Lively, Contrasting Shapes from Two New Mexican Artists
“If subliminal means that which is below the threshold of ordinary consciousness and perception, then the liminal is the point of emergence, the threshold itself, the turning point between one realm and another. The liminal state is characterized by ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. Liminality is a period of transition, during which usual boundaries of thought, self-understanding, and behavior shift, opening the way to something new. In my work, with what I call liminal objects, I ask the question: When does an ordinary object move into other dimensions?...At the threshold, is form, pure energy, a radiance of color and light, a wave, a glimmer, simply a shimmer of becoming...The mediums that I choose are mutable and plastic and lend themselves naturally to the metaphor and exploration of emergence, becoming, and liminality.” - Artist Statement
James Marshall has been a highly successful exhibiting artist, designer and art educator whose education in the ceramic arts began with a pottery apprenticeship in Guatemala while living with the Quiche, a Mayan Native American tribe during his service in the Peace Corps. He received his MFA in 1979 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where he studied with John Stevenson and Rudolph Arnheim, author of “Art and Visual Perception”, and currently is Head of Ceramics at Santa Fe Community College.
In his glazed ceramic sculptures, James Marshall’s rigorous geometric shapes resemble biomorphic and mineral forms. “My exploration begins with geometric shapes,” he says. “As I draw those shapes, and play with them, and work with them, and invite them to transform, they shift into something almost recognizable, yet not quite…” Using careful draughtsmanship as his departure point, Marshall allows the element of chance to enter into his sculptural process. Unlike painted sculpture, the glazing process is fully integrated into the firing of the sculpture, in the indigenous tradition of the American southwest which Marshall calls his home. The use of clay, simultaneously ancient and modern, sets his work in dialogue both with Minimalist sculpture and a global ceramics tradition allowing Marshall to establish a relationship between each individual sculpture and a more universal experience.
American, b. 1949, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, based in Santa Fe, NM, United States