Demonstration | Erik Gellert

“My works are cause and effect relationships in material form,” says artist Erik Gellert. “Their hand rolled nature gives each coil a slight irregularity and a distinction which informs the overall shape and patterns that comprise each work.”

 

Using hundreds of hand-rolled coils of clay, Gellert carefully layers the ribbons atop each other, creating a thick slab of undulating clay which protrudes and recedes into coral-like forms. The tendrils are then coated with acrylic paint to capture more vivid, varied color schemes than traditional ceramic processes can achieve.

 

This July, Gellert unravels the techniques, inspirations, and meaning behind his sculptures in a three hour hands-on demonstration in the form & concept atrium. Audience members will interact with and assist Gellert as he manipulates clay cords to form his quintessential sculptures. Alicia Bailey’s workshop on Innovative Folded Book Forms will be presented simultaneously, among the works of Superscript.

 

Erik Gellert

 

Erik Gellert is a contemporary ceramicist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Inspired by contradictions, Gellert pairs slabs of clay formed into perfectly squared shapes with wild, rounded coils of clay which protrude and recede across smooth planes. The work’s hand-rolled nature creates a slight irregularity and a distinction which informs the overall shape and patterns that comprise each sculpture.

Artist Talk: Susan Beiner | Sugar Fields

“I have a new outlook,” says ceramicist Susan Beiner.  “By utilizing repetition and multiplication, I create dense patterning–but with spaces to take a breath.”

Susan Beiner returns to form & concept for a solo exhibition featuring a large-scale, modular installation. The wall sculptures will feature Beiner’s characteristic floral forms, a porcelain garden of tactile blooms with allusions to architectural structures. Though it reads as one unit, each piece will be a unique work, showcasing Beiner’s vocabulary of encrusted forms.

Beiner’s ceramic art is often dominated by vivid, mottled greens. For Sugar Fields, the artist strived to develop new methods and incorporate a new color palette. “I started thinking about color in a more illustrative way, allowing form to develop as a graphic element,” the ceramicist said. Beiner layers multiple glazes to create deeper hues, which allows an illusion of depth to coat the surface. The appearance of drippy glazes envelops the piece, evoking the kaleidoscopic effects of sunlight passing through the leaves of a plant.

Debra Baxter | Ghost Heart

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Debra Baxter is back in Seattle.

Her new solo show, Ghost Heart, opens tomorrow at Roq La Rue.

The show is already garnering press, with recent write-ups by Hi-Fructose and Juxtapoz.

Inspired by a medical process created by Dr. Doris Taylor, where a heart’s blood cells are removed until only a “protein scaffold” remains. The now colorless, lifeless heart is then injected with millions of bone-marrow stem cells, until the heart begins beating once again.

This phenomenon caused Debra to consider the boundary between life and death, and how the line is more amorphous that previously believed.

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Roq La Rue explains, “Simultaneously, she became intrigued with the popular Victorian era iconography of disembodied hands that existed predominantly in jewelry, in glass and on gravestones. The attributed meaning of that symbolism is depicting the spirit of a passed person guiding a dying loved one into the next life.”

Ghost Heart debuts alongside Rebecca Chaperone, a painter that also incorporates crystals into her body of work. As the gallery says, “Crystals are an integral aspect to both the hard earth science of geology, as well as a key component in various mystical studies, with an array of attributes and powers attributed to them. Occasionally dismissed as just fluffy ‘woo woo’ mystical mumbo jumbo coming from the New Age movement, crystals actually have been revered by various cultures throughout time both for their perceived occult qualities as well as their sheer beauty.

Ghost Heart opens April 11th at Roq La Rue in Seattle, Washington and runs through May 5th.

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Ebb & Flow | Matthew Szösz

ouroboros matthew szöszOuroboros, glass, 14 x 24 x 2 4in

 

Most artists try to avoid failure. For Matthew Szösz, it’s a welcome occurrence. He estimates about 75 to 80 percent of his artworks break, but working through the process is the real reward for the glass artist.

The Seattle artist is all about experimentation. His oeuvre features unfathomable glass sculptures: woven structures and inflated forms that seem to defy the laws of physics.

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Floret, glass, 16 x 14 x 16 in

 

Matthew is fascinated by the properties of glass as it shifts from solid to liquid and back again. Successfully producing the conditions to reshape the medium is a process that demands scientific precision and bold experimentation.”

It’s a lot more like working with a partner than working with a material,” says Szösz of working with glass. “You’re not just imposing your idea on something else. There’s a response from the material that’s not necessarily predictable.”

 

matthew szöszMatthew Szösz photographed by Corning Museum of Glass.

His innovation earned him a spot in the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery exhibition 40 under 40: Craft Futures in 2012. His solo show, Minimal Tension, spanned form & concept’s ground floor last spring.

“If I wasn’t being surprised, I would get bored and stop playing around with it,” says Matthew. “That surprise, that thing where you create something that’s independent of you a little bit, where it’s as much a product of the material and circumstance that you set up as well as your own vision, that’s the thing that’s kind of exciting for me.”

matthew szösz untitled (inflatable) no. 81p

 

To learn more about Matthew, please contact us at 505-216-1256. Click here to view all works by Matthew Szösz in our collection.

Opening: Lisa Klakulak | Since Taos

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Lisa Klakulak presents Since Taos: Contraction of Mass, Concision of Thought. The solo exhibition of 13 felt-based sculptures was created over a period of nearly two decades, since the freewheeling artist moved away from Taos, New Mexico in 2001. The collection simultaneously acts as a vivid portrait of Klakulak’s emotional journey and manifestation of her unique way of processing the world through fiber creations. “Like any piece of art you make, you are releasing an idea into the object,” Klakulak says. “It’s a completion of a certain cycle, and it’s interesting when someone on the other side spins it into their own emotive universe.” Klakulak’s work voices ideas about growth, human connection, mental stability, and the formation of personhood, as well as social commentary on issues of gender, income inequality, and culture.

