Top: Roxanne Jackson, Metal Goddess, 2017. Ceramic, faux fur, glaze, lace, and shell, 12 x 6 x 8 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: JSP Photography. | Image courtesy of Craft Contemporary
CalArtians are among the artists represented in Craft Contemporary’s second clay biennial The Body, The Object, The Other, currently on view until Sunday, May 10 at Craft Contemporary in Los Angeles.
The exhibition features works by 21 artists expanding the “notion of figuration within ceramics,” including Cassils (Art-IM MFA 02), Cammie Staros (Art MFA 11), and Bari Ziperstein (Art MFA 04).
Curators Andres Payan Estrada (Art MFA 14) and Holly Jerger conceived the exhibition theme by examining humanity’s relationship with clay, notably the variety of creations myths claiming that humans came from earth itself. “The figure has always been present in ceramics,” Estrada noted in the official release. “These artists are questioning how the self can be constructed and refiguring their own relationships to the body and to clay.”
Cassils (they/them) continues their exploration of art and the body with Ghost (2019), a sound installation capturing the artist’s “exhales, grunts, and breaths” as they wrestled a 2,000-pound block of clay. The installation envelops visitors in four-channel audio capturing Cassils darting from one corner of the room to another, as though the artist were a ghost.
Staros presents an array of ceramic and acrylic works influenced by classical Greek red and black figurative vase painting. Staros’ organic shapes, which are distorted and unable to remain upright without their vitrine-like acrylic pedestals, challenge historical practices of presenting art objects in a classic museum setting.
Ziperstein, known for testing the technical limits of clay, will present colorful and character-inspired works influenced by media ranging from Soviet propaganda posters to terracotta raw pottery.