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Exhibition explores the vessel form and its possibilities
Zak Helenske, Bowl, 2019, terracotta, porcelain, underglaze, glaze, 2.75 x 6.5 x 6.5 in.

CONCORD, MASS.- Lacoste Keane Gallery is presenting: The Vessel Re-Imagined from September 7 –28, 2019, an exhibition exploring the vessel form and its possibilities. Guest curator Brooks Oliver brings together a group of young artists working in the medium of ceramics, whose practice centers around interesting and exciting interpretations of the vessel, a fundamental and important form connected to human civilization.

Brooks Oliver obtained his MFA from Penn State and is a ceramics educator at the University of North Texas. He endeavors to “reimagine and reinterpret the familiar functional vessel”. In doing so, he challenges the viewers to examine the grey areas in art and craft, form and function and mass production versus handmade. On the surface his works are sleek and industrial, but closer examination reveals the maker’s marks such as seams that have not been sanded smoothly or glaze applied by hand. All leaving slight unevenness on the object’s surface. Oliver’s minimalist work never ceases to question the public’s perception of the vessel. One can treat them as beautiful works of art, yet the void within the object renders them functional in some instances.

Lily Fein, a Massachusetts based young art graduate, approaches the vessel through the pinching and coiling method. Her works are painstaking and time consuming to make as each vessel is coiled and pinched to form. Using the challenging medium of porcelain, she creates each vessel from the base and builds the work up by pushing the walls from inside and outside. The abstract qualities are revealed by each fingerprint and mark making. The stippling on her works is meditative as the continuous application of dots on the surface involves complete focus and involvement from the artist. Each work holds special memory of the artist and her energy.

Margaret Kinkeade’s work in this exhibition is an interplay of art and function. She has made two different wall installations for this show--35 small serving plates and 12 salad plates. Members of the audience are invited to use the plates by breaking bread first before hanging the used plate on the wall to form a grid. These handmade plates, clearly made to be used, question the utilitarian aspect as when hung on the wall, they are transformed into objects of art and for decoration.

Heesoo Lee makes ephemeral vessels inspired by nature and landscape that combine the painterly with the sculptural. Her poetic imagery is created by using layers of underglaze and china paint on scenes built up and sculpted on clay. These works harken back to Louis Comfort Tiffany and Newcomb Pottery.

Zak Helenske’s has studied the development of form and the exploration of pattern. He looks to industrial and architectural examples as points of reference using the language of geometry as his path of communication. One sees in his work a connection to architecture and geometry in which the haptic—the sense of touch is important.

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