Klakulak appears at a preview artist talk of Since Taos on Friday, February 22 from 4 to 5 pm. The opening reception directly follows, from 5 to 7 pm. The artist presents a registration-only felting workshop on February 23 and 24, 2019.

Learn more about this exhibition.

EVENTS

Preview Artist Talk: Friday, February 22, 4-5 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Opening Reception: Friday, February 22, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Felting Workshop: Feb. 23-24, $315 | Register Here.

Preview Artist Talk: Lisa Klakulak

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Lisa Klakulak appears at this special preview of Since Taos: Contraction of Mass, Concision of Thought, directly preceding the opening reception of the solo exhibition. The series of 13 felt-based sculptures was created over a period of nearly two decades, since the freewheeling artist moved away from Taos, New Mexico in 2001. Klakulak thinks of her life since that moment in distinct phases. “The works are all related to these leaps of faith that I have taken,” she says. “I want to think about, or articulate what I’m thinking about, in a manner that I can translate into a physical form.” Join her for an interactive tour of the show, just before its official debut.

Learn more about this exhibition.

EVENTS

Preview Artist Talk: Friday, February 22, 4-5 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Opening Reception: Friday, February 22, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook.
Felting Workshop: Feb. 23-24, $315 | SOLD OUT.

Artist Talk: Nika Feldman | Spirits in the Material World

Nika Feldman hosts an artist talk for her solo exhibition Spirits in the Material World on Saturday, January 26 from 2 to 3 pm. Spirits in the Material World is an exploration of the coded language of garments, within Feldman’s native cultural context. The show’s title holds multiple references, one being as Feldman explains, “The belief that the spirits of both the maker and the wearer are held within a garment.” Another reference is to a song with the same name by The Police from the 1981 album Ghost in the Machine, which one could argue describes the unfortunate state of realities today. The underlying message within the song that resonates for Feldman is the description of a material culture, which is void of sacredness.

Learn more about this exhibition.

 

EVENTS

Opening Reception: Friday, January 25, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Artist Talk: Saturday, January 26, 2-3 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Tees & Tabs Workshop: Saturday, March 16, 1-5 pm | Register

Press Roundup: Nika Feldman | Spirits in the Material World

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Nika Feldman’s solo exhibition Spirits in the Material World opens Saturday, January 25 from 5-7 pm, coinciding with our sister gallery Zane Bennett Contemporary Art’s Stitched Ink. Both exhibitions deal with textiles, but with largely different implications.

“A culture’s clothing has its own language,” begins Megan Bennett of Albuquerque Journal’s write-up of Nika. “What that language is, or how cultural identities and values are reflected in garments, is what drives Nika Feldman’s work.” Bennett interviewed Feldman early this winter, excerpted here:

The pieces are intentionally made to be “garment-like” rather than actual clothing items, said Feldman, with the exception of an XXL black T-shirt she didn’t want to cut apart, and instead decorated with tabs and fringe tassles made from other shirts.

“When it’s artwork, people have to investigative, people have to go deeper into those narratives,” she said. “If it’s a wearable garment, it doesn’t go any farther than that. People see it as fashion, they want to know if it comes in their size, they want to know how much it is.”

 

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Emily Van Cleve covered Spirits in the Material World in a feature on the Santa Fe Arts Journal. Here’s an excerpt:

 

“All around the world, people wear t-shirts,” says Feldman, a Santa Fe artist who moved to town from Nova Scotia at the end of 2017. “T-shirts were originally an undergarment. But now, through their logos, they inform others about the specific groups, companies, rock bands and organizations we like.” Feldman liked the idea of putting pull-tabs in her work for the same reasons she was drawn to t-shirts. They’re readily available. There’s an abundant supply of them. They’re also an integral part of Western culture.

 

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The Santa Fean also covered Spirits in the Material World for their Holiday Issue. Here’s an excerpt:

Nika Feldman describes herself as a textile artist, rag picker, and costume stenographer, and her job history includes stints in fashion design, social work, and sorting through clothing in a thrift store. Feldman weaves these disparate threads into a whole in the eight pieces displayed in Spirits in the Material World.

 

Spirits in the Material World opens January 25 and runs through March 23. Nika Feldman will conduct an Artist Talk on January 26 at 2 pm.

Debra Baxter | Elegant Experimentation

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Debra Baxter photographed in her studio by Suzanna Finley.

 

“Even though I am interested in very traditional materials within the history of sculpture, I don’t want to be boring and stuck in that history.” Debra Baxter said in an interview with One 2 Three’s Practice Practice. “I want to mix them in a way that no one has.”

 

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Breastplate (Reveal), bronze and quartz crystal, 18 x 11 x 3 in

 

As a master of material inversion, Debra transforms dense materials into light and flowing sculptures, or fragile mediums into resilient structures.

 

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The end result is elegant – but dangerous – as seen in her Lace Throwing Star, which gives the delicate textile an edge.

 

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Unapologetic Glory 

Debra received her MFA in Sculpture from Bard College. Her wearable sculpture Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles (Lefty) is featured in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. She debuted her solo show, Tooth & Nail, at form & concept this past spring.

Click here to view more of Debra’s work in our collection. To view pieces from Debra’s jewelry line, db/cb, click here.

To learn more about Debra, please inquire or contact us at 505-216-1256