"Converging Bodies : Contemporary Norwegian Ceramics"
Andrea Scholze, Beth Wyller, Elisabeth von Krogh, Heidi Bjørgan, Lillian Tørlen, Lissette Escobar, and Sofie Nørsteng — Curated by Lars Sture & Patrick Parrish
October 25 – December 8, 2018
Opening Reception Thursday, October 25th, 2018 from 6 – 8pm
Patrick Parrish Gallery is pleased to present "Converging Bodies", an exhibition of contemporary Norwegian Ceramics curated by Lars Sture and Patrick Parrish. Inspired by a recent trip to Norway sponsored by the Norwegian Crafts, Parrish and Sture have selected works by seven contemporary artists with unique and diverse approaches to ceramics. The exhibition is realized in partnership with Norwegian Crafts.
The artists’ wide range of expression demonstrates a diverse rather than conforming field: from objects that examine use and utility—where the medium originates—to figurative sculptural works, each artist addresses the principles of form and body, two fundamental elements of ceramic art. "Converging Bodies" is a compelling cross-section of the boldness and ingenuity taking place in contemporary ceramics around Norway.
Beth Wyller’s (b. 1947) recent “tiles-series” explores the convergence of two- and three- dimensional logic, mirroring her large-scale vessels from the early 1990s in an overtly tactile medium. Her irregular surfaces and shifting, handmade lines contrast with the implicit weight and starkness of her artworks, juxtaposing the common ceramic modalities of restraint and balance with a vigorous mark-making often found in painting.
Sofie Nørsteng (b. 1981) studies principles of growth and balance to create her colorful, amorphous vessels. In a direct dialogue with the clay, Nørsteng has developed her own methodical approach to improvisation, producing expressive objects which relate to each other in the language of bodily experiences, recalling human relationships and converging natural elements.
Anthropomorphic qualities are inherent in the vessel with forms often described by the anatomy of the human body: foot, stomach, shoulders, and so on. In Elisabeth von Krogh’s (b. 1947) vessels, these bodily attributes are applied to size and form, creating unexpected shapes rather than focusing on the functional aspect of the object.
Lillian Tørlen’s (b. 1975) vases, originally shown in Gallery Format Oslo, carry with them impressions and signs of displacement from their former gallery-home where they clung to corners or forced themselves into different gaps and empty spaces. Consequently, the vases reveal a “will” of sorts, and the effect of this “will” is visibly clear—the objects are all deformed and clearly affected by the environmental adaptations they no longer need.
Andrea Scholze’s (b. 1988) roughly modeled creatures tell the story of humanity’s destructive path. In her expressive sculptures, human interest is set against nature, warning of an imminent, dystopian future through figures that recall monsters in folk tales.
The pre-Columbian material culture of her native Peru is the origin of Lissette Escobar’s (b. 1982) oeuvre. Her keen interest in anthropomorphic shapes and the ritual narratives of ceramic vessels is the inspiration for Escobar’s figurative hybrids, in which she scrutinizes the amalgamation of her two cultures and explores notions of belonging.
Like her self-proclaimed hero, the American George Ohr, Heidi Bjørgan (b. 1970) challenges the notion of what a potter may be. Shown at Patrick Parrish is parts of her series of consoles inspired by Dresden’s Zwinger palace and its architectural and inventory extravagancies. Smaller ceramic jars in various states of deformity are resting on top of the consoles. Forming an extension to its base the jars erase the distinction between the object and the console that carries them, whereby the marriage of the two become a sculptural work where errors and imperfections contribute to their distinctive expressions.
Lars Sture (Oslo / London) is the curator at Norwegian Crafts (a non-profit started by the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts), running the institution’s international exhibition and project program.
"Converging Bodies : Contemporary Norwegian Ceramics" runs from October 25th through December 8th, 2018 with an opening reception on Thursday, October 25th, 2018 from 6 to 8 pm.