November 23, 2019 - January 4, 2020


November 23, 2019- January 4, 2020

Ferrin Contemporary presents KURT WEISER: Insomia, 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 solo Eden Revisited, Bellevue, ASU exhibitions at the Montgomery Museum of Art (Montgomery, AL) the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR) and the Holter Museum of Art (Helena, MT). His work can be found in numerous public collections, including Smithsonian Institution, Alfred University School of Ceramics, and the Los Angeles Museum of Art among many others. Weiser received his M.F.A. from the University of Michigan and is currently the Regents Professor of Art at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Newark, V&A.

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More about KURT WEISER

Kurt Weiser, ‘Insomnia’ 2019, 24 x36″, linocut print, ink on somerset 250 gsm paper