Notes and Happenings from Ferrin Contemporary:Ceramic Specialists


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.

China in China

Western artists are increasingly traveling to China to research and produce  work  for exhibitions in the USA, Australia and Europe.  Over a third of the artists shown in Ceramic Top 40  —  an exhibition highlighting individual artists, collaborators, and design partners working on the cutting edge of  conceptual, utilitarian, and sculptural ceramics — have been to Jingdezhen including Susan Beiner, Rain Harris, Walter McConnell, Beth Cavener and collaborators – Future Retrieval: Katie Parker and Guy Michael Davis.

In June and July 2014, Ferrin Contemporary director Leslie Ferrin traveled  to Hong Kong, Chongqing, Jingdezhen, and Shanghai to  explore this culture exchange, and the galleries and museums in the rapidly developing contemporary art scenes of Hong Kong and Shanghai. Documenting her travels in images as she went (you can find the full feed on the collaborative art blog scene +seen), Ferrin participated in a ten day workshop in Chongqing sponsored by Sichuan Fine Arts Institute,  gave lectures at the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen and Shanghai, and visited studio workshops where Ferrin Contemporary represented artists Jason Walker, Sin-ying Ho, Robin Best and others worked in collaboration with Chinese skilled artisans.

Learn more about her investigation of this burgeoning exchange and Western artists working in China at the following public talks this Fall and Winter:

Independent Art Projects, Saturday, October 18, 2014

Harvard Ceramics, November 12, 2014

New York Ceramics Fair, January 23, 2015

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Scene + Seen is a collection of images and sounds collected in the Berkshires and beyond that connect the dots between the art, the artists and the community of professionals who bring it all to life.

See excerpts below of Ferrin Contemporary’s contributions and click here for the full feed and content.

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Click here for the full feed and content.

Ferrin Contemporary presents

Ceramic CollectaneaThis unique collection offers a special opportunity to obtain highly valued, proven work by masters in the field of ceramic art that have not been available for some time.
We are happy to bring these carefully selected pieces from private collectors and artist estatesonto the market again.
Read more, see more…

Kurt Weiser, “Untitled” 1992, porcelain, china paint,
21.5 x 14 x 2.5″.
(Private Collection)
Nancee Meeker, “Untitled”
1984, terra sigillata,
earthenware, 10.5″
(Pennington Collection)


Rudio Audio, “Hippodrome” 1994, glaze, ceramic, 19 x 16 x 14″.(Pennington Collection)


Don Reitz, “Do You Think I Would Forget?” 1987, earthenware, engobes, glaze, 23″. (Pennington Collection)
Toshiko Takaezu,”Giant Round form with Rattle (Moon Ball)” 1990s, stoneware, 20 x 21″. (Private Collection)


Howard Kottler, “GhostRider”
c1967, porcelain,
decals, lustre, 10″.
(Artist Estate)

Richard DeVore, “Untitled Bowl” 1991, ceramic, 10 x 10.5 x 10.5″ (Private Collection)


Lucie Rie, “Bowl” 1958, 5.5 x 1.75″. (Private Collection)



Viola Frey, “Untitled Platter” 1982, slip, glaze, earthenware, 25″.(Pennington Collection)
Edward Eberle, “The Prince’s Retinue” 1996, porcelain, 8.25 x 6″. (Pennington Collection)


Ron Meyers, “Platter” 1990s, earthenware, 11 x 2″.
(Angela Fina, Artist Estate)


Jack Earl, “Untitled” 1978,glaze, earthenware, 11.5 x 7 x 6″ (Pennington Collection)


To view other work available in this collection, click here
Read more, see more…

Sergei Isupov in “Body Language” at Albany Airport

Presented by Albany International Airport Art & Culture.
A group show of eleven artists whose work focuses on the human figure and its expressions.

Large sculpted heads by ceramic artist Sergei Isupov will be on display.

These larger-than-life sculptures speak silently of the inner worlds of human experience.

April 5–September 7, 2014
Albany International Airport, Albany, NY
Reception: Friday, April 11, 5:30-7:30

Join us!

