Project Tag: Steven Young Lee

Conversing in Clay: Ceramics from the LACMA Collection

Conversing in Clay: Ceramics from the LACMA Collection


One of the earliest and best-preserved areas of artistic production across the globe, ceramics remains a vital field of expression and experimentation into the present. Conversing in Clay: Ceramics from the LACMA Collection explores the medium through 14 case studies, placing historical works in visual dialogue with contemporary examples to illuminate symbolic meanings, technical achievements, and resonances throughout time. The exhibition examines how artists working today relate to international artistic traditions of the medium, both through deliberate references to the past and by engaging with aspects of clay materiality that have inspired makers over the centuries. Drawing from LACMAs wide-ranging collections, the exhibition also highlights many recent contemporary acquisitions, including works by Nicholas Galanin, Steven Young Lee, Courtney Leonard, Paul Scott, Mineo Mizuno, Elyse Pignolet, and more.


Los Angeles, CA | August 7, 2022 – May 21, 2023


Located on the Pacific Rim, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection of more than 147,000 objects that illuminate 6,000 years of artistic expression across the globe. Committed to showcasing a multitude of art histories, LACMA exhibits and interprets works of art from new and unexpected points of view that are informed by the regions rich cultural heritage and diverse population. LACMAs spirit of experimentation is reflected in its work with artists, technologists, and thought leaders as well as in its regional, national, and global partnerships to share collections and programs, create pioneering initiatives, and engage new audiences.


Five artists featured in the show discuss their artistic practice in these short videos.




303 10th Avenue, New York, NY


1315 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams MA

June 24 to September 25, 2021


The Melting Point is the degree when solid becomes soft, eventually becoming liquid and a boiling point is reached. Glaze melts, clay and glass soften, surface and form become pliable. This exhibition surveys a ​diverse ​group of artists whose use of the melting point is central to their practice.

Used metaphorically, as the planet warms we are finding ourselves closer to the melting point both physically and socially. In 2020, forces combined under pressure of the COVID virus, politics exploded and nature responded with melting ice, raging fires and extreme weather. Likewise, artists use the melting point as a metaphor in their work to express their political beliefs and sound the alarm using the fragile materials of glass and ceramic.

The exhibition is ​a ​collaboration​ between Ferrin Contemporary in North Adams, MA on the MASS MoCA campus and ​Heller Gallery, located in the Chelsea Art District of New York City​. The co-curators and gallery directors are renowned specialists in their fields, Leslie Ferrin (ceramics) and Katya Heller (glass).


PRESENTATION at Ferrin Contemporary

PRESENTATION at Heller Gallery




MELTING POINT in the Boston Globe
8.5.21 Cate McQuaid gives a quick glance at the exhibition in The Ticket section of The Boston Globe.

Arriving at the MELTING POINT in Destination Williamstown
7.20.21 Destination Williamstown interviews Ferrin Contemporary Director Leslie Ferrin and gets to the historical heart of MELTING POINT.

BUSINESS MONDAY: Did people buy art during COVID? 
6.28.21 Julia Dickson of The Berkshire Eagle reports on a “difficult but successful” year for Berkshire gallerists.

TENDING THE FIRES: Recent Acquisitions in Clay | Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA

TENDING THE FIRES: Recent Acquisitions in Clay | Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA

Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA

August 17, 2019 – April 4, 2021

Tending the Fires: Recent Acquisitions in Clay presents recent additions to Fuller Craft’s ceramic collection. Exhibited works represent a range of processes and conceptual approaches in clay, from Cheryl Ann Thomas’s slumped, coiled sculpture to Jun Kaneko’s painterly “dango” to Steven Young Lee’s deconstructed pot. Figuration also comes into play, with strong examples by Patti Warashina, Akio Takamori, and Tip Toland. Fuller Craft Museum is proud to shine a light on the clay triumphs of these renowned ceramicists while proudly displaying the institution’s recent collecting achievements.


