Abstract ceramics in the USA

 

Exploring the abstract.

 

Having abandoned the certainty of a known form and its expected details, the biggest challenge when engaging in abstract designs is being able to assemble a cohesive whole from the choices of shapes, colours and spaces. The liberation from not having to exactly interpret a defined reality unleashes a spontaneity and improvisation that can produce engrossing results. Using the manipulation of form and the breaking down of a structured reality into more simplistic details, allows the suspension of  the order of symmetry for more asymmetrical forms. This opens up the creation of movement and unpredictability with the flow of the shapes, lines, textures and colours all capable of input. The resulting tension delivers a heightened dynamic from a form striving for balance. Reflecting the fluid reality of the subconscious with its mystique and temporal, less fixated presence, the abstract can arouse an array of perceptions. Abstract art is interactive in the sense that it invites the viewer to participate with their interpretations of the sculptural works, through not being presented with a definitive, structured piece.

Featured here are six contemporary American ceramic artists who use abstract concepts in their decorative styles.  I feel they present a skilful and intuitive representation of this deep and fascinating medium.

 

Michael Gustavson

California

 

“Clay has been an art form that man has used since the beginning of time.  Every culture that has been discovered through archaeology has a historic record of uses for clay.  From utilitarian to sculpture this ancient historical record has always intrigued me.  Since my discovery of clay I have been learning and exploring the many different qualities of clay.”

  “As you look at my works you will note that I use many different techniques to manipulate clay to express my personal aesthetic views. Clay itself has a lot to do with my aesthetic viewpoint.

 The last 38 years I have used the forms that I create, whether vessel or wall slabs, as a vehicle to express myself as a painter using glaze as my paint.  My most recent works are a series of large hand built tectonic forms.  With these forms I will continue to explore and express the language of clay. “

” As is the case with most artists, the analyzing and verbalizing of their works is really not the statement, the statement truly is the work itself.”

website HERE

 

Blue Rythym Michael Gustavson abstract vase

Blue Rhythm – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

Day and Night - Michael Gustavson

Day and Night – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

Masquerade - Michael Gustavson

Masquerade – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

Solar Flare - Michael Gustavson

Solar Flare – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

Caribbean Blue-74H - Michael Gustavson

Caribbean Blue– – Michael Gustavson

74″ Height

 

 

 

Evening Walk - Michael Gustavson

‘Evening Walk’ – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

Beautiful Thought - Michael Gustavson

‘Beautiful Thought’ – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

Artifact - Michael Gustavson

‘Artifact’ – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

Ancient Journey - M-Gustavson

Abstract vase  ‘Ancient Journey’ – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

Solitary Dancer - Michael Gustavson

‘Solitary Dancer’ – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

South Window - Michael Gustavson

‘South Window’ – Michael Gustavson

Desert Art Collection

 

 

Light Sculpture - Michael Gustavson

‘Light Sculpture’ – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

Glazing a vessel - Michael Gustavson

Glazing a vessel – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

Epiphany - Michael Gustavson

‘Epiphany’ – Michael Gustavson

Table-Top Piece-MGustavson

‘Arc’ – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

Sea Creature - Michael Gustavson

‘Sea Creature ‘- Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

Eloquence - Michael Gustavson

‘Eloquence’ – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

Earth Watch T en - MiGustavson

‘Earth Watch T en’ – Michael Gustavson

Hawthorne Gallery

 

 

 

Chromatic Afternoon - Michael Gustavson

‘Chromatic Afternoon’ – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 

 

Asia - Michael Gustavson

‘Asia’ – Michael Gustavson

 

 

 Eric Knoche

 

” My current work ranges from small puzzles to human size outdoor works to manipulatable sculpture to large installations with many pieces.  I make things I am curious to see. The work tends to evolve out of itself and I often feel like I am an archaeologist excavating my own subconscious.  Here are some things that I think influence my work:  male and female figures, bones, machine parts, houses, clouds, landscapes, algebra equations, micro-facial movements, fact and truth, alphabets and foreign languages, spacial relationships, tools I don’t know how to use, the distortional nature of memory, the limits of ocular perception, plants, neutron stars, dancing, running water, and songbirds. ”   

” I think some physical forms and arrangements of space are simply pleasing to humans at a sort of meta-level. ”

website HERE

 

 

Vessel-photo-Tim-Barnwell-436x659

Raku vessel –  Erich Knoche

photo-Tim-Barnwell

 

 

 

 

 

Vessel Eric Knoche

Vessel Eric Knoche

photo-Tim-Barnwell

 

 

 

 

