medium /// sculpture

mary baum

“presence of absence” and “where two worlds touch ii”… the titles of these two earthly bodies of work by Oregon based artist Mary Baum.

Her work deals with themes of belief and mysticism; the connection between the natural and spiritual worlds; and the relationship between magic and miracle. 

Any magic involving shattered glass, soil, sand, and stone is okay by me … sigh. Beautiful.

christina bothwell

Gasp! This is the strange and stunning work of American sculptor Christina Bothwell. She studied painting at art school, but ultimately found herself drawn to glass and clay… so she taught herself how to do it. So inspiring! Here is part of her artist statement:

“Since I was very young, I have been fascinated with the concept of the Soul… the idea that the physical body represents only a small part of our beingness. I am always interested in trying to express the that we are more than just our bodies, and my ongoing spiritual interests and pursuits have run parallel to the narrative in my pieces … I am drawn to the processes of birth, death, and renewal. What lies below the surface fascinates me and I try to capture the qualities of the “unseen” that express the sense of wonder that I feel in my daily existence. I am attracted to glass because it can do everything that other sculptural media can; in addition, it offers an inner space and transmits light.”

It certainly does! And speaking of renewal, almost exactly one year ago, Christina’s studio burned to the ground. She lost everything… not only all of her equipment and supplies, but a huge amount of the work she’d created over the past twenty years. Devastating. That said, I’m happy to report that she and her husband Robert D. Bender (also a fabulous glass artist who she often collaborates with), have picked up the pieces and are forging ahead. Again, so inspiring. ps. Don’t be distracted by sweet Gosle in the video… she’s just there to give feedback if Christina needs it.

summer mixer : group show

I don’t usually suffer from FOMO, but I definitely wish I could see this show in New York! Summer Mixer, at Joshua Liner Gallery, features the work of some of my favorite artists… from Arno Beck‘s typewriter landscapes, Jen Stark‘s dizzying pieces, the gorgeous abstracts of Kathryn Macnaughton, and Mark Wagner‘s cut up cash to the colorful sculptures of Stephen OrmandyTerri Loewenthal‘s vibrant photographs, and – of course – brand new funny and fantastic text paintings by Wayne White. WHAT? How can I possibly be missing this!? If you, however, happen to be in New York, you don’t have to miss it. Summer Mixer runs until August 23, 2019.

ching-chih wu

Can. Not. Breathe.  This stunning piece, titled “Artificial Forest”, is the work of Taiwanese artist Ching-Chih Wu. From what I can tell, his work began with smaller-scale metal and enamel pieces {jewelry and smaller works}, but in recent years his work has evolved into large-scale spatial sculpture … and it is absolutely magical.

zhanna kadyrova

These are not your older sister’s hand-me-downs, but they aren’t new. This ongoing series, titled “Second Hand”,  is the work of Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova. Here is the description from her site:

“… the concept of ‘second hand’, we are talking about buildings that have passed from one owner to another. Objects that formally resemble clothing are lined with original tiles from the walls of a building or enterprise. Tiled ornaments transferred identical to their placement on the walls.”

Beautiful! psst… the top most image (taken by Paolo Ferrarini for Cool Hunting), made with repurposed tiles from a Venetian hotel, is currently showing at the Venice Biennale in the Central Pavilion until November 2019.

the haas brothers

Los Angeles based artists/designers Nikolai and Simon Haas are twins, known as The Haas Brothers. They create everything from four-legged furry furniture to oversized golden mushrooms… but it’s their alien-like ceramic pieces that have stolen my heart.

“The Haas Brothers unapologetically embrace craft, with a keen attention to materiality that is highly emphasized in the realm of design. The ceramic vases are exquisitely crafted through a process that mimics both natural accretion and 3D printing, by brushing slip over the form, layer by layer, until the vessel appears to grow clay tentacles.” – The Bass Museum, 2019

Clay tentacles … ah yes, the heart wants what the heart wants.

devra freelander

“Fluorescent Fragments” … I loved this joyful, vibrant installation the second I saw it, but now these broken shards feel different. This is the work of American artist Devra Freelander. On July 1, 2019, at the very young age of 28, Devra was hit and killed by a truck while riding her bike in Brooklyn. Heartbreaking and senseless. This is the long list of artistic accomplishments Devra had already achieved. It is a terrible tragedy that she can no longer add to this:

