EDWARD EBERLE RETROSPECTIVE
June 16, 2017 — September 2, 2017
In the Main Gallery
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to present the first career retrospective of work by Pittsburgh-based ceramic artist, Edward Eberle (b. 1944, Tarentum, PA). Over the past three decades, Eberle has explored and tested the limits of porcelain, with his prolific body of work ranging from classically inspired vessels to altered and deconstructed sculptures. The retrospective brings works from the mid-1980s to the present into dialogue, allowing visitors to discover the timeless and intriguing work of a true master. Comprised of over 40 works, the show highlights the evolution of Eberle’s exquisite forms and fragmented dreamlike imagery by featuring both his trademark porcelain work, as well as a series of works on paper. Audiences will see paper-thin wheel-thrown vessels of both closed and open forms, as well as more conceptual pieces from the early 2000s. The exhibition culminates with examples of the artist’s most recent mixed-media sculptures and large paper cylinders.
“Looking back at earlier work has been revealing,” notes Eberle. “I see that some periods have been particularly strong, and I’m learning from them all over again. I’m appreciating where the work has gone, but I’m very careful not to look back too hard. My work has to be right now, in the present. I keep the Retrospective at a distance, while still appreciating it.”
Using black and white terra sigillata to embellish the surface and create contrasting images, patterns, and textures, Eberle then paints his works with elaborately interlinked human, animal, and celestial forms. “As soon as that black hit the white, I knew what I had been hunting for,” the artist recalls, discovering what would become his signature method. “And I had been hunting for a long time.”
Eberle’s ceramics are influenced by the Oribe and Kutani periods in Japan, the black-on-white Mimbre bowls of Southwestern New Mexico, and Pysanky (Ukranian Easter eggs). His painting and sculpture influences include the works of Picasso, Miro, Duchamp, Klee, and de Kooning, among others.
HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall commented, “As the third venue on a national tour of the exhibition, HCCC is excited to partner with the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh to bring Edward Eberle’s work to Houston. Eberle’s paper-thin vessels are enchantingly beautiful. Drawing from stream-of-consciousness, the black and white imagery in his pieces stirs the imagination and showcases his exceptional skill.”
Edward Eberle Retrospective was organized by the Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Born in Tarentum, PA, in 1944, Edward Eberle received his B.S. in 1967 at Edinboro State College (Edinboro, PA). After completing his M.F.A. at New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University (Alfred, NY) in 1972, under the guidance of master artists Ted Randall, Daniel Rhodes, Val Cushing, Bob Turner and Bill Parry in sculpture and John Wood in drawing, Eberle joined the faculty at Philadelphia College of Art (Philadelphia, PA). He was later hired as an associate professor in ceramics and drawing (1975-1985) at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA). In 1985, he established a studio in Millvale, PA, where he worked as a studio artist in ceramics and drawing for 26 years, until 2010. He has been in his current studio, located in the Homestead section of Pittsburgh, since 2012. In addition to being represented in a number of museum collections, his work has been featured in numerous solo shows in New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, including two exhibitions at the Carnegie Museum of Art (1980 and 1991) and one at the Columbus Museum of Art (1999).
About Society for Contemporary Craft
Presenting contemporary art in craft media by regional, national, and international artists since 1971, the Society for Contemporary Craft (SCC) offers cutting-edge exhibitions focusing on multicultural diversity and non-mainstream art, as well as a range of studio workshops, community outreach programs, and a retail store. Through its mission of engaging the public in creative experiences through contemporary craft, SCC offers meaningful art opportunities for more than 145,000 people a year through four core values: providing vital support for artists, filling critical gaps in public education, sharing cross-cultural perspectives, and using art to build community. SCC is located at 2100 Smallman Street in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit www.contemporarycraft.org.
Image credits: (1) Edward Eberle, “A Dream,” 1985. Porcelain, terra sigillata. 3½ x 3¾ x 3¾ inches. Photo by Adam Milliron. (2) Edward Eberle, “Catching Water Fetching Breath,” 2007. Porcelain, terra sigillata. 9¾ x 17¼ x 16¾ inches. Photo by Adam Milliron. (3) Edward Eberle, “Chest,” 1993. Porcelain, terra sigillata. 10¼ x 16 x 14 inches. Photo by Adam Milliron. (4) Edward Eberle, “City Man with a Cat,” 1986. Porcelain, terra sigillata. 1 x 10 x 10 inches. Photo by Adam Milliron. (5) Edward Eberle, “Cylinder 1121,” 2016. Paper. 42½ x 21½ x 21½ inches. Photo by Adam Milliron. (6) Edward Eberle, “The Delight of Bending a Line,” 1996. Porcelain, terra sigillata. 2½ x 5½ x 1 inches. Photo by Adam Milliron. (7) Edward Eberle, “Down by the Stream,” 2001. Porcelain, terra sigillata. 2 ¾ x 18 ½ inches. Photo by Adam Milliron. (8) Edward Eberle, “Eros and King,” 1992. Porcelain, terra sigillata. 12½ x 6¾ x 6¾ inches. Photo by Adam Milliron. (9) Edward Eberle, “Extramural,” 2000. Porcelain, terra sigillata. 18 x 11½ x 11½ inches. Photo by Adam Milliron.