf Coast of the United States. Since then, other coastal areas of the U.S. and the world have been dramatically impacted by natural and man-made disasters. Suffering ongoing effects from Hurricane Sandy (2012), for instance, and the earthquakes in Haiti (2010) and Japan (2011), the work remains relevant and timely. Much remains to be done. 

In Swallow(ed), each palm-sized porcelain bowl is filled with saltwater, representing the ocean, as well as tears. In the wake of the ocean's force, much was damaged or lost. Purposefully built with reclaimed wood, the tables represent, among other things, the man-made structures we create and inhabit. 

Recall(ed) Quilt | 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1" each, 40" wide x var. overall | Porcelain, flannel, batting, organza, thread | | 2010 - ongoing | 

Continuing with the work I did in Recall(ed), the installation/performance involves quilting hand-made porcelain pieces under sheer organza, laying to rest those who have lost their lives in the Iraq war. The remaining porcelain pieces are piled in a 'nest' next to the rocking chair I work in, with the quilt trailing across my lap and off onto the floor.

Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Artist

digital photograph, porcelain, blue and white pattern transfer from Jingdezhen, China
11" x 14" photograph, 8" x 4" x 1.5" tray

porcelain, human hair
3" x 3" x 4" 

slip cast porcelain shower drains, collected hair
40" x 30" x 2" 

"My work has always dealt with identity, with the sense of being in-between, an imposter, neither fully Chinese nor Caucasian. I have learned to live with the constant question about my appearance: “What are you?” I change my response depending on my hair, make-up, clothes, what I am doing, where I am at, or what I am eating – who I am at the moment. I find people are rarely satisfied with my answer. I explore this conflict through my chosen media – porcelain, which nods to my Chinese heritage but also represents “pure” white – the white desire I find in both cultures. Bound by these conditions, I stitch together my individual nature, unravel the pressures of conformity, and forever experience pain in search of perfection." 

Ryan Takaba, Artist

Growing up in Hawai`i, I spent much of my youth observing my grandparent’s attentiveness to their landscape, a residence that was built on ancient lava rock.  With my grandmother in her 90’s and my grandfather since passed, she now has a much smaller space to tend to.  The clippings of flowers she receives from her garden adorn a bedroom altar where every morning my grandmother visits my grandfather through daily prayer.  A prayer involving lighting a candle, burning incense, and arranging fresh flowers.              
I am interested in daily ritual, specifically in relation to the flower and the vase, the candle and the wax, and the incense and ash.  What defines a ritual and not a habit is a question I have been asking with this work.  My grandmother's dedication and belief makes me believe that her process transcends habit into ritual, and ritual into truth.

My studio practice stems from my research in landscape, architecture, and design looking to my grandmother as a source to investigate how objects are used, cared for, and honored.  I am interested in the arrangement of these objects, and through their use, meaning and the composition can change over time.  My practice is performative and durational, attending to the pieces daily through the length of a show.  In some works, I cut, assemble, and connect flowers to complete a composition, and sort stem sizes to regulate its flow of water.  I light candles to use heat to break wax patterns, and I burn incense to mark the wall and cascade ash.  This act engages themes of longing, waiting,and return.  

David Hicks, Artist

Panel Composition in Bluegreen, 2017, Ceramic, 28 x 27 x 10 inches

Dark Fruit, 2017, Ceramic,rope, and metal, 19 x 15 x 9 inches.

MIAMI — American artist David Hicks‘ most recent solo exhibition Clippings and Hard Fruit at Mindy Soloman (May 20 – August 5, 2017) explores how we experience nature and our environment has evolved. The exhibition with its prophetic ceramic wall hangings and vessels reveals an unsettling liminality between modern humanity and the natural world.

Shari Mendelson, Artist

NOT Clay! 
We can see an influence from Greek and Roman vessels 
how ideas about form, texture, line and space create a meaningful object.  

Shari Mendelson, “Ennion-like Vessel with Ten Handles,” (2015), 15 x 6 x 6 inches

Two-handled jar (amphora) with snakes on handles

Late Geometric IIA Period
735–720 B.C.

