Artists: Arthur Gonzalez, Bill Abright, Fred Yokel, Lisa Reinertson, Marc Lancet, Margaret Keelan, Michelle Gregor, Richard Shaw, Steven Allen, Susannah Israel, Wanxin Zhang
Curator: Steven Allen
Curator’s Statement: This first annual invitational exhibition presents sculptural work that explores the complexity of the human experience through the metaphor of the human body. Figuratively Speaking highlights the presence and continuing relevance of the figure in Bay Area contemporary ceramics.
Bill Abright states: “Two Old Crows is a conglomerated self-portrait piece that represents a sharing of human and avian mating patterns. Crows mate for life as I have, and share raising their young and growing old together. The wheel thrown and extruded parts are constructed into a large mold of one of my original masks and then deconstructed to create complex interior spaces with tension between organization, recognition and chaos. I want to connect to the complexity and individuality that is just below the surface in all life forms.”
Israel states: “Child with White Rat draws upon the formal qualities of the wheel-thrown hair elements, and the traditional poses of the Qin dynasty sculptures of servants.”
Zhang states: “I believe that all art is somewhat a "revitalization" of artistic
concepts from the past, present, and future. And this goal is always a very
challenging task. Regardless of the cultural implications, and space and time between these ideas, one must also keep in mind that art is not the only motivation behind them. In most occasions, the spirit and content of the then-modern society is the true source of these attempts.”
Coming from a family of peace and social activists, Reinertson’s work has an underlying humanism that can be seen both in her poetic ceramic figures with animals, to her more historic public commissions that express ideals of peace and social justice.
Yokel states: “My current work involves capturing an individual moment in an event that has taken place or is about to take place and express that one moment in these ceramic sculptures. I hope you can find some humor in them and laugh with me.”