When the New York Ceramics & Glass Fair opens its door for its four- day run at the Bohemian National Hall starting January 18, two fascinating loan exhibitions will provide visitors with even more visual stimulation.
“Expression and Experimentation in Clay” curated by Thomas Lollar, a professor at Teachers College/Columbia University and Paul Limperopulos, director of The Benefit Arts Project, highlights the variety of work by the talented students whose work, exemplifies the diverse ceramic techniques from the studio at Teachers College/Columbia University, which dates back to the Arts & Crafts Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
“Our students experience ceramics through the lens of their various interests, says Loller. “Architecture, literature, music and performance, all form the essence of the creative experience in clay. We are honored to be a part of the august New York Ceramics and Glass Fair.”
Loller and Limperopulos selected works offering the diversity of creative expression in the program. Among the students whose work will be showcased are:
Haakon Lenzi, with his masterful knowledge of glaze technology, layers underglaze / glaze on his large vessels treating the surface like an expressionist canvas. Bruce Edelstein constructs architectonic forms with dry pigmented surfaces, while Erol Gundoz's "Figures" combine digitally engineered forms with hand-building. Watusa Vidal's slick and functional wheel thrown forms hints at her Brazilian heritage in surface design. Stepanka Horaklova creates elegant, simple porcelain forms attesting to her prowess in the medium. Having emigrated to the United States from Prague, a Central European ceramic aesthetic can be felt in the precision of her execution and design. Ricardo Arango creates extruded ceramic forms combined with welded steel components.
The second exhibition is “Private Thoughts: Beadwork Sculpture,” by Leslie B. Grigsby, an off-loom, woven-beadwork sculptor who also serves as senior curator of ceramics and glass at Winterthur Museum in Delaware.
Long fascinated by the paintings of George Seurat—whose tiny, pointillist brushstrokes created stunning interplays of colors--Grigsby began working with glass seed beads during the early 2000s. Rather than embracing the clean, straight-edged patterns resulting from the use of beading looms, Grigsby adopted off-loom bead-weaving techniques, which allow for more design flexibility and easier shifts between beads of different sizes. The long-popular peyote stitch, associated with Native American artistic traditions, quickly became a favorite as it facilitates the fitting of beadwork surfaces around undulating forms. Other beadwork stitches (square, ladder, netting) also form design elements on some of Grigsby’s works and have early histories of use in Egypt and Africa.
The dozen or so sculptures included in this exhibition range from around eight to twenty-two inches in size and, variously, each took from around six months to one and a half years to produce. Grigsby’s works commonly have a surrealistic twist to the design and subject matter, the latter often inspired by Nature, Science, Science Fiction or the History of Art. They commonly feature sheathes of detailed beadwork applied over a solid support. Some of her larger projects often are collaborations with her husband Lindsay Grigsby, who as well as providing other support, plays a major role in creating wooden cores. Some of the animal sculptures feature dense-foam taxidermy forms as the cores with the beaded surface taking the place of real animal skins, which might be applied by hunters.
Grigsby’s work has been displayed at venues such as Philadelphia’s Snyderman-Works and Wexler Galleries, the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery in Pittsburgh, Reactor Gallery in Toronto, and the New York and Chicago SOFA (International Exposition of Sculpture, Objects & Functional Art) fairs. Her sculpture is held in private collections in the U.S., Canada and Australia, as well as in the Kamm Teapot Foundation and NASA collections. Currently, her work also is featured at the U.S. embassy in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Africa, as part of the U.S .Department of State’s Art in Embassy’s program. Grigsby’s work also forms a chapter in Suzanne Golden Presents: 35 Artists Innovate with Beads (Lark Books/Sterling Publishing, NYC, 2013).
The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair, which takes place on the fourth and fifth floors of the Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street (between First and Second Avenues), opens with a Private Preview on Wednesday, January 18, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and to the public on Thursday, January 19 through Sunday, January 22. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and can be used throughout the duration of the fair.
Another important component of the New York Ceramics & Glass Fair is its extensive lecture program, which runs throughout the duration of the fair. With a line-up of distinguished curators and experts, this year’s series will not disappoint collectors and connoisseurs of all stripes.
The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair is co-produced by Meg Wendy of MCG Events LLC and Liz Lees, of Caskey Lees Inc.
For more information visit, www.nyceramicsandglass.com or phone 929-265-2850.