RICCO/MARESCA GALLERY is pleased to present Out of Their Elements, an exhibition featuring works by artists Jill Bonovitz, Toni Ross, and Carole Seborovski. Each of these artists utilize clay as one of their base materials yet work separately in different primary mediums. In this exhibition, each artist has chosen to move beyond their central medium and explore the convolution of experiences that stem from attempting a new creative process. This presentation of shifting techniques will examine the complex relationship between artist, sculpture, object, and form as well as the formative innovations that occur when one decides to move beyond their comfort zone.
Philadelphia based artist Jill Bonovitz has been creating ceramic vessels that straddle the line between utilitarian functionality and emotional representation. Fifteen years ago she began experimenting with wire sculpture; continuing to make similar vessels yet in way that explores negative spatial relationships. The artist states, “In the wire sculpture, I am creating the edges of what is not there; in clay, I am creating the essence of what is.” Bonovitz’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and is in the public collections of such institutions as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Arts and Design, New York.
My work begins from a silent place within me. It flows through my hands and into the clay. I am guided by touch and engagement with the material. Fifteen years ago I started to work with wire, separately but in addition to clay. The wire forms and clay vessels each inform the other even though they offer two very different experiences. In clay I am creating the essence of what is there and in wire I am creating the edges of what is not there.
New York based artist Toni Ross began working exclusively in clay ceramics in 1997 creating vernacular vessels that transcended pragmatic purpose and instead serve as commentary on containment as an abstract thought. Recently, Ross has moved to adhering clay alongside pastel and paint directly to paper to better portray the dimensionalities of the light and landscapes that surround her. Ross was born and raised in New York City. She attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT where she studied ceramics and graduated with a BA in film studies.
I often notice what remains, what is left behind.
'What Remains' is my latest body of work in which paper has become the carrier. Inspired by stains and traces of clay left on canvas and paper as part of my sculptural process, these drawings combine clay, other materials, to create tactile underpinnings beneath the clay’s surface. Reminiscent of my artistic process as a sculptor, these drawings continue to seek a connection to some ancient collective past that is only known to me through the act of their creation.
After spending many years being trained as a painter, New York based artist Carole Seborovski began working with clay with a hope that it would open new doors for her creatively. The forms in her work emphasize the texture, touch and the undulating quality of the coils while referencing spiritual and votive associations linked with the material. As Seborovski puts it, “I find it intriguing--to be looking for something outside of yourself yet what you find is yourself looking back.” Seborovski has exhibited extensively in New York and Europe since 1984 and is represented in the permanent collections of major museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY
Having been trained as a painter I wanted to explore working with a three-dimensional medium. I decided to work with clay because it allowed me to work spontaneously—mirroring the spontaneous process of my paintings and drawings.
I like the meditative quality of working with clay coils. The slow and deliberate pace of building coil upon coil gives me an intuitive feel for the developing form. Also, the pace of working with clay coils lends itself well to working with several pieces at a time- creating a familial link between the forms—each one unique yet related. I eventually developed large metal leafed sculptures- some single pieces as high as 4 feet and some stacked as high as 6 feet. It wasn’t until after I fired the sculptures that I recognized my forms had an affinity towards Hindu, Tibetan. Indonesian, Cambodian and African forms as well.