Thursday, August 2, 2012

YESTERDAY & TODAY opens to public AUG 10

Finally it is happening, this years August exhibition opens next week. The theme for this year's exhibition is Yesterday and Today. with participating artists having sent an early piece and a contemporary piece. It is shaping up to be an exciting exhibition and as usual the excitement starts for us as the work arrives in the gallery. We are introducing three new artists to the gallery. Bruce Taylor (Ontario), Samantha Dickie (British Columbia) and Kirsten Abrahamson (Ontario). They are three exceptional artists each presenting a totally different aesthetic.

Bruce Taylor work for Yesterday & Today
Clorox bottle is 38" tall
I have admired Bruce Taylor's work for years and it is wonderful to finally have his work in the gallery. We did have one of his monumental sculptural works arrive a couple of months ago and for the exhibition he has sent three incredible works that I just love ranging from the 38" Clorox bottle to the relatively diminutive yogurt container (not pictured) at 17" high. They just blow me away. As you can see from the bottle on the right there are figures all around the bottle. The bottle on the right is also decorated but the images are more difficult to see in this photo.

Kirsten Abrahamson historical work
for Yesterday & Today
The picture above depicts Kirsten Abrahamson's graduating piece from the Alberta College of Art. Apparently it made quite a stir at the year end show a few decades ago. Kirsten say that there was a line-up of professors ogling it at the opening. I had an artist in yesterday from BC and he named all six of the professors about to be devoured in this art student take on Goya. It is really quite wonderful. Similarly is 'Gloria' the Abrahamson update done specifically for this exhibition.
"Gloria" the 21st century update on the Goyaesque
sculpture done by Kirsten for her graduating show.
Don't you just love "Gloria"? She is the updated version of the graduation piece. Note the six skulls in the right hand. This work is fabulous. I think Kirsten was way ahead of her time when she started doing her 'bots' (ceramic robot figures). We received five in December and they sold in a couple of hours. i think Gloria will find a good home on opening night!
Pieced Together Man #5

I really have to tell you about Sally Michener's Pieced Together Men of which this is #5. Pieced together man #1 was in last year's Matter of Clay III exhibition. It was snapped up very quickly by two very astute London collectors. While lolling about with a red dot it was seen by another London collector on his first visit to the gallery. He enquired about the price and said he would like to know when the next piece came in. I knew there were two more so I called Sally and she agreed to send another.
Pieced Together Man #2
Enter Pieced Together Man #2. 

So Sally agrees to send on #2. I give the interested collector a call to tell him it is in transit and if he comes in on the Friday he will be probably the first to see it. This was on a Tuesday. On Wednesday I was talking with a client in Vancouver who asked me if anything exciting was coming in. I tell him about #2 and he asks for an image. So given the Internet age I send it off to him and he gets to see it while we are talking. "Nice" says he. "Is it sold?" "Not yet but there is a chap interested." "I'll take it!" says he and so when it arrives we don't even open the crate and it is air shipped BACK to Vancouver. So he missed out again. No problem as Pieced Together Woman was on her way. It arrived a couple of weeks later on a Friday and Brian unpacked it. It was equally spectacular. This time a new collector happened to see it. He had earlier bemoaned the  fact that being a late baby boomer he had missed out on The Group of Seven, Painters Eleven and waterfront property. I told him to pay attention to art level ceramics. He saw the head and loved it. He and his wife had just bought a Walter Dexter vase. He was sitting debating about getting the head. "Jonathon, I feel under the gun to make a decision." "Don't worry about it. Come back next week and if it is here it is meant to be." "it won't be here next week. I'll take it!"

Pieced Together Man #3

Well yet again the original collector missed out. When he next came in i was a bit embarrassed. "Listen, next time I won't even show anyone else." "Not to worry - Next one to come in - I'll take it!" and he did! 
Pieced Together Man #4

To say that Sally's work has been popular would be an understatement. The truth of the matter is I honestly believe clay is about to get its place in the sun. The number of new collectors getting interested in collecting is growing steadily and they are willing to step out of the traditional collecting mode and are embracing the edgy. It is an exciting time to be selling ceramics and an exciting time to be collecting.

Okay folks that is enough for now. More on Yesterday and Today tomorrow!