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kate macdowell: porcelain artifacts
original content
oct 15, 2011
kate macdowell: porcelain artifacts


the god of change‘, 12“x10 ½ “x2“, hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 1/2011
all images courtesy of kate macdowell

sculptor kate macdowell of portland, oregon, USA, depicts the fragility of nature and humanity through a romanticized
connection between the human body and the environment through porcelain figures. the entirety of her work draws upon
historical figures and events, art history, and greek mythology. the interaction between the modern human and the
environment is evident as a motivation for the artist in the rendering of each figure. macdowell’s works are initially formed by
hand from a solid piece of porcelain with the depth and layering of each construction epitomizing her unique interaction
with this medium. the smaller figures within each piece are made individually as the artist develops a tangibly intimate
interaction with each structure. her choice of porcelain has an ethereal effect on her finished pieces– each work is rendered
with exquisite detail, the delicate quality as ultimate strength of the porcelain is magnified by her wonderfully unsettling
combination of elements of nature on or in the human form. macdowell’s collection has an impression of biological accuracy,
resulting in an artifact or specimen like treatment of each piece.

‘quiet as a mouse’ (below) is currently on display in the exhibit ‘night scented stock’ at the marianne boesky gallery
in new york city from now until the 22nd of october.


canary‘ 3, 13 ½"x12 ½"x6", hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 2/2009

‘[porcelain] highlights both the impermanence and fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem, while paradoxically,
being a material that can last for thousands of years and is historically associated with high status and value.’
-kate macdowell


outfoxed‘, 17“x11“x2 ½ “, hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 6/2011


soliphilia, 10"x5 ½"x4", hand built porcelain, 2/2010

‘in each case the union between man and nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the disturbing implication
that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.’
– kate macdowell


quiet as a mouse‘, size variable, individual mice 3 ½"-6"x2 ½"-4"x3 ", handbuilt porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 4/2011

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