Gary Petersen Interviewed in NY ARTS

Gary Petersen // The Things I Miss // 2011 // 20 x 16″ // Acrylic and Oil on masonite panel

Gary Petersen // Untitled (purple) // 2010 // 16 x 12″ // Acrylic and Oil on masonite panel

Represented artist Gary Petersen is interviewed by painter Amanda Church in this NYArts Magazine article.

What influences me—well, life! Primarily nature, biology, architecture, and my personal life influence me. The ups and downs we all deal with in our lives, like parents aging and then dying. Sometimes you gain perspective on your work only after the fact. I often think the “ghosting,” the pentimenti, in some of my recent work, relates to the years I had to deal with my mother’s dementia before she died.  But my work does not “abstract” from nature, it is just that all these things are in you and if you are in touch with these memories they do come out in the work.
– Gary Petersen

Read more from the article here, and visit the Mindy Solomon Gallery website to view more of Gary Petersen’s work.

Kate MacDowell Interview

For fine artist Kate MacDowell the “real” world impact of contemporary society on the environment is the inspiration behind much of her work to date. Kate actively responds to environmental stressors—climactic change and toxic exposure—while providing nature’s creatures with anthropomorphic qualities for protection and survival from man-made threats. (Assisted Living details, above).

Kate MacDowell recently completed her new piece, “Assisted Living,” (13×11.5×7). Well-articulated piece, featuring great narrative detail. I caught up with Kate to ask her questions about Erasure and her latest porcelain piece.

mM : Please talk about the duality of human features intermingled with the bird of prey : what provoked your initial thoughts about your new piece, assisted living?

KATE : I was thinking about how the California Condor was brought back from the brink of extinction (22 birds left in the wild) by a captive breeding program in which the first egg from a pair was removed from the nest and hand raised by biologists wearing condor hand puppets.   I wanted to make a piece which emphasized the “hands on” nature of this approach, and how sometimes species preservation depends on such laborious egg by egg care-taking. (Assisted Living details, above).

mM : Please share some of your favorite inspirations?

I often start with a case study related to an environmental tragedy, but this was a case study related to the beginning of a success story, which was refreshing. (Black Bat, above).

mM : How has the Erasure feature cover been received?

KATE : Well, they are also featuring different works of mine on 2 (or possibly 3) single CD covers designed by Tom Hingston.  You can see an interview with the Art Director on the Erasure site here. (see Oct. 21st)

KATE : ” Where did the idea for the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ cover come from?

Paul A. Taylor – ….. We discussed ideas such as having realism within the art and second look peculiarities that brought a depth of beauty with a touch of unease about it. Andy also kept coming back to having a heart involved somehow, but in a more realistic way than we have had before. This is what I took to Tom and I will now hand over to Tom for him to say how he put together the next set of ideas for us to go through.

Tom Hingston – For us it was about taking really strong iconography (in this case the heart) and then twisting or perverting it in some way. For a while now, I’ve been a fan of Kate McDowell’s beautiful, twisted sculptures – and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to collaborate. So we created this imaginary heart that revealed another world inside, but a world that suggested something fantastic or magical, using butterflies, birds and flowers. I like the idea that by creating a layered image the viewer would continue to explore or discover hidden elements within the composition. Ultimately it was about making something that felt iconic but multi-dimensional at the same time. (Video here).

You can also see more of Kate MacDowell’s work here and “Assisted Living” here. Kate MacDowell Erasure cover announcement. Thank you to all of the artists.  Interview by Mark Murphy.

Josh DeWeese Interview

Ceramic artist Josh DeWeese unveils a new collection at the Mindy Solomon Gallery, Saturday, November 12 at 6—8PM entitled “Expressions in Form.”

Josh DeWeese works tirelessly, combining contemporary sculptural forms with the art of chance—ongoing experimentation with a variety of different glazes and finishes fired with salt/soda processes—applied upon his ceramic pieces. I (Mark Murphy) caught up with Josh DeWeese before his exhibit to talk more about his work:

mM : When you are creating your works, are you inspired by a specific genre of music, artwork or a place that you have traveled before?

DeWeese : Specific inspirations are difficult to pin down, because they all blend together, but  I have always been inspired by Asian ceramics, particularly Korean Puncheong Ware, Japanese Oribe (examples piectured above) and Shino Ware. As I reported to Mindy, I have never studied formally in Asia, but have traveled in Korea and China several times. While traveling there, I’ve made a number of connections with several Korean artists, (mostly during my time at the Archie Bray Foundation), because we had about 12 different Korean artists there during my tenure as director.

Above, Peter Voulkos, Lidded Vessel, (c. 1952-1954). Wheel thrown stoneware jar with lid decorated with applied sgraffito technique. 22” x 11.” Peter Voulkos, Large Pot, (c. 1958-1959). Stoneware vessel comprised of wheel thrown, paddled, cut and manipulated forms with decoration. 21.5”h x 15.5” x 15.” American artist of Greek decent, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) is well known for his abstract expressionist styled ceramics sculptures. Entrapped in the process of clay-making, Voulkos developed works not with the traditional craft foundation of ceramics, but rather in an experimental way that lead him to treat the medium as pure sculpture.

