April 3 – May 23
Artists: Bobby Silverman and Peter Christian Johnson
Mid-show reception: May 1st, 2015
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Eutectic Gallery Brings the Work of NYC Based Artist Bobby Silverman and Eastern Oregon’s Peter Christian Johnson Together for “Fluid” A New Exhibition
Expressing Time and Place Through the Exploration of Glaze and Surface Interactions
Eutectic contemporary ceramics art gallery, celebrates new work from internationally recognized artists Bobby Silverman and Peter Christian Johnson, in the gallery’s April-May exhibition titled “Fluid.” A mid-show reception is planned for May 1st, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. This exhibition marks the first collaboration in a new friendship with the Museum of Contemporary Craft. Select pieces from Fluid will also be available to view at the MoCC Gallery Store to help raise awareness of the innovative and emerging ceramic artists that Eutectic curates and promotes. The exhibition runs through May 23rd and can be viewed during regular gallery hours or by appointment.
Peter Christian Johnson, an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Oregon University, delves into the idea of transformation, focusing on structure and material. The kiln is used as a vehicle for deconstructing Johnson’s meticulously hand fabricated porcelain grid systems. A slab of a talc clay body is applied to the porcelain gridwork, giving the appearance of a fluid skin that has been stretched, warped and allowed to collapse into the structure under the strain of the high temperatures reached while firing. They expose the relationship between soft and hard, the fluidity of a membrane, and the moment of intersection between contrasting elements.
“Much or my work is meant to be dislocated in time, seemingly a remnant of the past or an artifact from the distant future,” notes Johnson. “Each piece, a reflection of the passing of time, and a monument of labor. They catalog the act of making, of constructing, of inventing and reinventing. They strive to pair labored construction with unpredictability, and capture the entropy embodied in the process”
Peter’s work has been exhibited internationally and belongs to several permanent collections including: Australian National University, Archie Bray Foundation, and NCECA. He has also been recognized for his ceramic exploration through numerous awards; most notably two “Emerging Artist” awards from NCECA (2012) and Ceramics Monthly (2011).Bobby Silverman lives and works in New York City. Initially trained as a social geographer, and later as an artist, he has become one of the foremost contemporary artists working in ceramics. Acknowledging his early training and reflecting the mind-body understanding, Silverman’s current work connects the way in which we both visualize information and viscerally experience the process of perception. Finding inspiration in philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty and his emphasis on the body, as well as the mind, as a gateway to understanding the world. “His belief that the body and that which it perceived could not be separated seemed perfectly suitable to the perceptual and haptic sensibilities of clay.”
Bobby Silverman works mostly on large scale ceramic tiles, which reflect the work he does with his ceramic tile company, Alsio Design. With Alsio he creates tiles to meet the custom needs of the architecture and design fields, combining the best of contemporary design with the rich surfaces and enduring quality that only ceramic materials can provide. His work has exhibited internationally and is included in the permanent collections of the European Ceramic Work Center in the Netherlands; the Museum of Art and Design, NY; and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum,Washington, DC among many others.
Curator and gallery co-owner, Brett Binford chose to pair the artists because of their architectural references. “I found the dichotomy of the crisp ceramic foundation structure and the fluidity of material intriguing. Both artists explore the juxtaposition of structure and rigidity as well as the fluidity of the surfaces, in a very different style, both with lush surfaces as the result. Despite their different styles, I knew their work would be complementary in the space.
Both Bobby and Peter use that architectural quality as a starting point and hope to inspire the viewer to discover connections to time and place through their art. The surface treatment being a definitive element of their designs: Bobby’s slick glazes glide over large flat surfaces, blurring the lines of the words of authors, philosophers and poets, while Peter’s surfaces are made to interact with the structure of each piece.