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Exhibitions

New York Dispatch 1 / September 2022

Fresh approaches to the age-old traditions of ceramics, stone craft and drawing dominate in the city's top-billed autumn showcases.

The Future Perfect: ‘Ian Collings, Refigure’
8th September-20th October

Gabriel & Guillaume: ‘Vince Palacios: Haptic Memory’
8th September-10th November 

Galerie Kitsuné & Stroll Garden: ‘Haptic Memory’
8th September -2nd October

R & Company: ‘Rogan Gregory, Imperfect Truth’
9th September-28th October

Guild Gallery: ‘Casey Zablocki, Modern Relics’
15th September-26th November

Egg Collective: ‘Drawings You’ve Never Seen’
Until 4th November  

By Adrian Madlener / 12th September 2022
Exhibition view, ‘Rogan Gregory’ at R & Company, 2022 COURTESY: Rogan Gregory & R & Company

Exhibition view, ‘Rogan Gregory’ at R & Company, 2022
COURTESY: Rogan Gregory & R & Company

THE FIRST THURSDAY in September after Labor Day Weekend is an important day for New York galleries. On this evening, the city’s ever-growing roster of art, design and hybrid platforms open what are perhaps the most important shows of the year. Though not all of them uphold this tradition and exhibitions might have launched a bit earlier, or are planned to debut later, the energy around this moment remains palpable.

Amongst mainstays like R & Company and The Future Perfect – but also new platforms like Roman and Williams’s Guild Gallery downtown and Gabriel & Guillaume’s first brick and mortar space uptown – the mood is set by shows centred on ceramics, stone and the ever-beloved preparatory practice of drawing. Personal expression and mastery are also guiding principles, as are amorphous shapes and tactile surface – two shows are called “Haptic Memory”, suggesting that touch has become a primary focus. Increasingly, the lines between what is defined as art and design are blurring. Here are a few highlights from this September’s eclectic offering.

Casey Zablocki, (left) ‘Yates’, 2022 & (right) ‘Tsuki’, 2022 COURTESY: Casey Zablocki & Guild Gallery

Casey Zablocki, (left) ‘Yates’, 2022 & (right) ‘Tsuki’, 2022
COURTESY: Casey Zablocki & Guild Gallery

The Future Perfect: ‘Ian Collings, Refigure’
Once part of celebrated New York studio Fort Standard, Ian Collings ventured out on his own a few years back. Exploring the imperfections and asymmetry of natural materials like orange calcite, the artist/designer has been hard at work rendering organic forms that revel in their innate textures. These works stem from careful observations of nature he makes from his perches in Ojai, California and Costa Rica. With this latest collection of monolithic yet articulate sculptures on view at The Future Perfect, Collings celebrates otherness and the complex, often unexpected structures nature forms. The various metaphysical pieces – achieved in crystal-like precious stone – take on visceral volumetric qualities, while their surfaces are susceptible to dramatic interplays of light.

Gabriel & Guillaume: ‘Vince Palacios: Haptic Memory’
Once nomadic purveyor of historical and contemporary collectible design, Gabriel & Guillaume has put down permanent roots in the 111 W 57th Street/ Steinway Tower penthouse they helped furnish a few years back. To inaugurate this new venture, the gallery is hosting a solo exhibition of established Los Angeles-based ceramic artist Vince Palacios.

Vince Palacios, ‘Potato Tree With Cosmic Vines’, 2022 COURTESY: Vince Palacios & Gabriel & Guillaume

Vince Palacios, ‘Potato Tree With Cosmic Vines’, 2022
COURTESY: Vince Palacios & Gabriel & Guillaume

‘Vince Palacios: Haptic Memory’ offers new wares with teasing titles, both poetic and nonsensical. Characterised by bespoke forming, assembly and glazing processes, these otherworldly, molten vessels take on a life of their own. Colourful appendages are combined with crackled surface treatments and polished patinas – a riot for the senses.

Vince Palacios, ‘Abraded Vessel Blue/Yellow’, 2022 COURTESY: Vince Palacios & Gabriel & Guillaume

Vince Palacios, ‘Abraded Vessel Blue/Yellow’, 2022
COURTESY: Vince Palacios & Gabriel & Guillaume

Galerie Kitsuné & Stroll Garden: ‘Haptic Memory’
Brooklyn-based Jane Yang-D’Haene and Los Angeles’s Raina Lee approach their individual ceramic practices from different angles. What ties them together, however, is their respect for, and adaption of, their Korean and Chinese heritage – especially when it comes to silhouettes.

Exhibition view, ‘Haptic Memory’ at Galerie Kitsuné & Stroll Garden COURTESY: Galerie Kitsuné / PHOTOGRAPH: Charlie Rubin

Exhibition view, ‘Haptic Memory’ at Galerie Kitsuné & Stroll Garden
COURTESY: Galerie Kitsuné / PHOTOGRAPH: Charlie Rubin

Both talents draw inspiration from objects they grew up with and indeed handled in their childhood homes. For D’Haene, it was Baekja (white porcelain ceramics) and celadon bottles, while for Lee, it was Chinese antiques and reproductions. Her contemporary works often reference classic forms like the Meiping, the Garlic Head, and the Lotus Bud. For both, hand-built vessels that reinterpret traditional shapes offer important jumping-off points and canvases for additional experimentation. A new exhibition at Kitsuné’s Brooklyn outpost Galerie Kitsuné puts both ceramicists in dialogue.

