Anglim Gilbert Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new ceramic wall works by Jim Melchert.
Jim Melchert’s new suite of large ceramic works, the Channel Series, is the most recent in his ongoing exploration of ready-made porcelain tiles that are broken in a ‘chance action.’ The lines created by the breakage dictate an abstract composition, both a record of the action and a visual experience speaking to the tension and dynamic energy held within the work. Melchert’s technique involves re-firing the ceramic elements with vivid, colorful lines of glaze.
Jim Melchert has for decades been an innovator in new concepts embracing performance and ceramic arts. Returning to the US from Japan in the fifties, Melchert migrated from painting into a ceramics practice guided by Peter Voulkos. With an emphasis on action, an influence via Abstract Expressionists DeKooning and Kline, Voulkos’ practice involved movement and the body. Key to his own process, Melchert’s engagement of hand and body in the manipulation of clay evolved into a conceptual & minimal format and the idea of building. Inspired by John Mason’s work with bricks in the 70’s, Melchert took on the elements of ceramic tiles as units of exploration.
“…And – now, where I am now with the tile pieces is that there are people devoted to ceramics who
aren’t sure whether I am seriously involved with clay, because I am at an edge somewhere that –
like, say, with conceptual art – that it’s the edge of what is considered to be ceramic.”
Jim Melchert, interview with Rennie Pritikin for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution 2002
A collegial spokesperson for the arts and his fellow artist, Jim Melchert has served as Visual Arts head at the NEA and Director of the American Academy at Rome, and has been central to the evolution of the Bay Area’s arts legacy. He has exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Museum of California, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the University Art Museum at UC Berkeley, exploring a variety of media, including drawing, film, photography, performance and ceramics. His fifth solo exhibition at the gallery, this presentation is part of a committed and influential presence Melchert has shared with artists and the Bay Area creative community.
There will be a reception for the artist on Thursday, June 2nd from 5:30 to 7:30 at the downtown gallery space, 14 Geary Street.