'INTOUYANT' - Andrea Marquis, Max Seinfeld
Friday January 12, 2018
Mikhail Zakin Gallery
The Art School at Old Church
561 Piermont Road
By Kulvinder Kaur Dhew
‘Intouyant’ is a word that references the intimate and flamboyant in recognition of the hybrid noun. It is also a state of the physical and emotional dynamic that often occurs when artists use materiality to convey loud, activated exuberance and subtle, self-contained mystery. While the ceramic material itself does not contain emotive possibilities, the viewer upon being receptive to the ideas contained within the objects may experience an emotional response.
Andrea Marquis distills through careful, considered methods, recognizable botanical, fractal and floral patterns. Because of the architechtural grandeur, there is almost a surreal quality in the sculpture. The pattern is engineered as structure rather than surface. Lush color and juicy glazes reference the entropy that we witness in the rhythms of Nature. In many ways Marquis compresses 2D and 3D worlds. Her patterns might be construed to represent those of life itself, an existential narrative.
Max Seinfeld’s sculptures reduce materiality to a minimalist extent whilst retaining a curious nod to a recognizable, sensual, bodily presence. The intimacy of the act of making small scale sculpture documents the curatorial aspect of play in a manner reminiscent of ‘Noh’, the classical Japanese musical drama. Utilizing an approach to color that is an interplay between the ‘truth to materials’ and ‘make it pop’ phenomenons, Seinfeld searches for a bodily naturalism without letting things get too obvious.
In presenting notions of the sublime, Marquis and Seinfeld have embraced a visual poetry whereby we are able to access ideas of beauty, symmetry and the reality of sensations felt in the material world. Through interactions with these objects, we are provided rich and valued experiences of the environments in which we dwell.
Alluding to Eden and Heaven, Nightshade, Etoile, and Winged Urn began as the tracing of a shadow of a fruit-bearing sprig of a cherry tomato plant grown in my Philadelphia garden. The studies of these shadows produced a number of drawings, which where then composed into symmetrical images or motifs. These new images are akin to Rorschach tests- the infamous inkblot images that allow us to see into our subconscious mind.
Flipping and recomposing the doubled image drawing, I build a 3D clay form from large pinched coils of clay. I transfer the 2D pattern onto the 3D coil-built form and then set to work; piercing, cutting and carving the clay. Each piece takes a couple of weeks to carve and as I work a tangible shadow emerges from a non-material thing thorough the creation of holes.
All of the sculptures included in Intouyant began as shadows from the nightshade family. Nightshade gets is name from the tomato plant- a prized ornamental plant in Victorian English gardens but also a relative of the poisons mandrake root, as both are in the nightshade family. They have all been glazed with a material that is considered highly toxic and I like how the material plays back into the themes that I work with; the beauty and darkness of a shadow and the permanence of material things. Etoile is a nod to the architecture of Paris and the geometry of the central arties that runs through the heart of the city. Winged Urn is a tribute to loved ones lost. A metaphoric vessel, the wings conjure the low-relief motifs commonly found on the old gravestones in my colonial New England hometown. For me this piece references the entropy and structure associated with the weeping willow and the portent of the winged skull ascending to heaven.
Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Philadelphia-based artist Andrea Marquis received her MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2009. She received her BFA in 2000 from Syracuse University and in 2002 completed a year of study in the Post- Baccalaureate program at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Andrea has participated in Artist in Residence programs at Peters Valley Craft Center, the Archie Bray Foundation, Tyler School of Art, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, and La Maison des Metiers D’Art in Quebec City, Canada. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and was included in the 2015 NCECA Biennial at the Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University. She is currently an Artist in Residence at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia and teaches ceramics and 3-D design at the Community College of Philadelphia
I create objects that examine the interplay of contrasting relationships such as the slight movement of a solid material or a coarse texture that looks soft. Studying compositional elements such as line, color, and texture allows me to create a sense of tension through contrasting materials or form. The interaction of artificial and natural color in each composition creates a playful quality that is drawn from observations in contemporary media such as the quality of the color pink in a bubble gum advertisement or the allure of a red cadillac. Playing with a set of words that do not usually sit next to one another allows me to capture the sensation of a lingering touch, or a loose slip. Creating small scale solid objects allows me to stress the intimacy in size and the seductiveness of weight
Max Seinfeld is a full time studio artist in Danbury, Connecticut. He makes one of a kind abstract ceramic sculptures out of porcelain, earthenware, and non-traditional materials. He received a BFA from the university of Hartford and a Postbaccalaureate from SUNY NewPaltz. After a 2 year Artist in Residence award from the Clay Art Center NY, Max continues a professional association with multiple Art Centers internationally, most recently as an invited artist at the Cardboard Symposium at Bruunshaab Gamle Papfabrik, Viborg, Denmark.