November 23, 2019 - January 4, 2020


November 23 – January 4, 2020

Ferrin Contemporary presents KURT WEISER: Insomnia, showcasing a distinct black and white palette which unites ceramics vessels and large-scale prints. Exploring the last 30 years of the artist’s private sketchbooks, the highly detailed narratives explore myth, history and the natural world. The diverse media also serves to create a dialogue that bounces back and forth between materials, exploring the familiar world in a new light.

Black and White 1 & Black and White 2 have taken particular cues from classical Chinese iconography, incorporating the notion of the “reserve” or an area that remains intentionally blank in order to support an area that is highly detailed. This on/off switch that Weiser has adopted allows the image to breathe and almost float within the three-dimensional vessel forms.

Ferrin states “While most visual artists use drawing in their practice as a road map to a finished work, Kurt compulsively draws as part of his daily and often nightly life. His process of filling sketchbooks populated with repeating characters, expressions, objects and non-specific, organic forms provides an outlet for images and ideas that flood his mind. Through this practice, he perfects compositions that are later drawn upon for highly, detailed, colorful china paintings on porcelain. The monochromatic palette frees him to explore these images in a meditative way while the process of lino cutting and using a pen filled with liquid china-paint (and coca cola) formalizes the process. The result is a dense, graffiti style pattern that fills the page and surrounds the forms providing endless paths to visually wander and ask “what was he thinking?”

Kurt Weiser’s ceramic work draws inspiration from rich evocations of plant life to narratives derived from myth and history, placed into highly detailed tropical landscapes. These images are meticulously painted onto porcelain teapots, globes and other vessels.  As Weiser notes, “the painting is the three-dimensional reality”.

His most recent body of work includes linoleum-cut prints, inspired by decades of drawings from his sketchbooks. He has paired these prints with black and white vessels, relying on his graphic and fantastical style as the means for relating these rich narratives.

Weiser explains “It is a surrealist approach to take the conscious mind out of the equation and let the hand lead the way.”

Weiser has shown internationally and throughout the United States, including Eden Revisited: The Ceramic Art of Kurt Weiser his career survey, curated by Peter Held for the Ceramic Research Center at ASU that traveled to eight venues including Bellevue Art Museum, (Bellevue, WA), Montgomery Museum of Art (Montgomery, AL) and the Holter Museum of Art (Helena, MT).

Weiser’s work can be found in the public collections of the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center, Tempe, Arizona; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York; the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, North Carolina; Newark Museum of Art, Newark, New Jersey; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Ceramics, Shigaraki, Japan; Helsinki Museum of Applied Arts, Helsinki, Finland; National Museum of History, Republic of China, Taipei, Taiwan, among others.

KURT WEISER: Insomnia will be shown at the Undinotti Museum of Figurative Art in Paradise Valley, Arizona March 8 – April 12, 2020.

Udinotti Museum of Figurative Art
6511 East McDonald Drive and Udonotti Way
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Opening Sunday, March 8, 2-4 pm
March 8 – April 12, 2020



DOWNLOAD Press Release

More about KURT WEISER