PARIS.- Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Paris presents Seeing Things by contemporary ceramicist Gareth Mason. For this exhibition, Mason has meticulously crafted significant new large sculptural works, each a testament to his mastery over the medium.
Through a metaphorical cellar termed by Gaston Bachelard, Mason invites us to embrace ambiguity and unbridle our minds, much like the sacred caves of our ancestors. All my pots are flights of fancy, he says. His pieces echo the fascination for what lies within and beyond a womb-like, cave-like mystery that captivates our intrigue and wonder. Dark clay blends, enriched with iron earths abundant metallic element and coarse, rocky inclusions, take centre stage. Some works pay homage to porcelains rich history, while others boldly reject it, delving into deep underworlds. Raw geology punctuates Masons practice, a nod to the unimaginable forces that shaped both him and the world around us.
Masons sensory fascination with clay began under the tutelage of ceramicist Judith Trim, and he has since developed his art arguably in line with the deconstructive style of Peter Voulkos or Lucio Fontana. His distinctive art intertwines the disciplined intuition of Art Informel with the highly skilled techniques he has mastered in over 35 years spent exploring the field. For Mason, the ceramic experience can be likened to a vivid journey through fantastical vistas and endless possibilities. By challenging tradition, he defies the norms by asserting that porcelain, which is often synonymous with light, can embody the weight and depth usually attributed to stoneware. As a result, clay, with its contrasting energies, becomes a palette for Mason to restlessly probe and explore.
Ceramics is an intimidating arena. Technical and practical challenges abound. Additionally, the pottery vessel is a strange fledgling in contemporary art discourse, though it is as ancient as civilisation itself. I demand much of it, firmly believing in its power whilst recognising its evolving role as a medium. That I can navigate an individual creative practice in this context is a rare privilege.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery is pleased to represent the work of Gareth Mason in collaboration with Jason Jacques Gallery.
Gareth Mason is a potter of thirty-five years standing and exhibits internationally. His first solo exhibition in America was in February 2011. Entitled Other Forces, it was held at Jason Jacques Gallery in Manhattan and began a long-standing professional relationship, continuing in the August 2022 solo exhibition, Wild Clay. Residencies include Syracuse University, USA (2019/20), the Jingdezhen International Studio, China (2016) and Long Beach State University, USA (2011). Speaking and Master Class engagements include; Everson Museum Syracuse (2019); Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge (2018); LabArtz, Taoxichuan, China (2016); International Ceramics Festival, Aberystwyth (2015); Greenwich House New York and The Clay Studio Philadelphia (2014); the American Museum of Ceramic Art, California (2013); SOFA Chicago Expo (2011); International Ceramics Studio, Kecskemet, Hungary (2010).
A past columnist for Ceramic Review Magazine, London, he has also written for Ceramics Monthly, Keramik Magazine Europa and Ceramics Art and Perception, with the books, A Decade In Cahoots published online by Jason Jacques Press, and More is More by the same publisher, held in the Cfile online Library. A dialogue with the author and collector Ashley Thorpe appears in Thorpes 2023 book, Contemporary British Studio Pottery.
Group exhibitions include; Shapes from Out of Nowhere, the Metropolitan Museum New York; Ceramics Biennale, Hongzhou, China, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Side Gallery, Barcelona; Centre Tignous, Paris; Yale Centre for British Art, Connecticut; Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston and Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida. Collections include The Metropolitan Museum New York, Everson Museum, Syracuse, Mint Museum North Carolina and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA. Mason is a Fellow of the Craft Potters Association and Brother of the Art Workers Guild, London.
He lives and works in Hampshire, England.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Gareth Mason: Seeing Things
January 18th, 2024 - April 7th, 2024