elizabeth alexander

Paper. No, seriously … allllll of it is paper. Even the chair, table, etc. I know, it’s a little bit too much for my brain to handle on a Monday morning, but alas, it’s true. This is the installation work of Massachusetts based artist Elizabeth Alexander. Here’s her artist statement to help explain these wonders:

“Cast paper, [she casts paper!?] sculptural collage, and altered objects are my methods for deconstructing domestic vignettes of traditional success and beauty. Long hours of unmaking and rebuilding found materials provide space to record memories and observations as I reexamine supposed truths within the domestic sphere. Repetitive processes become internal centering elements as I work to carefully break down these concepts. 

The ubiquitous notion of the American home as a symbol for status, power, values, and security has led me to examine my own relationship with home and consider its untidy qualities.  Living with and loving others who battle mental illness and chronic pain has complicated my experience with private space. I aim to unearth the human presence within our material surroundings and explore home as a place that is shaped by our stories and bears witness to our secret lives.” 

Beautiful. ps. Elizabeth’s work was recently selected for “Paper Routes – Women to Watch 2020” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC… of course it was! The show runs until the end of January 2021.





zsófia keresztes


Gasp! Glass mosaic, grout, copper pipe, thread, styrofoam… now that is a materials list! This is the work of Budapest based artist Zsófia Keresztes. Most of her sculptures and installations center around her interest in the intersection of the digital world and the body. The tears for example, “represent social media and its predatory claims on our sadness – and the sadness of others. They are toxic.” Well here’s something that will cause tears of joy… it’s just been announced that Zsófia will represent Hungary at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022! Amazing news! Congratulations, Zsófia… I hope I get to see your jaw-dropping work in person.

{quote via Elijah Wheat Showroom, NY}.





romina bassu

Aaaand that pretty much sums up 2020, no? I seriously considered saving this post for December 31, but I couldn’t wait! These acrylic paintings are the work of Rome based artist Romina Bassu. I love everything about this work, from their dreamy, muted color palettes to their very to-the-point titles {the painting of the woman facedown in the plate, for example, is titled “Monday”}. Okay, I’m off to cut the fingertips off any gloves I can find … hm, I’m definitely gonna need a manicure too.





janice jakielski

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Janice Jakielski (@janicejakielski)

PORCELAIN. I thought these lovely deconstructed vessels were paper, or maybe painted wood? Nope. THEY. ARE. PORCELAIN. I’ll wait while you scroll back up in disbelief … Ok, great. This is the work of Massachusetts based artist Janice Jakielski, from two of her series –  “Books” and “Sliced”. Here are Janice’s words about her work:

“I create objects of curiosity; beautiful objects to provide focus, retreat and pause in an overwhelming world. Through the use of meticulous detail, familiar forms and uncertain function I coax my audience to draw near, closing the physical gap between viewer and object. In this way the details of my workmanship and the excessive fragility of the porcelain act as a whisper, flirtatiously demanding investigation.

This work began from a place of material exploration. I adapt and re-invent ceramic engineering processes and materials for application in the studio. This experimental approach to ceramics allows me to circumvent the constraints of a conventional clay body. By inventing a new way of casting and manipulating ultra-thin porcelain sheets I am able to create impossible objects. Cut, veneered, twirled and slotted my vessels have a material ambiguity that brings the viewer to a place of sensory uncertainty.

My pieces are inspired by iconic historic vessels. I do not replicate these objects but instead re-imagine them in ways not feasible using traditional ceramics. By removing the interior volume I am able to contemplate these forms divorced from function. They are vessels without voids, containers without containment. I use planes to playfully define, dissect and divide the spaces that they inhabit.”

‘Beautiful objects to provide focus, retreat and pause in an overwhelming world’ … ahhh, yes. I needed that. Thanks, Janice.





meghan hildebrand

Sigh. These are some of the most recent mixed media paintings by Canadian artist Meghan Hildebrand. Anytime I write about Meghan, I make sure to include closeups because there is so much going on in every piece! Tiny houses, ghosts, forest animals… and is that a wizard three images up? I dunno, but what I do know is that I’d love to settle into one of those little log cabins for the next month or so. The final painting above is titled “Tucked In”, and yes I realize it’s only Tuesday, but that sounds like a great idea to me.

