A recurring feature, "Off the Wall" spotlights local curators and the works they most want to share with Pelican Bomb readers, drawing special attention to the state's diverse public collections.
Who: Jan Katz, Curator, The Center for Southern Craft and Design
Where: The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans
What: I wanted to share two pots by Mark Hewitt—a tough choice to make from his current exhibition, “Big-Hearted Pots.” Bulb, 2009, is a large wood-fired stoneware vase with white slip lines, pale glass runs, and an amber alkaline glaze. Curvy Curvaceous, 2009, is what we would call a “shapely sentinel” in the pottery world. It is salt-glazed, wood-fired stoneware with iron slip bands, yellow alkaline glaze, and a manganese-slipped cone finial. Both pots are over four feet tall!
When: The exhibition is on view at the Ogden until April 10, 2011.
Why: Walking between the pots is a solemn but magical experience. They have such presence! Try, on your visit, to be the only one in the gallery if you can. There’s a quotation on the wall of the gallery where the pots are installed, which I think says it all:
Pots are made out of clay But the hollow space in them makes the essence of the pot And the essence comes from an intangible something In the spirit of the potter Which he is able to blend into all his knowledge of throwing the glazing and the firing So that every piece from his hand is as much his own signature as his heartbeat Only then will the pot be good, that is alive And the more highly developed a potter is as a human being, the better his pot For there is no real beauty without character
Lao Tzu 6th Century A.D.