Tuning Fork 2012 Eric Knoche

Tuning Fork – Eric Knoche

2012

Eric Knoche-433x339

Eric Knoche

photo by Matt Rose

 

 

 

Vessel - Eric Knoche

Vessel  – Eric Knoche

 

 

 

Switcharoo Eric Knoche

Switcharoo – Eric Knoche

 

 

 

 

Red Spiral Wood fired stoneware

Red Spiral  – Wood fired stoneware by Eric Knoche

 

 Sheryl Zacharia

Santa Fe

 

” As a child I was captivated by old things. I realize now much of that had to do with their handmade quality. My clay work is influenced by the material itself, its history and the intimacy of its interaction with the hand and touch. This is why my surfaces reveal the process; and the process becomes the surface.
The sculptural forms focusing on shape and surface are inspired by my love for ancient relics and modern abstract paintings. The textured and stamped areas help the eyes travel deliberately around the forms. The combination of raw and refined surfaces echoes the inevitable marriage of new and old. “

” Pattern and form are rhythm, palette is harmony, lines and shapes are lyrical. I’m striving to make a visual poetry. ”

website –HERE

 

 

 

Dancers - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Dancers’ – Sheryl Zacharia

18x19x5

( Tansey Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe ) -sold

 

 

 

Sky Dwelling - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Sky Dwelling’ – Sheryl Zacharia

 

 

 

 

Woman in the window - S Zacharia

‘Woman in the window’ – Sheryl Zacharia

Jane Sauer Gallery – sold

 

 

Sheryl Zacharia abstract ceramic art

‘Black Sail Black Moon’ – Sheryl Zacharia

18 x 13 x 4

 

 

Summer Fling - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Summer Fling’ – Sheryl Zacharia

18″ x 22″ x 5″

 In a permanent collection at Racine Art Museum, Racine Wisconsin

 

 

 

Autumn Winds - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Autumn Winds’ – Sheryl Zacharia

( Tansey Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe )

 

 

 

Egghead Face - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Egghead Face’ – Sheryl Zacharia

 

 

 

Eye of the Storm - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Eye of the Storm’ – Sheryl Zacharia

 

 

 

 

Devilish - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Devilish’ – Sheryl Zacharia

 

 

 

Sun-Travels - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Sun Travels’ – Sheryl Zacharia

 

 

 

Squared Off - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Squared Off ‘ – Sheryl Zacharia

Fantasy Foliage - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Fantasy Foliage’ – Sheryl Zacharia

 

 

 

 

Liquid Woman - Sheryl Zacharia

‘Liquid Woman’ – Sheryl Zacharia

17″ x 8″ x 6″

Sheryl Zacharia NY

Sheryl Zacharia, NY-USA

Sheryl Zacharia

‘Asymmetrical bottles’  -Sheryl Zacharia

 

 Wayne Higby

 

The  pieces below were displayed at the Renwick Gallery retrospective  “Infinite Place: The Ceramic Art of Wayne Higby”  at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Wayne Higby’s vision of the American landscape appears in ceramic forms ranging from vessels and sculptures to architectural installations.

 

 

 

Large bowl - Wayne Higby

 

  Large hand-thrown raku-fired glazed ceramic footed vessel, “Green Water Afternoon”

Wayne Higby –  12″ x 21″ x 14 1/2″

 

 

 

Higby-Stone Gate ceramic sculpture

 

‘Stone Gate’  – Wayne Higby

2007 – photo by Brian Oglesbee

( SmithsonisnAmericanArtMuseum )

 

 

 

Higby-Yellow Rock Falls

 

Wayne Higby  – ‘Yellow Rock Falls’

1975

Photo – JohnCarlano

 

 

 

Wayne Higby - Untitled Bowl

‘Untitled Bowl’  –  Wayne Higby

( franklloyd.com )

 

 

 

Wayne-Higby-with-Pictorial-475x295

 

Wayne Higby with ‘Pictorial Lake’

1986 – glazed earthenware, raku-fired
collection of Sarah H. Morabito
photo by Brian Oglesbee

( Smithsonisn American Art Museum )

 

 

 

Wayne-Higby-Green-Terrace-496c449

 

‘Green Terrace Canyon’ – Wayne Higby

From the exhibition  A Vision of the American Landscape in Ceramic Forms and Porcelain Jars.