Devra Freelander makes sculptures and videos that explore climate change and geology from an ecofeminist and millennial lens. She received her MFA in Sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design in 2016, and her BA with honors in Studio Art from Oberlin College in 2012. Freelander has exhibited with Times Square Arts, CRUSH Curatorial, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, the Affordable Art Fair, the New York Design Center, the RISD Museum, Zoya Tommy Contemporary, the White Gallery, and the Fjuk Arts Centre. She is a founding member of MATERIAL GIRLS, and a recipient of the 2016 St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award. She has participated in residencies with Sculpture Space (Utica, NY April-May 2019) Women’s Studio Workshop (Rosendale, NY November-December 2018), the Arctic Circle Residency (Svalbard, Norway, October 2017), Socrates Sculpture Park (Long Island City, NY, 2017), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace (New York, NY 2016-2017), the Fjuk Arts Centre (Husavik, Iceland, July 2015), and Virginia Commonwealth University Summer Studio Program (Richmond, VA, June-August 2013). She is represented by CIRCA Gallery in Minneapolis, MN.

All of my love to her friends and family. RIP, Devra.

pnit by pneuhaus

Pneuhaus is a Rhode Island based design collective {Matt Muller, Augie Lehrecke, Levi Bedall} that focuses on “the mastery of all things inflatable”. Yep, clearly! Their most recent, totally breathtaking project is titled Pnit:

“Pnit magnifies the most basic knit stitch pattern so that this elegant and simple strength can be seen and the mechanics of it understood. Knit fabrics are a part of our daily lives, they cloth us and keep our beds warm; and yet as many of us lose track of the way the objects we interact with are made it can be easy to overlook the intrinsic structural beauty of fabrics.”

Pnit was created for PVDFest, Providence’s signature art festival, and will be illuminated in all its knitted glory throughout the summer of 2019. Happy Monday.

shannon goff

A cardboard car … CARdboard. Okay, sorry. This is the work of American artist Shannon Goff. She does fabulous things with clay as well, but this car – the 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V, to be specific – stopped me in my tracks. That dashboard? The wheels? That trunk!? Detail and craftsmanship that would make her grandfather proud. You see when Shannon was little, her grandfather bought one of these American beauties (in metallic turquoise no less), and she remembers “the Mark V’s smooth ride conjuring up the sensation of floating on a cloud.” Here is a little more info about this project:

“‘Miles To Empty‘ (2015) explores the car as a metaphor for the complexities of American life in general, and for my own experiences as a native of the city of Detroit specifically.” … and an extract from the exhibition text … “In ‘Miles to Empty’, Goff reflects on how our increasing reliance on adaptive technologies has diminished the routines of human industry, and is changing our aesthetic sensibilities. Dauntingly laborious, challenging in concept and ambitious in scope, this monumental sculpture embodies Goff’s immense energy and her love of making. Goff demonstrates a high level of skill and ingenuity, which used to be present in all manufacturing before the production line eradicated first the hand, then the whole individual. Each part of the car is uniquely made, and in making it, she has imagined the many hands that collectively fabricated the vehicles on the Lincoln company assembly line.”

Gold! … or metallic turquoise.

potluck … a group show

Mmmmm, yummy! From ceramics to collages, dumplings to beer… these are just a few of the pieces included in “Potluck”, a totally stacked group show opening at Hashimoto Gallery in San Francisco {804 Sutter St} this Saturday, June 29th from 6 to 9pm. I’ll give you one guess to figure out the theme:

“Inspired by community and connections created around food, this dynamic group show brings together artists working in ceramics, drawing, painting and beyond for a delicious exploration in our relationships with food.

Featuring 28 artists from the San Francisco Bay Area, nationally and internationally, [Potluck] includes a diverse range of experiences culturally, emotionally and conceptually. Drawing inspiration from the community created around gathering for a meal and the preparation of food, each artist brings unique memories and histories embedded in what we eat. Each piece offers the viewer a personal perspective of food, ranging from favorite dishes and places, intimate domestic scenes, celebratory occasions and nostalgic recollections.”

Featuring new works by: Laura Berger | Sarah Carolan | Jeffrey Cheung | Lauren Corden | Brian de Graft (1st shown above) | Amanda Dunham | Nicole Dyer | Dan Gluibizzi | Casey Gray | Liz Hernandez | Celia Jacobs | Sam Keller (3rd shown above)| Katie Kimmel | Ness Lee | Quentin Monge | Rebecca Ness | Kellie Orr | Hilda Palafox | Pedro Pedro | Petites Luxures | Joel Daniel Phillips | Stephanie H. Shih (4th shown above) | Jessica So Ren Tang | Lorien Stern (2nd shown above) | Anna Valdez (5th shown above) | Chelsea Wong | Joey Yu

ps. “Potluck”, curated by Dasha Matsuura, runs until July 20th, 2019.