This exhibition, Permutations, is a collection of sculptural works from Renata Cassiano-Alvarez and Craig Hartenberger which explore the idea of creating or finding meaning through the exercise of establishing and exploring form. Cassiano-Alvarez explores this notion with more cleanly finished works which center around the idea of fluidity. Formally, this is expressed with tubes-like structures which bend and flow, arc and join, all creating assemblages of varying complexity. Cassiano-Alvarez uses a variety of glazes and firing techniques to create a multitude of surfaces for her sculptures. These works were made and fired in various countries, each taking the character of the local materials and processes.
Hartenberger, using the bare clay and a contrasting white slip to join elements together, presents works which show more directly the material qualities of clay and invoke a strong sense of assembly and incremental progress. Choosing to leave the contrasting slip visible between two pieces of joined clay, process and the weight of the hand are much more present. Material qualities of clay are again expressed as Hartenberger builds upon already fired ceramic, allowing the shrinking and movement of the material to remain unmasked. In a contest search for meaning through form, these two artists are most fundamentally asking the question of “what if” as they iterate to find a new ordering of familiar elements, a further permutation.
Renata-Cassiano Alvarez Statement
With my work, I look to capture moments of change and transition, moments that might be unfamiliar and unknown to our experience. I use the ceramic processes to explore the fluidity and contradictions in our perception of ourselves, others and the world around us. My sculptures reference a physicality of change and its different personalities as if it were a growing organism, constantly moving.
Renata Cassiano-Alvarez is a Mexican-Italian artist born in Mexico City. Cassiano works predominantly in the medium of clay but her background in painting and drawing takes a big part in her ceramic practice. Educated in Mexico and the US, she has had the opportunity to work in different clay environments from a ceramics factory in the north of Italy, a residency center in Denmark and with artists such as Nina Hole and Gustavo Perez. Her work has been exhibited in Mexico, USA, Denmark, Cuba, Japan, Australia, China and Hungary and can be found in public collections in China, Taiwan, Germany, Denmark, Latvia and Slovenia.
Craig Hartenberger is an artist who uses clay as his primary sculptural medium. Hartenberger’s work has been exhibited in a variety of exhibitions in the USA, Mexico, Denmark, Taiwan, and Australia as well as others and is in public collections in Denmark, Germany, Latvia, and Slovenia. From 2012 to 2016 Hartenberger worked as an assistant to the late Danish artist Nina Hole while building her large-scale fire sculptures. Hartenberger worked with Hole and her team to build five sculptures during this time and now serves as representative for her estate.