Clay makers: ’Void + Collapse’ presents a new side to contemporary ceramics

Clay makers: ’Void + Collapse’ presents a new side to contemporary ceramics

A new group exhibition devoted to the art of ceramics opens this week in New York’s Lower East Side. Inspired by the role of clay as a creative vehicle, ‘Void + Collapse’ brings together specially commissioned pieces by Pilar Wiley, Jenny Blumenfield, Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao, and Suzanne Sullivan (among others), and is curated by Chloe Curtis.

‘I’ve always been interested in the use of craft materials in contemporary art. I feel that clay in particular is a dynamic material that is used to create everyday objects as well as fine art,’ Curtis explains. ‘I wanted to explore this further and try to figure out where that crossover occurs and how artists are able to make that distinction in their practice.’

She continues, ‘Initially, I was drawn to these artists because I liked their aesthetic. Several of [them] had never had their work in a curated contemporary art gallery setting. I wanted to put together a group of ceramic artists that created both traditional and non-traditional forms. I also wanted to include works that could give new collectors a way into art.’

With many of the objects priced at only a few hundred dollars, Curtis’ exhibition certainly makes getting a foot on the collector’s ladder possible for amateur buyers. Ranging from intricate constructions to more simplistic forms, the range of techniques, colours and manipulations on display casts a well-deserved spotlight on the levels of artistry that can be achieved in this typically utilitarian medium.

From Frezza and Chiao’s whimsical forms to Blumenfield’s intentionally two-dimensional works and Wiley’s refined practice that toes the line between design and art, the exhibition’s pieces debunk popular perception that ceramic art is decorative, amorphous or organic in shape. ‘Void + Collapse’ proves that the future of contemporary ceramics is both robust and bright.

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