R & Company: ‘Rogan Gregory, Imperfect Truth’
With his particularly visceral approach to form-finding and the juxtaposition of smooth organic surfaces, Rogan Gregory has long been a darling of the collectible design industry. A mid-career retrospective currently on view at R & Company sets out to evoke the industrious fervour of his Santa Monica studio in unique stagings, as well as a complete living and dining room vignette.

Exhibition view, ‘Rogan Gregory’ at R & Company, 2022 COURTESY: Rogan Gregory & R & Company

Exhibition view, ‘Rogan Gregory’ at R & Company, 2022
COURTESY: Rogan Gregory & R & Company

On view is the full scope of this talent’s masterful transmutation of traditional crafts, his intrinsic understanding of material and his ability to reconcile unlikely combinations in cohesive assemblages. Many of the pieces were created using ceramics and gypsum. The exhibition will be followed by Gregory’s first monograph, an edition published by the gallery. Like others showing in New York, the often mysterious phenomena of nature inform a lot of his practice.

Rogan Gregory, ‘Le Roi Soleil’ chair, 2021 COURTESY: Rogan Gregory & R & Company

Rogan Gregory, ‘Le Roi Soleil’ chair, 2021
COURTESY: Rogan Gregory & R & Company

Guild Gallery: ‘Casey Zablocki, Modern Relics’
Montana-based ceramicist Casey Zablocki was relatively unknown outside of his home state until interior design firm Roman and Williams co-founders Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch discovered him. The renowned practice opened its dedicated Guild Gallery last year with a dedicated focus on expressive approaches to craft and the 1,000-year-old tradition of decorative arts.

Casey Zablocki, ‘Triton’, 2022 COURTESY: Casey Zablocki & Guild Gallery

Casey Zablocki, ‘Triton’, 2022
COURTESY: Casey Zablocki & Guild Gallery

Zablocki’s monumental yet often roughly hewn and carved out sculptures are inspired by a range of geographies – his childhood spent in the Northern Peninsula of Michigan, his training in Finland and South Korea, and his current grounding in Big Sky country. The pieces, which emulate the natural grandeur of these locales, take on similarly outsized proportions. The blending of earth, wind and fire results in large format ceramic furnishings that appear to have been weathering or decaying for millennia.

Exhibition view, ‘Casey Zablocki’ at Guild Gallery, 2022 COURTESY: Casey Zablocki & Guild Gallery

Exhibition view, ‘Casey Zablocki’ at Guild Gallery, 2022
COURTESY: Casey Zablocki & Guild Gallery

These bespoke patinas are achieved through the use of experimental clay recipes, integrated wood ash – and perhaps most importantly – extreme heat reactivity channelled through reconstructed ancient Anagama kilns. The Canal Street platform will display the full range of his practice. In some areas, walls and floors have been reinforced to support the weight of some of the pieces, including the 1360-kg ‘Titan.’

Egg Collective: ‘Drawings You’ve Never Seen’
Curated by celebrated wire sculptor Roger Stevens, ‘Drawings You’ve Never Seen’ is a show dedicated to the works of paper created by 30 or so individuals that normally craft objects. Pulling back the curtain on facets of their respective practices that might not fit in with the industry demands of consistent output and soundbite brand stories, the exhibition highlights their more intimate and less polished explorations – a different kind of hand work.

Exhibition view, ‘Drawings You’ve Never Seen’ at Egg Collective, 2022 COURTESY: Egg Collective

Exhibition view, ‘Drawings You’ve Never Seen’ at Egg Collective, 2022
COURTESY: Egg Collective

Drawing is a relatively accessible medium that allows creatives to ideate and dream but can also serve as a finished art form in and of itself. Works by a real who’s who of contemporary design – Lindsey Adelman, Dana Barnes, Chen Chen and Kai Williams, Faye Toogood, Simone Bodmer Turner, Steven Haulenbeek, Tyler Hays, Hilda Hellström, Liam Lee, and Julian Watts – have been displayed throughout the furniture gallery. The trick is to try and guess who drew what, which is harder than you think.

Exhibition view, ‘Drawings You’ve Never Seen’ at Egg Collective, 2022 COURTESY: Egg Collective

Exhibition view, ‘Drawings You’ve Never Seen’ at Egg Collective, 2022
COURTESY: Egg Collective

The Future Perfect: ‘Ian Collings, Refigure’ 

Gabriel & Guillaume: ‘Vince Palacios: Haptic Memory’ 

Galerie Kitsuné & Stroll Garden: ‘Haptic Memory’

R & Company: ‘Rogan Gregory, Imperfect Truth’

Guild Gallery: ‘Casey Zablocki, Modern Relics’

Egg Collective: ‘Drawings You’ve Never Seen’  

Article by Adrian Madlener
Article by Adrian Madlener
Adrian Madlener is a Brussels-born, New York-based writer covering a wide range of design-related topics. View all articles by Adrian Madlener