“Nothing has to take grand scale, if it can be expressed in a diminutive, delicate and yet no less sophisticated way.” Paul Klee
Paul Clay is an exhibition of ceramic work made by an international selection of artists. These artists play dirty, unafraid to push the material of clay with their varied practices.
Together, the sculptures are presented on large platforms, activating one another to suggest a mise-en-scène. A theatre in the round, the works are arranged in acts, where abstract colors fly and figures brawl.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins’s lumpy couch, Ron Nagle’s bizarre, anthropomorphic gems and Sterling Ruby’s “drive-thru” lava garden buttress the stage, while Betty Woodman’s Indian jugs, Andrew Lord’s body parts, and Jonathon Meese’s totems play act. Arlene Shechet’s deflated wormholes swallow onlookers whole. Francis Upritchard’s harlequins and Ralphael de Villers’s figurines whimsically conjure a circus. Huma Bhabha’s skull is entwined in a barbed fence, while Francesca Di Mattio’s broken vessels deliver water.
For the duration of the exhibit, Salon 94 Bowery will also house a pop-up shop of functional ceramic objects by artists we love. We celebrate this age-old tradition of transforming mud into functional ware.