• Humanity Comes Undone

    Date posted: September 4, 2012 Author: jolanta

    In Come Undone, a new exhibition displaying the new body of work by sculptor Beth Cavener Stichter, the artist cleverly selects animal forms as human surrogates. Using their nonthreatening images, devoid of specified associations, she is able to convey relatable stories and emotions we might otherwise dismiss out of hand.

    Cavener Stichter cajoles the viewer into looking at the darker side of the human condition by cloaking it in animal skin.

     

    Beth Caverner Stichter, The Question That Devours, 2012. 64 x 35 x 25 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

    Humanity Comes Undone

     

    In Come Undone, a new exhibition displaying the new body of work by sculptor Beth Cavener Stichter, the artist cleverly selects animal forms as human surrogates. Using their nonthreatening images, devoid of specified associations, she is able to convey relatable stories and emotions we might otherwise dismiss out of hand.

    In these seductive, large-scale works made from clay, Cavener Stichter cajoles the viewer into looking at the darker side of the human condition by cloaking it in animal skin. Her subjects elicit empathy, expressing complex emotions and relationships while permitting us to finally examine humanity closely enough to fully consider it — and to connect on a rare personal level.

    It is the artist’s extraordinary interventions into the typical ceramic process that make her work iconic. Each piece is testimony to a truly innovative studio practice. While the properties of her chosen medium enable her an eloquence of form and surface unavailable through other media, she pushes the process further through a construction both delicate and time consuming. She begins with a solid block of terra cotta, taking care to create her signature “painterly” sweeping strokes in the clay. Cavener Stichter then cuts the work into small, manageable sections, severing the limbs and torso at the joints to re-work and re-articulate the musculature, skin, and fur. The next step is to painstakingly hollow out each section until it is very thin and thus fires to an extreme strength. After the kiln, she re-assembles the pieces and paints the finished work.

    Come Undone is on view at Claire Oliver Gallery from 13 September through 20 October.

     

     

     

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