*Meghan’s work can be acquired through these galleries.




makoto azuma

Gasp! “Frozen Flowers” by Japanese artist Makoto Azuma. This breathtaking piece is from 2018, but as we head into winter here in the Northern hemisphere, it feels very appropriate! I’m sure you’ve seen this artist’s work before, perhaps his “Botanical Space Flight” {flowers in space… seriously}. This final icy installation is absolutely stunning, but wait, there’s more! His ‘in progress’ shots {captured by Shunsuke Shiinoki} are just as beautiful. If you ever feel like you don’t have enough energy to head into the studio for an afternoon, let this insanity be your inspiration:

Now that is commitment. To learn more about Makoto Azuma, Shunsuke Shiinoki and AMKKtheir co-founded flower and plant institute – click here. Happy Monday.





fanny ollas

‘Oof’. That was the first thought/sound that popped into my mind when I saw the weirdly emotional ceramic work of Swedish artist Fanny Ollas. Emotional ceramics? Yeah, that must be a thing because just look at these vases, lamps and mirrors. They absolutely express how I’m feeling at the end of this crazy year. Oof. Here’s Fanny’s bio, and description of why she does what she does:

Fanny Ollas is an artist and designer based in Stockholm, Sweden, working primarily with ceramics and textile. She has a background within fashion but changed her career in 2015 to work with ceramics and sculpture. Fanny is interested in art and craft in relation to psychology and the emotional relationship we have with the everyday objects around us. In her practice, she uses clay to discover and explore visual storytelling and to give form to different mental states and emotions. She often works with scenography and with spatial installations where the objects interact with each other to create a mood or a story. She combines the playful qualities of the clay with a handmade expression to create a language that is both cute, humorous and sometimes sad at the same time. Her work can be described as to enter a surreal fantasy world in the borderland between an innocent fairy tale and a melancholic dystopia; a world in which the viewers are encouraged to discover and create their own stories. Fanny Ollas graduated with a master’s degree in ceramics at Konstfack in the spring of 2018 and has since been active in her studio in Gustavsberg.

Cute, humorous and sometimes sad… yep, all of the feels. Happy Friday.





crystal latimer

Gasp… cowgirls, gold leaf, and tassels!? Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes! These beauties are the most recent work by Pittsburg based artist Crystal Latimer, and as we speak they’re being installed at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia. Here’s a description from the gallery’s site:

“In her practice, Latimer reinterprets Western historical art to create a connection between the past and the present. The mixed-media paintings in KEEPSAKES are colorful and bold, as the artist uses acrylics, gold leaf, and cotton fiber tassels. The works look like tapestries, an art form that was long ago favored for its accessible and portable storytelling abilities and through the use of contemporary iconography, Latimer tells stories of inner strength, positivity and triumph. In her previous work, the artist painted masculine imagery like battle scenes of conquest and male historical figures, but for KEEPSAKES, the imagery and color story is re-interpreted as feminine. Power comes from within and Latimer’s works act as an evocative visual reminder of that inner strength.”

Amen to inner strength! “KEEPSAKES” opens TOMORROW, Friday December 4th at Paradigm. Find more info on their live online event right here. A link to the live event will be emailed to all ticket holders prior to the opening.





pace taylor

This is the work {soft pastel & graphite} of American artist Pace Taylor… and every single one of their gorgeous, rich drawings makes me wish I could hug people again. Sigh. One day. Here is Pace’s description of these recent pieces:

“My drawings are constructions of intimacy between people. I build the images from found photographs of assumed queers from past decades, both alone and in the company of others. Through the translation from photograph to drawing, I invite a false memory to distort their bearings, bringing them into my world and covering them in planes of mutable soft pastel and the warmth and weight of lead. As memory and time distort appearance, the body becomes both a fixation and something inconsequential. Just an emotional shadow, vibrating color. In a rejection of the Binary, the body acts as a point of hesitation for the viewer; an opportunity to project their own experience of being in the world; an offer to be held by another’s language.” 

Beautiful and powerful. Follow Pace on Instagram… their in-studio photos are lovely.





en iwamura

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Iwamura EN (@eniwamura)

Loooooove! This is the colorful, wonderful, whimsical work of Japanese artist En Iwamura. I had to keep uploading new images as I wrote this post, because I just kept finding more of these lovely little heads! I discovered most of them through the gallery that represents his work in the US, Ross + Kramer Gallery  … and guess what? They happen to be showing his work right now at their East Hampton location until December 13th, 2020. Here’s his bio from the gallery site:

… His interest in art started with having two painters as parents. When applying to art school in Japan, where he earned his BFA and first MFA at the Kanazawa College of Art and Craft, he first thought he would follow their path but instead chose ceramics as a medium. This three-dimensional choice allows him to experiment with the viewer’s experience of occupying space concurrently with his work. He references this relationship between negative space, viewer, and object back to the Japanese philosophy of Ma. Finding the most comfortable Ma between people, places, or objects can create a specific relationship with that person, place or object relative to an exact moment in time. More than just being three dimensional, clay is also in itself a very historic medium, which helps Iwamura further explore his interest of specific moments in time. To the artist, “Ceramics last longer than human life, and we will communicate with future people with ceramics as an important information system.”

We most certainly will. Beautiful.