Fri, 05/18/2012 (All day) - Sat, 06/30/2012 (All day)
Where |Cross Mackenzie Gallery
2026 R St NW
About This Event
Cross MacKenzie Gallery to pleased to present an exhibition of new ceramic sculpture by local artist, Anthony Stellaccio and paintings by Boston-based Mary Armstrong. There will be an opening reception May 18th 6-8 with both artists in attendance.
Anthony Stellaccio's approach to his practice is most serious - though he plays with toys. Fulbright Fellow and writer, Stellaccio's his new book "Lithuanian Folk Ceramics; Inside and Out" was published last year, and his day job is as a Curatorial Research Specialist for the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art. Though equally scholarly in his approach to his ceramics, his clay work express a more playful side, referencing children's play things, game pieces, pets and domesticated animals. Stellaccio's extensive travels and studies of other cultures, have been synthesized into his sculpture through the universal language of toys.
This body of work is full of dynamic contrasts, rough, un-polished porcelain with cracked glazes atop smooth, reflective black and white Formica pedestal-like bases. The artist's process also informs his work. Achieving the level of pristine finish in the modern material of Formica requires exacting attention to detail and serious precision. Just the opposite is his approach to man's most ancient material, clay. He applies traditional rudimentary brick making techniques to the clay, purposefully limiting his modeling - playing a game with himself, making up the rules of manipulation. Often the clay is left with a deliberate hand-hewn finish underlining the difference and drawing attention to the significance of the materials. The supports are of a grander scale, often echoing the shape of the tiny figurines on top and signifying their importance.
Recently, the artist has added color to his ceramic forms, adding yet another reference to the brightly hued toys one finds in our modern western culture. It is the viewer's visual pleasure to play with Stellaccio's toys.