We live in a fractured world. I’ve always seen it as my role as an artist to attempt to make wholeness.—Anish Kapoor
Mindy Solomon is pleased to present a trio of gallery artists working primarily in the medium of clay. Pushing the boundaries of abstract expressionism through surface and form, each artist brings a unique perspective to the reasons behind their work and the resulting objects. Francie Bishop Good discusses her journey to this current exhibition:
“Working in clay has opened doors to a magical and quirky world. What seemingly started as a therapy to the tumultuous times, evolved into unconventional sculptures that act as both optimistic and protective forms. Spontaneously molding, coiling and pinching without any previous planning gives the role of chance, a primary force in my art making practice. After bisque firing, I begin the process of painting, and combining. The immediacy of vinyl and synthetic paints fulfills my childlike wonder. Paint might travel throughout my studio, onto a flat wood board that could become paired with a sculpture. In the end the dialogue between sculpture and painting becomes blurred. As with all the other forms of art that I have worked with, I invite the unruly and rawness in each media to find their voices. “ Andrew Casto utilizes his art practice in order to manage stress and create a sense of order.
“My current body of work involves an investigation into extant negative forces in our lives, and to what degree the phenomenological ramifications of stress shape us physically, mentally, and emotionally. The formal language present in this analysis is based on a material study of geologic processes translated into ceramic and mixed media objects, often referencing historical vessel form. I seek a purposeful link between macrocosmic environmental change, and interruptions in our otherwise routine existence. The foundation of this exploration is a desire to uncover the sublime in these moments of incongruity; the rush of presence into experience that might otherwise remain banal and ordinary, brought on by perceived inconvenience. My work asserts that it is possible for our daily vexations to illuminate the power of the present moment – something we all too often fail to notice.” Focusing on illumination, David Hicks continues to utilize nature as a source of inspiration and reflection.
“Why do we do, what we do? Why is it that I’m draw to the forms in the garden and the forms in the fields that surround my home? I have wondered things like this often and have settled on a few explanations, most notably of which is the fact that I’ve simply been conditioned to identify with them. They are the forms that I saw a child, and they are still the forms and shapes I see on my daily drive to and from. They are the visual dialect of my region. Like all people we are conditioned to our surrounding. Our surroundings influence our genetics, they influence our spoken language, and they instill in us a sense of our origins. These basic facts of regional influence and conditioning have defined me as a visualist and most impotently as an artist my surrounding have shaped my dialect of form. In accepting this premise of regional visual dialect, my works begins to take shape as a representation of language and region.
As a visualist I find myself looking out at the world surrounding me for insight. I am looking for answers that explain my experiences and my questions about life. I look to the fields for references that hint at the temporary and cyclical nature of life. I look to people as mirrors that explain the questions about my physical and emotional self. I am watcher of people and observer of the natural world around me. Without doubt I am intrigued by these elements that compose my visual language. At times I think of them as tools for navigation, the means to understand how to get from point to point. They are my personal dialect of form and how I speak. It is through objects and observations that I gather needed information to find my way. Like a collector the more of these objects and observations I amass, the more I have a sense of understanding and an ability to genuinely answer the questions that confront me. These objects and experiences are ever present and ready to be engaged. They are ripe for the harvested and appear to never exhaust.”
Upon further investigation of the pieces in the exhibition, one is drawn to the immediacy of mark making in all of the works. Bishop-Good’s wall pairings feel lose and gestural. The painterly liquidity both stark and playful against the uneven wooden paring forms. In contrast to this is the surface accumulations of Andrew Casto. Thick, textural, excessively layered, each work is a testament to his therapeutic use of material. David Hicks’ magical glaze applications are a thick bubbling cauldron of discovery. His experimentation with pigment and texture are a marvel.
It is truly a delight to bring these artists together. Three makers pushing the boundaries of contemporary ceramic creating a language wholly their own.
About the Artists
Andrew Casto (b. Ohio, USA, 1977) lives and works in Iowa City, USA. He was the 2011 MJD fellow at The Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Art in Helena, Montana, and has exhibited work internationally in Spain, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Belgium, New Zealand, China, Switzerland, France, and Japan. Casto was a recipient of a 2015 Emerging Artist award by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and was a finalist for the 2017 Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize with Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London. Casto has exhibited in over eighty group exhibitions, with recent solo exhibitions at Galleria Salvatore Lanteri in Milan, Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, and Eutectic Gallery in Portland. Casto is currently Associate Professor of Art and Program Head of Ceramics at The University of Iowa, as well as Adjunct Curator of Ceramics for The Stanley Museum of Art.
David Hicks (USA, b.1977) is an artist and educator who lives and works in his hometown of Visalia, California. This month, his ceramics will be exhibited in Wayfinding, Craft Contemporary’s Third Clay Biennial in Los Angeles. His work has most recently been on view for his solo exhibition, The Harvest at Diane Rosenstein Gallery in Hollywood California; and was recently included in More Clay: The Power of Repetition, curated by Rebecca Cross, at the American University Museum, Washington, D.C. (2022). David Hicks has received solo exhibitions with Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Los Angeles; Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami; and Edward Cella Art & Architecture, West Hollywood, CA. He received a BFA in Ceramic Arts from California State University Long Beach (2003) and an MFA in Ceramics from Alfred University, New York (2006). His work is in the collections of the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA), Pomona, CA; Arizona State University Museum, Tempe; Boise Museum of Art, Idaho; and the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies Collection in Washington, DC, among others.
Francie Bishop Good born Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Lives and works in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bishop Good received her BFA from University of Colorado and Masters of Education from Florida Atlantic University. Bishop Good is twice recipient of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship, and the State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship. Her museum solo shows include the Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL, Art and Culture Center, Hollywood, FL, and the Orlando Museum of Art in the Florida Prize exhibition. Bishop Good’s work is represented through Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, FL. Recent museum acquisitions include Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, The Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami, FL, Orlando Museum of Art, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL and the NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, FL.