Dissolve/Reveal by Steven Heinemann

Year
2011
Medium
Ceramic
Size
39 × 20 × 3 inches
99.1 × 50.8 × 7.6 cm
$8000
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About the Work

Steven Heinemann received his MFA from the the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and his BFA in Ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute. He has been an honored visiting instructor in Canadian, American, Korean, Australian, Dutch and Chinese art academies. His subtle clay sculptures have received awards at the World Ceramic Biennale in Korea, the Modern Masters Exhibition in Munich, and the Ceramic International in Mino Japan. His work is in major public collections around the world. “Much of my work over the years has evolved out of an early interest in pottery, particularly in “pottery space”: interior, self-contained, a locus for the imagination. This ongoing preoccupation with container/containment has taken many guises, beginning with a lengthy exploration of the bowl form in my student years. During the 1980s, I moved away from a recognizable vessel format, wanting to realize a stronger sculptural dimension in my work. The first series to reflect this was a group of geometric “imprints” dating from 1982-86. This was followed by a five-year investigation of more organic, elemental, volumetric shapes. Here I was attempting to convey a sense of the emergence of form as it occurs each time an inchoate mass of clay begins to be shaped; with the primary act of making, and of the origins of form itself. By the mid-nineties the vessel had re-emerged as the context for some of these concerns, along with more recent ones. Unlike the earlier impulse to dismantle the familiar limits of ceramic practice, its conventions of form and scale, the work since that time operates in a more intimate framework; one whose power lies precisely in its limitations, in its familiarity, in its universality. And in keeping with this emblem of “Craft”, a heightened involvement with surface ---a place to ‘draw’ with ceramic materials–- continues to develop. Why ceramics? I have come to recognize that clay, as an organic material with a long history of human use, can offer a substantial link to both the natural and cultural worlds, to historical as well as geological time. So to me, the physical facts of soft/hard, surface/form and inside/outside suggest diverse opportunities for considering relationships among the seemingly disparate. Connections emerge, linking human activity and natural processes, deliberation and chance, past and present, and what is seen with what is sensed.” - Steven Heinemann

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