Ceramics and civilization are historically bonded. Beyond practical use in their own time, ceramics have served as a major signifier of the art and culture of a people. In an age where it is no longer a functional necessity, ceramic art takes on renewed importance. CLAYFORMS exhibits three ceramic artists who play on the relationship between ceramic forms and their signification in strikingly unique ways. David Haskell, Lucien Petit, and Rosanne Sniderman invoke a range of stylistic concepts – modernist, organic, brutalist, and primitive. Each artist fashions compelling pieces that boldly insist on being something other than purely utilitarian.

David Haskell’s asymmetrical assemblages seem to defy not only practicality but at times equilibrium, echoing nature’s more off-kilter wonders. Lucien Petit’s monolithic sculptures are theoretical dwelling places, evoking mysterious signs of an unseen presence. Roseanne Sniderman’s sculptures and vessels, meanwhile, dynamically inhabit their own forms with a material force at once organic and engineered. Taken together, CLAYFORMS comprises a body of quietly monumental works – not in scale, but rather as signifiers – mini “Stonehenges” that puzzle, intrigue, and perhaps say something unexpected about our world.

The Artists

Having spent considerable time creating pots to accommodate cacti, David Haskell’s recent sculptural works defy container conventions. He engages nature’s elements in determining the final form and look of his pieces, allowing for balance and imbalance to startling effect. An editor at New York Magazine, Haskell creates his works at Sculpture Space in Long Island City as well as on Shelter Island.

Lucien Petit lives and works just outside of La Borne, France, renowned as a pottery center since the 13th century. He trained in industrial ceramics and in his early work produced small, rudimentary houses and shelters. This theme of dwelling and abode has continued to inform his sculptures in a more abstract but no less forceful way, putting his technical expertise at the service of his distinctive vision.

A former apprentice of renowned American ceramist Betty Woodman, New England based Rosanne Sniderman explores form, scale, surface, and texture in sensual pieces that evoke anthropomorphic and other organic forms. Her work is also informed by garden traditions and the contexts of outdoor/indoor space. She has exhibited nationwide and is represented exclusively by Donzella LTD.