June 16, 2012 — August 11, 2012
In the Artist Hall
Opening Reception: Friday, June 15, 2012
5:30, Artist Talk by David Katz
6:00 – 7:00, Reception
This summer, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft presents Systemic Expansion, a large-scale, site-specific installation by sculptor David Katz, in the Artist Hall. In this fantastic ceramic landscape, coils of unfired clay stand in for the infrastructure that connects us, from the sweep and sway of power lines—so ubiquitous as to be easily forgotten—to the gossamer of social networks, whose invisible threads have bound us in their web of encoded interactions (“Like,” “Friend” and “+1”). These undulating, quasi-figural lines are in stark contrast to the sharp grid-like structures, at once suggestive of houses and prisons, which anchor and shelter them.
Katz works in an abstract idiom to capture the complexity of the relationship between people and the environments they create. Starting with “the apparent human need to alter our surroundings, fabricating artificial environments that suit our needs,” Katz investigates the complexity of living, “within our own constructed realities and built spaces.” But it is not just the ephemeral networks of the internet and Facebook that inspire Katz’s expansive, subtly colored, airily constructed works. Rather, development patterns of urban sprawl, suburbia and colonization shape and inform his installations, drawing parallels between the seen and unseen, the shape of our buildings and brains, and the complicated systems which connect and flow between them.
Curatorial Fellow, Susie Silbert comments, “It is an honor to be showcasing the work of a young artist who moves so adeptly among content, form and material. Katz’s embrace of the idiosyncrasies of the Artist Hall have made the exhibition breathtaking to behold.”
David Katz is a 2012 MFA recipient from the University of Indiana-Bloomington in Ceramics and was recently accepted into the prestigious Artist-in-Residence program at Arrowmont School of Art and Craft in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Post-Baccalaureate certificate from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He has also completed residencies at the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Skaelskor, Denmark, and Greenwich House Pottery in New York, NY. Katz has recently shown at the Grunwald Gallery of Art, Bloomington, IN; The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA; The Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI; Keramic-Biennale 2011,Varazdin, Croatia; Schacht Gallery, Saratoga Clay Art Center, Schuylerville, NY; and the Internationale Keramik-BIiennale, Kapfenberg, Austria.
Above image: David Katz, Suburban Trap. Ceramic, glaze, wire and unfired clay. 2012. Photo by David Katz.