Richard Cleaver, Claire Curneen, Nancy Jurs, Jun Kaneko, Steven Young Lee, Cliff Lee, Hollie Lyko, Michael Lucero, Lauren Mabry, Beverly Mayeri, Zemer Peled, Peter Pincus, Prudence Piper, Mark Shapiro, Mara Superior, Akio Takamori, Cheryl Ann Thomas, Tip Toland, Patti Warashina, and Malcolm Wright.

Learn more about FC Artists:


and from the archives:


Click HERE for more.

APEX: Steven Young Lee, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

APEX: Steven Young Lee, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

APEX: Steven Young Lee

Portland Art Museum

February 23- August 11, 2019.

STEVEN YOUNG LEE reinterprets work from the Portland Art Museum’s Korean Collection. The museum notes “…at once fascinated by the excellence of these objects, Lee overturns these pristine examples in his own practice—perfection becomes failure, classical motifs become popular characters, and elegance resides with kitsch. They are objects in navigating Lee’s own experience in Korean-American, cross-cultural identity and upbringing.”

Click HERE to see more information on the APEX Series.

Click HERE for more information on the work of Steven Young Lee.

Click HERE to inquire about available works for sale.

Read a review by the Oregon Artwatch




Canary Syndrome

September 27–November 4, 2018 at Ferrin Contemporary

Ferrin Contemporary is pleased to present Canary Syndrome, a group show featuring recent works by U.S. and U.K.-based artists including Elizabeth Alexander, Evan Hauser, Elliott Kayser, Stephen Young Lee, Beth Lipman, Livia Marin, Paul Scott, Bouke de Vries, and Jason Walker, on view Sept. 27 to Nov. 4. An opening reception will be held at Ferrin Contemporary, located at 1315 MASS MoCA Way, on Sept. 27, from 5 to 7 p.m., in conjunction with DownStreet Art, a program of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Berkshire Cultural Resources Center. The reception is free and open to the public.

The exhibition, inspired by the saying “canary in the coal mine”, suggests that artists, much like the caged canaries once used by coal miners as early indicators of dangerous gases in tunnels, are hypersensitive to the adverse conditions and forces that jeopardize human existence. Through their artwork, the artists in Canary Syndrome employ visual means to accentuate threats to the health of the environment, culture, and ethics — really, the condition of civilization in general, and to warn of worse things to come.

The now-discontinued practice of carrying canaries deep into coal mines to detect carbon monoxide and other toxic gases dates back to 1911. The phrase “canary in the coal mine” is widely used as an allusion by whistleblowers sounding an early alert for broken systems and dangerous conditions. Al Gore used the phrase in reference to indicators of global warming in his book and film, “An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It”. The planet’s “canaries”, Gore said, are the melting polar icecaps, a result of increasing levels of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere.

“Ferrin Contemporary is presenting Canary Syndrome as both an opportunity to reflect upon fragile beauty as well as provide inspiration to fellow travelers who are facing an overwhelming sense of antipathy and futility in our world today,” said Gallery Director Leslie Ferrin. “It’s our hope that art and artists will motivate others and help to fuel a societal call to action.”

The diverse and thought-provoking artworks in the exhibition invoke ominous portents and herald a call for change on a global level. The works of Elizabeth Alexander, Elliot Kayser, Steven Young Lee, Beth Lipman, Livia Marin, Paul Scott, and Bouke de Vries explore the concept of the flaw, the crack, the mistake, and the resulting debris, within the delicate world of ceramics and fragile glass.

De Vries’s glass cloud is an assemblage of shards of glass from recognizable broken objects, forming a 21-inch-high mushroom cloud. Kayser uses glaze “blisters” on black cow figurines and Scott repurposes a 19th-century platter with the addition of a photo collage of Houston that memorializes Hurricane Harvey’s rising waters. Alexander, Lee, Lipman, and Marin work with processes that exploit melting, etching, breakage, and erasing to produce metaphoric imagery that is often a harbinger of doom. The artists reference forms and history associated with familiar domestic objects such as plates and figurines, along with pottery shards, to reveal something new, carrying a foreboding warning.

