The eighteenth century German philosopher Immanuel Kant described decoration as “enlivening the object for sensation.” In the work of Nathan Craven, small extruded ceramic units—numbering from hundreds to tens of thousands—are stacked, arranged, and balanced to function as both pure decoration and structural objects. The resulting formations serve as architectural extensions including floors, window screens, or room dividers that alter visitors’ experiences and perceptions of the space. In each work, the architecture is not merely decorated, it grows out of decoration itself.
Craven, from Ogden, Utah, earned a BFA degree from Weber State University in 2005 and an MFA degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2008, both in Ceramics. Prior to the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, Craven completed a two-year residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana.
(Image: Nathan Craven, Extruded Floor (detail), 2008, ceramic; Courtesy of the artist)