Monday, December 14, 2009

Cheryl Ann Thomas @ Nancy Margolis Gallery

I got a kick out of the way California sculptor Cheryl Ann Thomas refers to herself as the "world's oldest emerging artist" in an interview I saw among the press materials at the Margolis gallery. She seems to be in her early 60's, and just fairly recently getting noticed and showing regularly.

These pieces, all called relics are made of incredibly fine coils of porcelain, and are about 24" across - give or take. Black or gray coloration is a result of additions to the clay body; the works are unglazed. She builds up a relatively stable, vertical vessel shape which will then slump in the firing. In a second firing, she will sometimes put two pieces in proximity to let them meld in a second firing. I was more interested in the way these 2-part pieces formed a relationship than I was in the single, grayish wall piece. Skeins of wool, cocoon husks, dried leaves were some of the shapes that these reminded me of. Nice stuff.

Nancy Margolis Gallery is at 523 West 23rd Street.

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