Artists in the exhibition who use imagery to deliver their message include Evan Hauser, whose use of ceramic decal prints of Hudson River School paintings applied to Styrofoam cooler lids, cast in porcelain, reexamines historic and cultural scenes in a contemporary context. Jason Walker explores the consequences of manifest destiny, referencing the inherent conflict between man and nature, with meticulous illustrations painted on porcelain sculptures of birds and fish, which he has combined with cast porcelain machine parts made from gears, conduit, and aerators, and used as formal elements.

“The very act of creating provides these artists with an outlet for the anxiety caused by relentless exposure to contemporary conflicts,” said Ferrin. “They are compelled to address environmental and societal issues through their practice and are sounding the alarm in the form of beautiful and compelling pieces of art.”

For more information about the exhibition and individual artists, see

Elizabeth Alexander
Evan Hauser
Elliott Kayser
Stephen Young Lee
Beth Lipman
Livia Marin
Paul Scott
Bouke de Vries
Jason Walker









7227 Reynolds St., Pittsburgh, PA

February 17–May 27, 2018


In 2017, twenty contemporary artists were invited to respond to and produce new works that reference the art, objects, and social history of The Frick’s collections. 

Many contemporary artists are breathing new life into the ceramic medium by reviving and reinvigorating age-old concepts. This reinvention is distilled into the use of 18th-century processes and techniques to create new motifs and the depiction of stories inspired by history — often with a commentary or critique on modern society.

This topic is particularly relevant to the current state of the ceramics and museum field as it answers the questions of how history meets contemporary. How can artists draw on the rich artistic traditions of ceramic history while reinvigorating their relevance in a society that prizes the contemporary? Likewise, how can museums use contemporary ceramic art to illuminate and reinvigorate historic collections? The Frick Pittsburgh is committed to using the voices and artworks of contemporary artists to meaningfully engage our audience and our collections with issues and ideas relevant to the present day. Revive, Remix, Respond is an exciting opportunity to continue that dialogue.

Organized by Dawn Reid Brean, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts at The Frick Pittsburgh with Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Contemporary, the museum has invited artists to submit work that is inspired by, responds to, or relates to historic ceramics in The Frick Pittsburgh’s permanent collection. Highlight’s from the museum’s collection include Clayton, the historic Gilded Age home of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick and its impressive array of fine and decorative arts objects; 18th-century Chinese porcelains purchased by Frick from the collection of J. P. Morgan; and 18th-century French painting and decorative arts collected by Frick’s daughter, Helen Clay Frick.

The exhibition will consider the sources of inspiration shaping ceramics today and ways to keep clay vital in museums, schools, and artistic communities. These ideas directly relate to the organizing theme of NCECA 2018, CrossCurrents: Clay and Culture.




Remix Your Friday Exhibition Preview
Friday, February 16, 5:30–7:30pm

Join us for a happy hour in The Frick Art Museum to celebrate the opening of this exhibition, Be among the first to see this unique exhibition, which features work from established and emerging artists. The evening will also feature gallery talks from exhibition curator Dawn Brean and exhibited artist Beth Lipman.





Bohemian National Hall, New York, NY | January 18–21, 2018

Bringing together a carefully selected and distinguished international group of more than 25 galleries offering all things “fired” — porcelain, pottery, and glass, in a setting perfect for the exhibition and sale of important small objects.


“Revive, Remix, Respond: Contemporary Ceramic Artists at The NYC&GF and The Frick Pittsburgh”

Organized by Dawn Reid Brean, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts at The Frick Pittsburgh, and Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Contemporary.

In 2017, twenty contemporary artists were invited to respond to and produce new works that reference the art, objects and social history of the The Frick’s collections. Selected works by these artists whose artistic practice is informed by the past will preview in a special exhibition at the NYC&GF followed by the full exhibition at The Frick Pittsburgh, February 16–April 27, 2018. Click for more.

See below for illustrated lecture by Dawn Reid Brean.