DeWeese : I also studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and my teacher, Ken Ferguson, introduced us to a broad range of Asian ceramic traditions. We also had access to the Nelson Atkins Museum and it’s incredible collection. I have been influenced heavily by the work of my parents, Robert and Gennie DeWeese, who were modernist painters strongly influenced by the abstract expressionists of the 1950’s. I am as well, I have always drawn a connection between the immediacy of marks in wet clay to marks in wet paint. The work of Peter Voulkos draws on this, as well, and has always been an inspiration.

Above left, Andy Ryan photo of Nelson-Atkins Museum of ArtAbove middle, Posset Pot, Earthenware with tin glaze and enamel 8 ¾”—Medieval teat treat, cinnamon, egg white, wine, sugar, cream, heat it, boil and sprinkle with suger. Collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Above right, Akio Takamori, Japanese, b 1950. Kanzan from ‘The Laughing Monk’ series, 2006. Stoneware with underglazes. Promised gift the the Lennie and Jerry Berkowitz collection in honor of the 75th anniversary of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

mM : Select one of your favorite pieces featured in the show, and would you mind sharing a thought or two about the work :

DeWeese : I will comment on the jars, and this could apply to any of them. The current interest with my work has had to do with developing my drawing/painting to work on the three dimensional forms. I am endlessly interested in how a drawing unfolds around a form and leads the viewer to the other side. Line quality, glaze viscosity and transparency find endless variations in the atmospheric firing process and I am always eager to see what happens.

The basket forms are a technical challenge in terms of controlling the material, as in getting the clay to stand up and maintain structure in this way. I like to think of them for flowers, but also do not disagree with the comment that the handle eliminates the need for flowers. The forms have a figurative element to them, a sort of lyrical quality. Sometimes the handles feel like bones, or wisps of smoke rising in the air.

mM : How would you describe your style of work? Is there a new genre of sculptural objects that you are participating in, or is it a genre based on tradition from the past?

DeWeese : I don’t generally characterize my style as aligning with a current movement. I believe my work is rooted in the idea of pottery, drawing and an exploration of ceramic phenomena.

mM : What type of materials do you experiment with in your works?

DeWeese : I have become very interested in harvesting local ceramic materials to use in my glaze palate and have co-founded the International Wild Clay Research Project with my colleagues at Montana State University to research and develop local material sources. I find my work to be enriched and energized by the activity involved, and enjoy how the process requires building a community of interested friends to share the workload and results. I’m inspired by the potential and unique quality that can be achieved in a ceramic surface using local materials with a carefully considered processing method.

Thank you Josh DeWeese for taking time out. “Josh DeWeese, Expression in Form” opens at the Mindy Solomon Gallery Saturday, November 12 featuring 20 new works that include sculptural vessels, baskets and wall hangings. Artist reception, November 12 6—8PM featuring a insightful talk by special guest and artist, Josh DeWeese. Contact the gallery for more information or see more examples of his work here. Interview by Mark Murphy, Murphy Design.

SOFA Chicago “Bling It On”

Mindy Solomon Gallery will be exhibiting at this year’s 18th SOFA Chicago November 4—6 located at the historic Navy Pier. Proudly, we will be presenting a compelling sculpture program featuring artisans Gareth Mason and David Hicks (pictured above).

There’s a lot of buzz around this art fair, as Mark Lyman, founding director of SOFA describes, “My original vision for the SOFA fairs was to keep pressing to heighten the visibility of art on the cutting edge of the field.” (Gareth Mason, pictured above).

Maverick British artist Gareth Mason is a master sculptor exploring the marvels of porcelain with an alchemistic flare. His dynamic surfaces communicate a type of wizardry not frequently found in more traditional vessel forms. His arresting, swirling vortex of color and expression speaks to the works of great abstract expressionists. His erosive multiply fired structures evoke more questions than answers, and pottery enthusiasts as well as lovers of all contemporary art forms will be beguiled by the mystery of his fire.

Fine artist David Hicks recent collection of works deem him the “King of Bling.” Hick’s features an unparalleled exploration into the wonderland of luster and metallic glazing. His wall sculptures are composed with dozens of hand built objects carefully arranged to create wall pieces unlike anything ever expressed in ceramic material. Using considerable construction skills, he creates a system of wall mounts and cables that appear to float effortlessly from the wall. Hick’s duality between hard and soft provides the viewer with a highly textual, multi-dimensional experience. (Interview here).

If you would like to learn more about SOFA Chicago, please check in here. For more information about Gareth Mason and David Hicks please contact the gallery. We look forward to seeing you soon.