sculpture

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Art

Waves of Engraved Lines Texture the Emotional Figures Sculpted by En Iwamura

December 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © En Iwamura, courtesy of Ross + Kramer Gallery, shared with permission

From hunks of clay, artist En Iwamura (previously) sculpts minimal forms with wildly varied facial expressions that range from shock and surprise to moody contemplation. Etched across the surface of each character are neat pathways of parallel lines, which evoke the clean, sweeping patterns in zen gardens, that are a physical manifestation of the Japanese concept of Ma. The philosophy identifies “the space between the edges, between the beginning and the end, the space and time in which we experience life. Ma is filled with nothing but energy and feeling.”

Although his aesthetic and process remain relatively consistent—Iwarmura is generous about sharing works-in-progress and studio shots on his Instagram—his approach to spatial questions continues to evolve. “My work size has physically got bigger,” he tells Colossal. “That can have (a) different relationship with Ma, either micro (or) macro.”

Iwamura is currently living in Shiga near his hometown of Kyoto, and if you’re in New York, you can see his oversized faces in January at Ross + Kramer Gallery.

 

 

 



Art

Hyperrealistic Ceramic Sculptures by Christopher David White Mimic the Splintered Texture of Decaying Wood

December 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Carbon Footprint.” All images © Christopher David White, shared with permission

In his Richmond studio, artist Christopher David White (previously) practices an alchemy of materials as he transforms slabs of clay into deceptive sculptures and functional objects that appear carved from hunks of decaying wood. His trompe l’oeil ceramics are fragile depictions of the hardy material, complete with its gnarled knots and splintered edges in various states of decomposition.

To achieve such a hyperrealistic finish, each piece undergoes multiple rounds of detailing—head to Instagram for a glimpse behind-the-scenes—which White starts by shaping the initial form with knots and branches and imprinting large grooves for the grain. After the work dries slightly, dental instruments, wire brushes, and Xacto knives aid in crafting the more intricate components, and the slightly dehydrated material lends itself to natural cracks and divots that enhance the woody texture. Once fired, the artist paints each sculpture with a largely neutral palette of acrylics.

White continues to explore humans’ relationship to the environment in both his figures and smaller works, although he’s recently shifted to more overt considerations of the topic. “I seek to highlight humanity’s abuse and disregard for nature along with the contradictions in our actions,” he says. “Humans have a tendency to acknowledge the beauty, fragility, and uniqueness of nature while simultaneously viewing it as a resource to be endlessly exploited, controlled, and discarded.”

Shop prints in White’s shop, and keep an eye on his Instagram and site for updates on new batches of mugs, planters, and other works.

 

“Paint It Red”

“Pushing Up Daisies”

“Weathered Heart”

“Not 2B”

“Coral mug”

“Small planters”

“Teapot set”

 

 



Art Illustration

Foliage Sprouts from Four Imaginative Clay Illustrations by Irma Gruenholz

December 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Irma Gruenholz, shared with permission

It’s easy to mistake Irma Gruenholz’s whimsical ceramic figures for two-dimensional illustrations. The Madrid-based artist (previously) is known for her sculptures and still lifes in clay that resemble flat graphics and drawings, although her works require precise positioning and photographing before they’re printed in the pages of a magazine or children’s book.

In addition to working on commissions for major publications and brands in the last few years, Gruenholz’s most recent projects include four imaginative figures tattooed with foliage and sprouting leafy branches from their heads. “During Covid lockdown, I have had time to reflect and realize how important it is to respect your internal rhythm when you are creating,” she says. “I think there has to be another way of living, a slow life good for the people and for the planet.”

Head to Behance and Instagram for glimpses into the process behind these fantastical figures and to explore a larger archive of the artist’s illustrative work.

 

 

 



Art

Concentric Vessels Nest Within Larger Forms in Matthew Chambers’ Perplexing Ceramic Sculptures

December 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Matthew Chambers, shared with permission

At once minimal and endlessly confounding, the elegant ceramic vessels that Matthew Chambers (previously) creates are precisely scaled iterations of the same shape. His hypnotic sculptures are comprised of individual, wheel-thrown pieces in varying sizes that are embedded within a larger form. Each abstract work is unique in color and position, sometimes displaying single monochromatic rings at incongruent angles or striped colors flush in alignment.

In a note to Colossal, Chambers says his most recent pieces are an experiment in allowing the inner pattern to pop from the outer vessel. “The process is essentially the reverse of how most of my other forms are made, and it’s still very much in the early stages of working it out,” he says. “I’ve also started making some upright vessel forms where the circles twist around the outside of the form from top to bottom, but again these are still very much in the early stages.”

Chambers, who’s based in St. Lawrence on the Isle of Wight, has amassed an extensive archive in the last few years, which you can dive into on his site and Instagram. If you’re in London., you can see some of his pieces on view now at Alveston Fine Art and this February with Cavaliero Finn at Collect Art Fair. He’ll also show works this coming July at Cornwall’s New Craftsman Gallery.

 

 

 



Art

Butterflies and Moths Flutter Through J.C. Fontanive’s Automated Flipbooks

December 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

Illustrations of the elegant atlas moth and paper kite and orange-barred sulphur butterflies fly through a new trio of analog animations by J.C. Fontanive. The Cleveland-born artist created a sleek flipbook machine while he was a student at the Royal College of Art back in 2004 and has since crafted myriad designs featuring birds and insects that fly around the small, metallic frame. His most recent works bring the 2D Lepidoptera to life as they burst into a flurry of quick movements, and the individual paper cards emit a subtle whirring, similar to that of fluttering wings. “Flipping pages make these handmade sculptures live in real sound and space. Creatures flit and flicker by to awaken the poetry of movement and inspire through nature and invention,” Fontanive says in a statement.

You can see the trio in action on Vimeo and shop available sculptures on the Flipbook Machine site. Follow the artist’s projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft

An Astronaut Steers an Elaborately Constructed Paper Spaceship in a Window Display by Zim & Zou

December 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

Images © Nacása & Partners Inc., courtesy of Hermès Japon and Zim & Zou

Equipped with joysticks and panels of gauges and knobs, an intricately constructed spaceship built by Zim & Zou (previously) navigates through a starry expanse of whimsical planets and alien creatures. The pink-and-blue craft, which was designed as a window display for Hermès, is the latest project from the French artists, whose elaborate scenes and characters are constructed from precisely cut paper sculptures. This fantastical work, titled “Journey of a Lifetime,” peers over the adventurous protagonist, who traverses an unknown world amidst a chaotic scene of levers, monitors, and tea that’s flung into the air of the weightless environment. You can see details from the installation and more of Zim & Zou’s work on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite