Tuesday, January 27, 2015


I received quite an interesting e mail from one of my favorite Halloweenies, Julie.... and it seems that she had stumbled upon an facinating, little exhibit while on a recent visit to the UK.

Julie did a bit of research and found this article (from 2013) by Allison Meier, and she thought we all might enjoy it. Read on....

Edinburgh-based artist Jessica Harrison transforms the collectible ceramic ladies that populate grandmothers’ china cabinets into spectacles of gore. These elegant abominations are now on view at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York as part of Body & Soul: New International Ceramics, the first of a series of exhibitions highlighting different materials to mark the museum’s fifth year at its Columbus Circle home. Body & Soul is centered on the human figure in contemporary ceramics, and as the exhibition text notes: “Through clay the figure becomes the catalyst for addressing the emotional impact of contemporary pressures that confront our society today.”

However, the found figures in Harrison’s work are mass-produced, the personal emotion of clay-work eschewed in favor of a machine process. Through Harrison’s alterations some of that emotion of the body returns, although in a very visceral way. And that’s meant quite literally: the collectible ladies cradle their spilled guts or present their extracted hearts while maintaining cheery visages.

There is quite a bit of blood and horror in Body & Soul, which was curated by Wendy Tarlow Kaplan and includes 25 international artists. Marc Alberghina has a figure pummeled with bloody human hearts, Kate MacDowell’s jumbled porcelain “Daphne” shows the Greek nymph cut down like a tree, Saverio Lucariello has severed heads in an earthenware dish filled to the brim with fruits and vegetables, and Mounir Fatmi has a whole team of ceramic skulls sporting hard hats.

For an art form that has so traditionally been about dainty perfection, contemporary ceramics seem to be embracing the messy and macabre.

Thanks again, Julie! That's quite an interesting exhibit.  If you'd like to read the original article, click here!