Painterly Objects


This work started several years ago when Lynda Benglis suggested that I work with Hank Sax and Cynthia Patterson in Taos to create work for my MFA that I was working on at the time at the Vermont College of Fine Art.

I would go up to Taos and work for a day and create dozens of forms using the giant extruder that they have in their shop, the first pieces were glazed and fired in Taos, they were all red on the inside and white on the outside, for I wanted them to look both intestinal and institutional. Many of these early works were complete in and of themselves, and I have about eight of these groupings (none of which are shown here) that were resolved very quickly.

The remaining elements have taken years to resolve. Some of the pieces in this show have the original white and red glaze, but required special mounting and post firing additions, other work is glazed with a style that is a direct lift from abstract expressionist painting, which is itself a lift from a form of Japanese ceramic decoration, in both cases the idea is to create an emotive surface that is a remnant of action, performative.

The forms themselves are also performative, in that they show the remnant of action used in their creation, in that way they also relate to Japanese ceramics in that the remnant of action is of great importance in the work, it is essential that the work be alive.

All of this work is highly sexual in its nature, but without being explicitly male or female. Being both and neither simultaneously, they represent that element of sexuality that Freud described as being common to all people regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Many of these pieces use very simple wooden elements to offset the emotive qualities of the ceramic forms, sometimes creating a juxtaposition of cool against hot, sometimes adding a complimentary painterly form to complete the piece.

Of the twenty one pieces in this show eleven were created during the reign of Covid, Newton invented calculus, I made art.

Finally the use of furniture from my house to display the work is the result of a comment that a dealer made that he could not imagine my work in any ones house, sometime after that exchange I started to place my work on my furniture to see how it looked, and to my eye these arrangements completed the work.

John Boyce

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