1975 – glazed earthenware, raku-fired
collection of Marlin and Regina Miller
photo by John Carlano

Wayne Higby Raku Bowl

Wayne Higby Raku Bowl

Wayne Higby Ceramic Box

Wayne Higby Ceramic Boxes with lids

Wayne Higby--Triangle Springs 1972

Wayne Higby–‘Triangle Springs’ 1972

 

 

Lauren Mabry

Philadelphia

 

” I make painterly, abstract, ceramic objects. Primarily my work communicates directly through its formal and aesthetic qualities, but it may also be understood in relationship to abstract painting, minimal work, and process art. Sometimes the surfaces look weathered and aged, but at the same time colorfully lush and wet. There is a sense of immediacy to the mark making, and at moments a quality of action. I exploit the intrinsic characteristics of ceramic materials to produce pieces with a magnetic dissonance. Ultimately, my work is a synthesis of intuitive, expressive surfaces and elemental forms. “

” The absence of representation in my work allows the marks, brush strokes and colour to communicate. I’m compelled by the scintillating, seductive energy created through formal dualities. ”

website HERE

Lauren Mabry

Earthenware cylinder with  slips, glaze, china paint – Lauren Mabry

Lauren Mabry

Cylinder with hand painted absrtact decoration – Lauren Mabry

L17Cylinder-laurenMabry

Lauren Mabry

Lauren Mabry 2012 ceramic

Ceramic cylinder -Lauren Mabry

 

 

 

Lauren Mabry abstract ceramic wall art

Contemporary ceramic art wall panel – Lauren Mabry

Lauren Mabry Earthenware

Lauren Mabry

Earthenware, slips, glaze, china paint 2012

11″ height x 12″ diameter

Lauren Mabry studio glazing

Lauren Mabry studio glazing, Philadelphia

 

 

 

Spilling Pipe,-glazed-ceramic,-2014.-17h-x-17w-x-17d Lauren Mabry

‘Spilling Pipe’ – glazed ceramic – Lauren Mabry

17″h-x-17w-x-17d

-2014.-

 red-earthemware,-slips.g;aze-2014 Lauren Mabry red ceramic cylinder

 Lauren Mabry

 

 

Danny Rosales, LA

“When I began working with a new medium – clay. I had no idea that I would like the feel of clay and the challenges it has to offer. Although I have worked in many mediums in the past, it is the only one that seems addictive. In the beginning it felt a bit overwhelming, but soon found that if I apply my same basic building principles I have always used along with some new clay methods the possibilities are endless.”

“Visual perception is the sum of one’s personal experiences projected onto whatever is before us, often familiar, but oftentimes unique. The intent of my work is to use these familiarities to entice the viewer to experience a unique perspective taken from ordinary objects. I like machines as subject matter because they give me the illusion of reshaping time, and at the same time the imagery provokes its own power of thought.”

http://www.dannyrosalesart.com/

 

Closure-Removed--2014 abstract sculpture by Danny Rosales

Danny Rosales   ‘Closure Removed’ –2014

 

 

 

Design Assembly With Tool-ceramic-2015 wall sculpture by Danny Rosales

‘Design Assembly With Tool’ -ceramic wall sculpture by Danny Rosales

2015

 

 

 

Mechanism-five----12x11 raku wall sculpture - Danny Rosales

‘Mechanism five’ raku wall sculpture – Danny Rosales – 2014

12″ x 11″

 

 

 

Temple Remains by Danny Rosales ceramic sculpture in green, brown and black

‘Temple Remains’ – Danny Rosales

height 17″

2014

 

 

 

Danny Rosales ceramic raku scukpture

Danny Rosales raku sculpture

 

 

 

Danny Rosales posing with his sculpture

Danny Rosales

photo Lisa John Lucas

 

 

 

Section-Out-15h---2014 Danny Rosales

‘Section Out’  – raku sculpture by Danny Rosales

 15″ height — 2014

 

 

 

Standstill 25 Danny Rosales raku ceramic sculpture

‘Standstill’ – Danny Rosales – 2014

height 25 inches

 

 

 

Trial and Error 20h Danny Rosales raku ceramic sliver grey

‘Trial and Error’  Danny Rosales

20″ height

 

 

 

Antiquated-frequency----7x12 Danny Rosales abstract ceramic wall art

‘Antiquated frequency’ -Danny Rosales

7″ x 12″

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Beverly
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Fabulous website! Especially love the Sheryl Z. work.

  2. Posted June 21, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    You’re so awesome! I do not believe I have read anything like that before.

    So great to discover someone with a few unique thoughts on this subject.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something
    that is required on the internet, someone with
    a bit of originality!

  3. lynne mcdowell
    Posted December 30, 2015 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    Sitting in my loungeroom in the beautiful Yarra Valley just outside Melbourne Australia I am blown away by this website and the artists works particularly Michael Gustavson’s pieces. Thank goodness for the web.

  4. Mohsin Rahman
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Lot of exultant work. Hear more of learn & increasing.
    Thanks.

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