Opening Reception
Friday, April 11, 5:30–7:30
in the Albany International Airport Gallery, located on the third floor of the airport terminal, before the security checkpoint. Parking will be validated for the reception.

Sergei Isupov, other artists, and Leslie Ferrin will be in attendance and available for conversation and discussion.

Read more, see more…

Other Current Exhibitions

InCiteful Clay
Apr 6–Aug 11, 2014
Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AK

Collection Focus: Sergei Isupov
Feb 23–Jun 8, 2014
Racine Arts Museum, Racine, WI

Sergei Isupov
Promenade: Solo Exhibition of Recent Work
Mar 7–Apr 22, 2014
Perimeter Gallery, Chicago

Collaboration & Revelation
through Aug 31, 2014
Kohler Arts & Industry, Sheboygan, WI

The Iconic Teapot

Teapots are complex objects steeped in history, world culture, and art. For collectors, they offer a wonderful study in contrast and variety. For artists, they present endless possibilities within the context of design, decoration, and scale. The Clay Art Center, in Port Chester, NY presents “TeaTime”, a survey exhibition and a day of presentations, discussion, and tea tastings. See below. FERRIN CONTEMPORARY’S Teapot Collectanea, is an ongoing on-line collection of teapots sourced from private collections and directly from artist studios.

Tea Immersion Presentations and tea.

Saturday, March 1, 1–4pm

Clay Art Center
Port Chester, NY

• Leslie Ferrin, Author of Teapots Transformed; Exploration of an Object, will present an overview of contemporary ceramic teapots.
• Ulysses Dietz, Senior Curator at the Newark Museum will offer an historical survey of the teapot both as a functional form and as an artistic challenge.
• Michael Harney, VP of Harney & Sons Master Tea Blenders, will speak about tea tastes and traditions in various tea growing lands and how that has influenced tea pots.
• Judith Schwartz, Professor of Art & Art Professions at NYU, will moderate a panel discussion after the lectures.
• Tea tastings will culminate the event poured by Harney & Sons.

Click here for more on Tea Immersion.


February 1–April 1, 2014

Clay Art Center
Port Chester, NY

This exhibition of functional and sculptural teapots explores the history of tea and its relevance in our culture. The exhibition will highlight the teapot, whose form and related ceremonies has inspired artists for centuries and continues to be a valid form of expression in studios of contemporary artists today.

FERRIN CONTEMPORARY artists participating in TeaTime:
Christa Assad
Donald Clark
Frances Palmer
Kadri Parnamets
Adam Shiverdecker
Shawn Spangler
Mara Superior
Susan Thayer
Kurt Weiser

Click here for more on TeaTime.

Teapot Collectanea

Ferrin Contemporary presents Teapot Collectanea: an online collection of teapots sourced from private collections and directly from artist studios. Ranging functional to conceptual teapots, produced by both emerging and established artists and designers, this ongoing changing collection is curated by Leslie Ferrin, author of “Teapots Transformed: Exploration of an Object”. Ferrin’s understanding of the teapot genre assures that each of the pieces offered here makes a distinct contribution to this iconic form.
Click here to view Teapot Collectanea.

Comprised of pieces from RAM’s permanent collection, the work in this solo showreveals the artist’s exploration of the human condition in two-dimensionalnarrative on three-dimensional ceramic forms.

Racine Art Museum’s Collection Focus: Sergei Isupov

Feb 23–June 8, 2014  |  Racine Art Museum  |  Racine, WI

Free First Friday
Friday, March 7, 10–5

Racine Art Museum

Visitors can enjoy the Racine Art
Museum for FREE the first Friday of every month.

Located steps from Lake Michigan in downtown Racine, RAM is one of the nation’s most significant craft museums.

Meet the Artist
Friday, March 21, 6–8:30

Racine Art Museum

Reception includes a meet-and-greet
and book signings with Isupov, light refreshments, and a cash bar.

Admission $10, complementary to
NCECA attendees wearing their badge
and RAM members.

