Abstraction at Ceramic Top 40 at Harvard


Ceramic Top 40 on view at Harvard Ceramics
survey of current art trends examined through the lens of clay.

Suddenly, abstract ceramic sculpture is showing up throughout the art world — on the cover of Art in America, in the Whitney Biennial, fully integrated into mainstream Chelsea art galleries, and displayed front and center at art fairs.

Clay lends itself to abstraction and expressive form. The artists and sculptors in Ceramic Top 40 use this pliable substance along with color-saturated glazes and dynamic gesture with full knowledge of the material and its extremes.

Abstraction in ceramic sculpture is not new. The artists featured in this post are among those to watch as they continue in and expand on this long tradition that started in the 1950s with Voulkos, Staffel, Takaezu, Reitz, Mason, Price, and others.

CERAMIC TOP 40 at HARVARD runs through August 16

Roberts 33720 Depression1 180px noname
Kate Roberts
Roberts, one of the youngest artists in this exhibition, is a risk taker. Building fragile forms much like a baker, she combines solid forms with delicate piped liquid clay to build sculptures that reveal psychological and emotional narratives.



Sormin_List_2013_3_tiger_detail 180px nonameLinda Sormin
Sormin, known for her large ceramic installations, combines found and built objects with internal imagery in multiple complex forms. Scale, color, and variety of references expand in her work to create a layered unity made of disparate fragments.



34730 McConnell Remnant Yellow180pxWalter McConnell
McConnell’s work represents the fired result of a complex installation originally shown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2010. This solid remnant was carved from a work of wet clay and then fired, glazed, and presented much like an archeological discovery.







AS 34718ShiverdeckerNightSky 180px nonameAdam Shiverdecker
Shiverdecker’s classic Greek vessel forms with iconographic symbols burst into abstraction with the introduction of foreign materials. As they lose their ability to function as vessels and move toward the abstract, his pieces pose questions about men and civilization.







34688 Cooper photo dark bkgrnd 180pxMark Cooper
Integral to Cooper’s installations is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The diverse components form a visual and metaphoric language that give voice to an abstract internal discourse.




34719 Mabry 9-28-13_ref 57_01 180px

Lauren Mabry
Mabry’s work is best understood in terms of abstract painting. Colors clash and resound, ebb and flow, creating rich hypnotic tones and textures — a synthesis of intuitive, expressive surfaces and elemental forms.

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