Kurt Weiser "The Nature of Imagination" - October 2013
Friday October 4th – October 30th, 2013
In collaboration with Ferrin Contemporary, Cross MacKenzie Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition by noted ceramic artist, Kurt Weiser. Internationally recognized as an innovator in the field, Weiser is known for his technical virtuosity with porcelain forms, and his pioneering use of china painting techniques in his distinct contemporary style. Inspired by the 19th century illustrators of natural history like John James Audubon, Mark Catesby and William Bartram, Weiser develops the explorers’ imagery in clay.
The artist infuses the exquisite mastery of porcelain from the Ming and Qing dynasties and Meissen court painting, with the private reveries lifted from the pages of his nature-filled notebooks. His subject matter is lush, mysterious landscapes and distorted narratives set amidst color-saturated flora and fauna that read as voyeuristic snapshots into a surreal new world. Into his jungle scenes, figurative elements appear in his work, drawn both from fantasy and art history. Weiser’s figures, often nude and distorted across the planes of his vessels, move through steamy, Eden-like landscapes, interacting with the natural world they encounter. Themes of lust, predation, scientific curiosities, and the vulnerability of both man and nature abound in these scenes, resonating curiously with the cultivated vessel forms and refined medium Weiser has chosen. The vessel forms have morphed into globes of the world where the artist maps out his fantastic drawings of the earth of his vivid imagination. Recently, the artist’s forms have evolved into cubist inspired volumes creating multiple surfaces for his supremely rendered blue and white explorations. This exhibition presents work from 2009 - 2013.
Kurt Weiser is currently Regents Professor of Art in the Herberger College of the Arts, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Born in 1950 in Lansing, Michigan, Weiser trained in ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute under Ken Ferguson and received his MFA at the University of Michigan. He was director of the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana before moving to Arizona. Weiser’s work is included in numerous books and catalogues, cited in dozens of magazine articles and represented in significant museum collections worldwide.