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The ten artists in Modern Ti mes\, organized by Shari Mendelson\, use the vessel as a vehicle for s ocial and political commentary and/or as an exploration of form – indebted to history\, yet engaged in a contemporary dialogue.

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 “I have been studying the vessels at the Metropolitan Museum for many years. From early Greek and Roman glass bottles and terra-cotta animals\, to ceramic burial j ars from the Korean Renaissance\, to delicate Syrian goblets – my interests are broad. I love these vessels not only for their beauty\, but for the my steries they embody and the information they reveal about the history and c ulture of their time.”  Shari Mendelson

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Like their historical prede cessors\, the vessels in Modern Times offer visual pleasure while addressing issues that are both contemporary and timeless.

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Barry Bartlett has a fascination with the hobby industry's ability to mass market our shared experiences with ceramic tchotchkes. He collects molds of soldiers\, fairies\, 9/11 rescue works\, presidents\, religious i cons\, etc.\, casts them in porcelain\, and reconfigures them into surprisi ng sculptures that depict a mash-up of current and historical events.

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Mary Carlson is showing three slip cast porcelain piece s – a plate\, a bowl and a cup. Her castings are frail and signs of breakag e and delicate repair are evident. As Howard Foster states in a 2010 review of Carlson's work\, "… the endless see-saw of international dominance pivo ts on the vulnerability of the domestic. Those carefully mended plates embo dy the private cost of politics\, the cracking of the everyday…."

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< strong>Jim Dingilian's work suggests the passage of time and the f leeting nature of memory. He coats the inside of empty liquor bottles with smoke then carefully erases specific areas. The smoke that remains creates the image. As Dingilian states "Empty liquor bottles found in the woods or near parking lots are artifacts of marginal activity. They provide evidence of joy\, despair\, companionship or isolation."

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Elisabeth Kley's brightly colored\, hand-built ceramics and drawings celebra te decoration. "Kley's work by and large evokes the distance of time and ge ography without directly appropriating extant cultural designs. ... at time s recalling Persian\, Venetian\, Florentine\, Chinese\, and Moroccan design and ornament – but truly articulates no one style or artifact we can name or point to." - G. Roger Denson\, Huffington Post\, December 8\, 2010

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Shari Mendelson’s vessels are inspired by historical ce ramic\, glass and metal artifacts and are constructed from found plastic bo ttles. While making her work\, she refers to the original – attempting to c apture the spirit of the object. Although her pieces often diverge from the source\, the making of them acts as a form of dialogue with\, and reverenc e for\, the objects of the past.

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Keiko Narahashi's evocative work explores the space between volume and deflation\, presence and memory\, and familiarity and mystery. She makes silhouette drawings\, w hich she gives to a potter to interpret and throw as a pot. She then alters this pot: cutting it in half\, flattening it\, photographing it. In Naraha shi's words\, "The original drawing becomes a three dimensional pot\, which in turn\, through my manipulations\, reverts to a symbol of itself. Alteri ng a known object in this way abstracts it – meaning is subtracted\, but ne w emblematic meanings are acquired…."

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With her series of "Sugar Ves sels"\, Yuka Otani\, a skilled glass artist\, has turned h er attention to the ephemeral. Her brightly colored\, glass-like goblets\, flutes and tumblers are cast in sugar. They slump\, become opaque\, or liqu efy as they age. Otani writes\, "I spent my adolescence in Japan in the 199 0's when the immense Japanese economic bubble burst after its inflation. Wh at seemed to be stable yesterday is not stable today – this drastic shift i n social value system was branded on my memory as a strong feeling of chang eability.…"

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As Sarah Peters writes\, "The disjoint ed visual language that often results when the art of one culture aspires t o emulate another is a principle theme in my work." Her bronze heads are po rtraits of American outcasts: idealists\, extremists\, zealots and visionar ies. These hollow heads\, turned upside down or sliced open\, with added ha ndles\, become vessels – dense and alive\, empty\, yet full of questions.\n

Christy Rupp\, an artist known for her environmenta l and political sculpture and installations is showing a series of hand-fel ted oil and gas cans. With a pop sensibility\, a wry sense of humor\, and a n exacting attention to detail\, she creates hand-made replicas of some of the petroleum-based product that she used between 2009-2012.

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Arlene Shechet has pushed and pulled the vocabulary of sculpture and the vessel to surprising places with her work in plaster\, handmade pa per and clay. In an interview with Ian Berry for her 2009 show at the Tang Museum\, Shechet says "…I was using blue and white in my paper work to refe r to architectural blue prints\, and this made me suddenly sensitive to blu e-and-white porcelains. … I started to look at porcelains from China\, Flow Blue from England\, Delftware\, Willowware\, a vocabulary of things both E astern and Western… I had earlier come to believe the vase is a domestic fo rm of sacred architecture…" 

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DTEND:20130120 DTSTAMP:20140829T080804 DTSTART:20121212 GEO:40.716564;-73.99075 LOCATION:Lesley Heller Workspace\,54 Orchard St \nNew York\, NY 10002 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Modern Times\, Barry Bartlett\, Mary Carlson\, Jim Dingilian\, Elis abeth Kley\, Shari Mendelson\, Keiko Narahashi\, Yuka Otani\, Sarah Peters\ , Christy Rupp\, Arlene Shechet UID:246990 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20121212T200000 DTSTAMP:20140829T080804 DTSTART:20121212T180000 GEO:40.716564;-73.99075 LOCATION:Lesley Heller Workspace\,54 Orchard St \nNew York\, NY 10002 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Modern Times\, Barry Bartlett\, Mary Carlson\, Jim Dingilian\, Elis abeth Kley\, Shari Mendelson\, Keiko Narahashi\, Yuka Otani\, Sarah Peters\ , Christy Rupp\, Arlene Shechet UID:246991 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR