Thursday, October 11, 2007

Stoneware sublime

The play of light in Marilyn Price’s ceramic landscape at left reminds me of my trip to Italy last fall and I’m curious to see what the rest of her work looks like. We’re all in luck because she’s exhibiting at RiverWinds Gallery, 172 Main Street in Beacon, from Saturday through November 5.

RiverWinds Gallery features traditional fine art and contemporary crafts including ceramics, pottery, cards, paintings, photography, jewelry, apparel, and home décor created by Hudson Valley artists. Gallery hours are Wednesdays through Mondays, from noon to 6 p.m., and to 9 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month. (The opening artist reception takes place this Saturday, from 5-8 p.m.)

Here’s how she describes her art:

Ms. Price's colorist inclinations in glazing derive from her approach to painting. These landscapes reflect the tying together of two areas which have occupied much of her artistic exploration. She thinks of these clay tile surfaces much as one might think of a canvas. These landscapes, with their layered glazes are an attempt to blur the traditional distinctions between painting on canvas, and glazing on clay or using color on clay tiles.

Because many stoneware glazes are just shades of white, tan, or gray in their unfired state, Ms. Price needs a mental image of the landscape in order to proceed with the glazing, especially during the first stages. When finished, these landscapes are firmly mounted on wood backings and grouted with matching colors to give the final effect. The sensual surfaces, colors, and textures created by clay and glaze create visual and tactile equivalents of the artist's experience of nature.

In this same spirit she has made other wall pieces with small handmade tiles. In this process, small damp, unfired tiles are pressed into powdered, colored porcelain, fired to stoneware, then formed into compositions. Many subtleties are inherent in the exploration of color and texture in this technique.

Ms. Price’s background in art includes intensive under graduate study in painting at Cooper Union and NYU, and graduate studies at NYU and Columbia. After many years as a painter and art educator, she became involved in ceramics. Her accomplishments in this area include extensive work on the potter's wheel, and hand building sculptured vessels and wall pieces. Ms. Price's work is in galleries and private collections throughout the valley.

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