Monday, March 21, 2011

Teapots: An Invitational - Chris Gustin Dartmouth, MA

Chris Gustin Teapot with Dimple $850
porcelain, anagama wood-fired (6" x 9" x 5.5")

When looking over statements from previous years, I came across something I wrote in the mid-1980's that said "I want to get a line to come off of the paper and put it into the air."  In effect, that's what I've been doing for the past twenty five years.  I've been taking a line and exploring how it might be used to define form, edge, transition, shape, and volume, and in turn, how that line might reveal context, analogy or metaphor in an object.  I use the vessel as a vehicle for abstraction.  The skin of the clay holds the invisible interior of the pot.  How I manipulate my forms "around" that air, constraining it, enclosing it, or letting it expand and swell, can allow analogy and metaphor to enter into the work.  I've always been much more intrigued by the cognitive than the rational.  My work explores the visceral, hoping to provoke memory to the viewer, to suggest something that is just on the other side of consciousness.  My forms and surfaces purposely encourage touch, and by inviting the hand to explore the forms as well as the eye, I hope to provoke a connection that goes past the intellectual to the innate.

Chris is a studo artist and Emeritus Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, where he taught in the Program in Artisanry since its inception at Boston University.  He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1975, and his MFA from Alfred University in 1977.  Chris' work is published extensively, and is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Aart, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, The World Ceramic Exposition Foundation in Icheon, Korea, the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, the Syracuse Art Museum, the Shigaraki Cultural Park in Japan, the Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taipei, and the Mint Museum of Craft.

With over forty solo exhibitions, he has exhibited, lectured and taught workshops in the United States, Caribbean, Europe and Asia.  He has recieved two National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowships and two Massachusetts Crafts Fellowships, the most recent in 2005.  Chris is the cofounder of the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine, and currently serves on its board.  Chris is represented by Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art in Kansas City, the Snyderman-Works Gallery in Philadelphia, and the Sherrie Gallerie in Columbus, Ohio.

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