“Pincus: Channeling Josiah Wedgwood”
with Peter Pincus
Friday, January 19, 12pm

Artist Peter Pincus speaks about his research and into the Wedgwood Collections at Birmingham Museum of Art and how conversations with curator Anne Forschler of the Birmingham Museum of Art are being incorporated into his new work and teaching. Pincus is visiting assistant professor of ceramics in the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Click for more.

“Revive, Remix, Respond: Contemporary Ceramic Artists at The Frick Pittsburgh”
with Dawn Brean and artists TBD
Friday, January 19, 2–3:00 p.m.

Dawn Reid Brean, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts at The Frick Pittsburgh, with Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Contemporary and artists featured in the exhibition whose work is inspired by, responds to, or relates to historic ceramics in The Frick Pittsburgh’s permanent collection. Click for more.

“Time Travel in the Period Room”
with Elisabeth Agro, Barry Harwood, Sarah Carter
Friday, January 19, 4–5:00 p.m.

Three museum curators speak about exhibitions and projects that connect past and present in innovative ways, activating spaces through collaborations with contemporary artists and interdisciplinary scholars and informing new works. The curators will share how through working with contemporary artists and interdisciplinary scholars new works evolved, historic information revealed, audiences engaged, educational programming developed and connections made to the past while reflecting on present day issues.

• Elisabeth Agro is The Nancy M. McNeil Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
• Sarah Anne Carter, Ph.D. is the Curator and Director of Research of the Chipstone
• Barry R. Harwood, Ph.D. is the Curator of Decorative Arts at the Brooklyn Museum

Click for more.

“American Studio Pottery — Making of a Movement”
Adrienne Spinozzi with Linda Sikora and Mark Shapiro
Saturday, January 20, 4pm

Internationally recognized potters Linda Sikora and Mark Shapiro discuss their divergent backgrounds, training, and influences as a way to touch on significant themes in postwar North American ceramics.

Moderator Adrienne Spinozzi is Assistant Research Curator of American Decorative Arts, The American Wing, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Linda Sikora resides near Alfred NY where she has a studio practice and is a Professor or Ceramic Art at Alfred University. Mark Shapiro is a potter in Western Massachusetts. He is a frequent workshop leader, lecturer, curator, panelist, and writer, and is mentor to more than a half-dozen apprentices who have trained at his Stonepool Pottery. Click for more.

Dirk Staschke "Vanitas 1"

PORCELAINIA: East Meets West

PORCELAINIA: East Meets West

PORCELANIA: East Meets West

November 10–December 8, 2016
Cross MacKenzie Gallery, Washington, DC

Talk and Reception with curator Leslie Ferrin and artist Paul Scott Talk
Sunday, November 13, 2016, 3–5pm

This exhibition presents tradition and identity found in contemporary porcelain. Artists Sin-ying Ho, Steven Young Lee, Walter McConnell, and Paul Scott explore ceramic traditions, interpret identity, and create social commentary in their work reflecting on global consumerism, changing landscape, and cross-cultural exchange.

Click here to read review of “Porcelainia” in Washington Post.




New York Ceramics & Glass Fair
Bohemian National Hall, New York, NY
January 19–22, 2017
Click here for more

Bringing together a carefully selected and distinguished international group of around 28 galleries offering all things “fired” — porcelain, pottery, and glass, in a setting perfect for the exhibition and sale of important small objects.



“The Feminine Clay”
with Shannon Stratton
Friday, January 20, 12 noon

“Things of Beauty Growing: British Studio Pottery”
with Glenn Adamson
Friday, January 20, 4pm

“Buy, Sell, or Give? What Happens When the Kids Don’t Want It”
Panel discussion lead by Leslie Ferrin
Saturday, January 21, 2pm

Click here for more.





January 21–24, 2016
Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street, New York, NY 10021


Thursday to Saturday 11:00am–7:00pm
Sunday 11:00am–4:00pm (no admittance Sunday after 3:30)



“Before the invention of Krazy Glue, broken household items were brought back to life with flair and ingenuity.” Examples of repaired historic pieces from Baseman’s collection will be complimented with work from contemporary ceramic artists whose work imitates, replicates, or honors the inventive repairs of the past.