March 7–April 12, 2014

Perimeter Gallery

solo show features new work by Sergei Isupov

210 W. Superior Street

Ferrin Contemporary represents Sergei Isupov.
Read more, see more.


FEBRUARY 14, 2014 – SEPTEMBER 21, 2014

Objects of daily use can be seen as representations of their owners and extensions of the self. This sentiment applies to a wide range of possessions, including the seemingly humble and utilitarian plate. In “At Your Service” ten artists come together to encourage the viewer to consider and question the significance and wider implications of this common household item.

Show Tour
and Talk

At Your Service: Exploring the Plate as a Site for Cultural Exploration with curators Niki Johnson and
Amelia Toelke and
artist Giselle Hicks
Sat, Feb 15, 2 – 3:30Artist Salon
at Project Art in Cummington, MA with artist Caroline Slotte
Thurs, Mar 27, 6:30–8:30
Giselle Hicks
is an independent artist currently working at Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana. Hicks’ work is an abstraction of the complex connections made a broken within domestic spaces that are routinely and ritually inhabited. She is represented by Ferrin Contemporary.
Read more, see more.
Caroline Slotte
lives and works in Helsinki, Finland and holds a masters degree from Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway. The reworking of second-hand ceramic objects plays a pivotal role in Slotte’s practice. She is represented by Ferrin Contemporary in the USA.
Read more, see more.
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Ferrin Contemporary is proud to announce


A visual biography of painter, sculptor, and wood worker Roy Superior, featuring his functional furniture, pen and ink drawings, and patent models of imaginary machines.The Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia
Feb 7–Apr 19, 2014 141 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia
Fri, Feb 7, 5–7pm: “First Friday” OpeningSat, Feb 8, 1–3pm: Memorial Reception and Gallery Talk with Tommy Simpson

Roy Superior is known for his exquisitely executed miniatures inspired by patent-scale models and Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions. Superior’s multi-media constructions use gentle irony to express his insights into human nature and appreciation of all its foibles and foolishness.
The work in this show comes from the artist’s own collection as well the Allan Stone Collection. Over his lifetime, Stone collected extensively, gathering historically significant art and artifacts. Roy Superior was among the contemporary artists whose work Stone collected and promoted.
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s art and inventions, Superior’s “Ideal Man” pays homage to da Vinci and reflects his quirky and sensitive nature. Ferrin Contemporary is proud to introduce The Roy Superior Collection of sculpture and drawings. Prints of “The Ideal Man” are also available.
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InCiteful Clay
Ceramic artists use clay to critique current social and political inequities. Curator: Judith Schwartz.
Jan 28 – Oct 20, three US locations


At Your Service
Exploring the significance and wider implications of the common plate.
Feb 14–Sept 21, 2014
Bellevue Arts Museum

SI in studio IMG_1093 260sqpx

Sergei Isupov | Promenade
Solo Exhibition of Recent Works
Mar 7–Apr 22, 2014
In The Lower Gallery
Perimeter Gallery, Chicago

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Kohler Art Center | 40th Anniversary
Celebrating with a retrospective exhibition of work from artist residencies and their permanent collection. spring 2014, Sheboygan, WI


Ceramic Collectanea
Introducing our new, constantly changing collection of important master work that has re-entered the market from private collections and estates.


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Teatime at Clay Art Center
Exploring the rich history of tea and its relevance in our culture with functional and sculptural teapots.
Feb 1–Apr 1, Port Chester, NY


Collection Focus: Sergei Isupov
Isupov explores the human condition in 2-d narrative on 3-d ceramic forms.
Feb 23–June 8, 2014
Racine Art Museum, WI


Roy Superior: Patent Models for a Good Life

A remembrance of a creative life
The Center for Art in Wood
Feb 7–Apr 19, 2014, Philadelphia


Ceramic Top 40 | Boston
A remix of the show at Red Star Studios in Kansas City will be hosted by The Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at  Harvard University this summer.

PS 34374 Cockle Pickers Tea pot 260pxsq

Teapot Collectanea
Our newest collection offers a range of work from traditional designs to conceptual constructions created by both emerging and established artists.