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Michael Kaysen

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Birth year

Lives in
Hammond, Indiana

Works in
Chicago, Illinois


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Representing galleries

sculpture, conceptual, traditional, installation, mixed-media


My practice has currently taken a two-pronged, parallel approach.  On the one hand, I make very traditional pottery; exploring form and surface. The forms are not predetermined, allowing mood and the clay to guide me where the forms will go. The forms may be around the studio in a bisque state, awaiting glazing, for weeks and then they are fired using either the Raku process or stoneware process. The surfaces are treated in an expressionist, painterly fashion, again allowing mood and circumstances at the time of glazing to determine where the surfaces will go. Each object is one-of-a-kind, existing in it's own right, in it's own space.

On the other hand I make sculptural objects. They are typically made from discarded material or found objects. They are informed by a collage aesthetic. These can be installed alone or in groups. The installations can include stand-alone objects or, as I have come to call them, "elements", "modules" or "bits". There may even be a performative element included in the installation.

I see both "prongs" of the practice as intimately related, intertwined even. Both are ultimately an exploration into what it means to be an "object maker" producing one-of-a-kind, hand made objects during a time when even contemporary art practice tends to reject such activity.

My practice has taken on a "shamanistic" sensibility, consciously trying to elicit something from under the surface of my activity but not sure of what is there. I often let circumstances guide me along threads of thought, fleshing out the creation/production of objects, trusting that the path will become clear as I continue to work.

Recent Exhibits

Michael Kaysen participated in these exhibits:

Click here to see all exhibits for Michael Kaysen

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