Review: The Clay Show at Gallery 924 

click to enlarge William Jamieson, 'Dependence,' at Gallery 924's The Clay Show
  • William Jamieson, 'Dependence,' at Gallery 924's The Clay Show

Abandon all hope of a staid exhibit of ornate stoneware when you enter here. The artists (ceramic artists and otherwise) in this forward-thinking show use different techniques and materials in service of their very different artistic visions.

Some of these visions are downright scary. Take, for example Thea Meussling’s “Contagious,” a sculpture of what appears to be a big-breasted female Buddha with an exploding brain. The brain’s innards are composed of stuffed fabric. There’s also a sort of black fluid seemingly leaking from the mouth of this subject. After seeing the exploded brain, though, this leakage seems anticlimactic. In all seriousness, I don't think the piece entirely successful in its marriage of stoneware and earthenware with fabric mediums. Still, the ceramic portion of this piece is beautifully composed. And you certainly can’t fault the artist for a lack of inventiveness.

But most of the rest of the show isn't so in your face. Take, for example, William Jamieson’s “Dependence.”, a beautiful, more-or-less abstract sculpture that amply demonstrates the ability of this ceramic artist to express himself metaphorically in the realm of fine art.

And actually, you shouldn’t abandon all hope here if you prefer more practical ceramic applications; Molly Johnson’s “Cloud Cookie Jar” may be just the ticket for you. It demonstrates that beauty and practical function can easily exist side by side in this sometimes under-appreciated field of artistic endeavor. Through July 27 at Gallery 924

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