THE OBJECT TRANSFORMED
March 7 – March 31, 2019
Opening: Thursday, March 7, 5-8PM
Traver Gallery is pleased to present New Works in Clay, an exhibition of new sculptures by Northwest ceramic artist, Eric Nelsen.
Inspired by art, architecture, and object making from prehistoric times through the 20th century, Nelson is known for creating work that pays homage to the handmade object and its historical trajectory. For Nelsen, collections, histories, studies, and archeology form a broad constellation of meaning and inspiration. “Objects take their meanings from people and culture. They become vessels for our fascinations and even our affections, and it is through objects that those feelings often outlive the people from whom they first came.” says the artist.
In his most recent body of work, Nelsen draws inspiration from a 1966 Museum of Modern Art exhibition titled, “The Object Transformed.” The curator of that exhibition, Mildred Constantine, posits that “When an object is taken out of its familiar context, or even a single detail is removed or altered, a second set of associations may be brought into play. If the resulting visual metaphor is sufficiently powerful, even the most ubiquitous artifact may be transformed into a unique experience.” Nelsen’s sculptures similarly seek to recontextualize, alter, and transform familiar forms, allowing unexpected relationships and new associations to emerge intuitively.
Early in his career, Eric Nelsen traveled to Japan to study traditional kiln building and ceramic techniques. After returning to the United States in 1976, Nelsen built one of the first anagama kilns in the country. Anagama is a technique in which ceramic sculptures are fired, using wood to fuel the kiln, for a week in temperatures reaching 2500°F. Over the course of multiple days in the kiln, the pieces, not otherwise glazed, are covered with molten wood ash that builds up into colors that run from gray to brick.
In 1978, Nelsen established a studio in Seattle and in 1981, he returned to Japan to work as an apprentice to Kaneshge Michiaki in Bizen. Since 1985, he has maintained a studio on Vashon Island, WA.
For additional information, please contact Traver Gallery at 206.587.6501 or firstname.lastname@example.org