Shari Mendelson, “Large Purple Vessel with Yellow,” (2016), 28 x 16 x 16 inches

Shari Mendelson, “Blue Syrian Vessel with Long Neck,” (2016), 15 x 5.5 x 6 inches

Terracotta pyxis (box with lid)

Period: Geometric
Date: mid-8th century B.C.
Culture: Greek, Attic
Medium: Terracotta
Dimensions: Overall: 4 1/8 x 11 1/4 in. (10.5 x 28.5 cm)
H. with cover 9 15/16 in. (25.2 cm)
Description: While pyxides are frequently found in burials, they also may have served as a container for small objects during the owner's lifetime. In the grave they may have contained perishable offerings, such as food. The knob of the lid assumes many different forms. Here the articulation of the shaft contrasts particularly with the smooth surface of the box.

Barrel oinochoe, 8th–early 7th century b.c.; Italo-Geometric
Italian peninsula, possibly Campania or Etruria
H. 13 ¼ in.
Metropolitan Museum:
In the Geometric period of about 900 to 700 B.C., Greeks continued to be active seafarers, seeking opportunities for trade and founding new, independent cities in Asia Minor, Italy, and Sicily. In the Late Geometric period, around 760–750 B.C., Greeks from the island of Euboea (near northern Attica) established a colony at Pithekousai, near the Bay of Naples. The settlement received Levantine goods in quantity, as well as Corinthian, Cycladic, and Rhodian pottery, most of which were exported to the Italian mainland. This influx of goods and designs from the East played a major role in initiating the Italic and Etruscan Orientalizing period (ca. 750–575 B.C.). Likewise, Euboean vases were exported from Pithekousai to Campania and Etruria, as were local (Italic) vessels decorated with typical Euboean Late Geometric designs, as on this oinochoe, a small jug that was used to dip out and serve wine. Its main figurative scene, two goats standing upright and, perhaps, nibbling at a tree, is a familiar motif in Near Eastern art, and appears on vases made in Euboea at this time. The distinctive barrel shape of this vessel, however, is more Italic than Greek; similar oinochoi have been found in Etruria, near Bisenzio, and at Marsiliana.

Between the beginning of the sixth and the end of the fourth centuries B.C., black- and red-figure techniques were used in Athens to decorate fine pottery while simpler, undecorated wares fulfilled everyday household purposes. With both techniques, the potter first shaped the vessel on a wheel. Most sizeable pots were made in sections; sometimes the neck and body were thrown separately, and the foot was often attached later. Once these sections had dried to a leather hardness, the potter assembled them and luted the joints with a slip (clay in a more liquid form). Lastly, he added the handles. In black-figure vase painting, figural and ornamental motifs were applied with a slip that turned black during firing, while the background was left the color of the clay. Vase painters articulated individual forms by incising the slip or by adding white and purple enhancements (mixtures of pigment and clay). In contrast, the decorative motifs on red-figure vases remained the color of the clay; the background, filled in with a slip, turned black. Figures could be articulated with glaze lines or dilute washes of glaze applied with a brush. The red-figure technique was invented around 530 B.C., quite possibly by the potter Andokides and his workshop. It gradually replaced the black-figure technique as innovators recognized the possibilities that came with drawing forms, rather than laboriously delineating them with incisions. The use of a brush in red-figure technique was better suited to the naturalistic representation of anatomy, garments, and emotions.
The firing process of both red- and black-figure vessels consisted of three stages. During the first, oxidizing stage, air was allowed into the kiln, turning the whole vase the color of the clay. In the subsequent stage, green wood was introduced into the chamber and the oxygen supply was reduced, causing the object to turn black in the smoky environment. In the third stage, air was reintroduced into the kiln; the reserved portions turned back to orange while the glossed areas remained black.
Painted vases were often made in specific shapes for specific daily uses—storing and transporting wine and foodstuffs (amphora), drawing water (hydria), drinking wine or water (kantharos or kylix), and so on—and for special, often ritual occasions, such as pouring libations (lekythos) or carrying water for the bridal bath (loutrophoros). Their pictorial decorations provide insights into many aspects of Athenian life, and complement the literary texts and 
 from the Archaic and, especially, Classical periods.

Department of Greek and Roman Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
October 2002

Phoebe Cummings, Artist

Phoebe Cummings uses unfired clay to make poetic and performative sculptures and installations that emphasize material, fragility, time, creation, and decay. Working across art, design, and ceramics, she has had a number of residencies in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Greenland, including three months as a Kohler Arts/Industry Resident (2008) and six months as the Ceramics Artist-in-Residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2010). She was also awarded a ceramics fellowship at London’s Camden Arts Centre (2012–13).

After the Death of the Bear, 2013; clay, cement, steel, wire and polythene, 7 x 5 x 3.5 meters. Installation at British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke-on-Trent, 2013.

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