Sage Culture is delighted to present "Form of Memory," a solo exhibition by the American ceramic artist Mitch Iburg.
The presented body of work represents a milestone in the artist's trajectory, as it gathers new sculptural forms he developed over three years when transitioning from California to Minnesota.
Mitch examines his working materials and surroundings with the depth of a scientist and sensibility of an artist, expressing through his creations the geological identity of a place and its soul.
The content of my work is synonymous with the setting in which it is made. By investigating the natural clay deposits, mineral resources, and geological expressions inherent to specific regions, I seek to create work that combines the physiological substance and emotional characteristics of place to form an expression of its terroir. As a result, each body of work conveys a historical record of my surroundings as well as a reflection of my identity as being rooted in that geographical location.
Spanning a period of three years, the works in this exhibition document this approach throughout my transition from Northern California to Minnesota. Collectively, they present a material record of my adaptations to new clay resources and adjustment to the expressions found in new landscapes. On a psychological level, they portray the progression of identity associated with a shifting sense of belonging to a geographical place.
Best representing the tensions of this transition is a new body of work made one year after establishing my studio in Saint Paul, Minnesota. These sculptures function as abstractions of memory: recollections of attributes found in the once-familiar landscapes of a former home. In examining these distant features through the filter of memory, their geographical identities erode, resulting in expressions that, although unbound to a physical location, maintain provenance in the context of personal experience.