pure clay + contemporary clay at RH gallery
pure clay + contemporary clay at RH gallery pure clay + contemporary clay at RH gallery
jun 25, 2011

pure clay + contemporary clay at RH gallery

pure clay: young sook park and lee ufan + contemporary clay group exhibition RH gallery, new york, USA june 29th to august 20th, 2011

julia chiang: keep it together #10 (42), 2011 unglazed ceramic 5’8" chain all images courtesy of RH gallery

the ‘pure clay’ and ‘contemporary clay’ exhibitions at new york’s RH gallery showcase a breadth of ceramic practices, featuring the collaborative works of south korea -born, new york -based potter young sook park and korea-born japanese artist lee ufan, alongside a group show of pieces by ai wei wei, sterline ruby, arlene shechet, jeff koons, naoki koide, and a selection of young contemporary artists.

the ‘pure clay’ collaboration sees young sook park’s ceramic work, considered a modern interpretation of the precise traditions of the chosun dynasty, adorned with the minimalistic brushwork of lee ufan, one of the leaders of the 1960s ‘school of things’, focused on the purity of raw physical materials. their collaboration brought forth terracotta reliefs and large painted pieces, alongside a series of platters, teacups, and other dinnerware.

young sook park and lee ufan: untitled (with lee ufan), 2001/2009 white porcelain with painted apples 14.25 (diameter) x 1.25"

in an adjacent room, ‘contemporary clay’ brings together new and recent works from a range of contemporary artists. ai wei wei’s ‘kui hua zi (sunflower seeds)‘ installation at the tate modern, which saw 1000 porcelain sunflower seeds formed and painted by hand, is here re-presented as a selection of seeds in a glass jar. a chain of handcrafted ceramic links by new york -based sculptor julia chiang, one of several such chains the artists has created for recent installations, attends to the divide between perfection and the imperfect but human qualities of the handmade.

john o’reilly: untitled, 2011 ceramic 14 x 14.5 x 7" (35.6 x 36.8 x 17.8cm)

ai wei wei: kui hua zi (sunflower seeds), 2009 1000 sunflower seeds in porcelain, sculpted and handpainted, in a glass jar 6.4 x 4.4 x 4.4" (16.2 x 11.1 x 11.1cm)

detail view of the porcelain sunflower seeds

RH gallery elaborates:

‘the medium of clay […] has a rich history which carries a certain aura. clay’s malleability and sensitivity to touch further defines its identity: each artist uses clay in a uniquely expressive way, yet the medium connects them. showing these objects together urges the viewer to investigate this historical medium in a new light, offering new perspectives and understandings of the artworks.‘

julia chiang at work on ‘keep it together’ image © lele savari

aerial view as chiang shapes the clay chain links

chains (left) and individual links (right) in chiang’s studio

detail view of ‘keep it together #10’

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