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New Work by Robert Fornell September 6 - October 6, 2012 Cavin-Morris Gallery New York, New York


Robert Fornell Artist Statement:

NEW WORK BY ROBERT FORNELL September 6 – October 6, 2012 Cavin-Morris Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Seattle ceramic artist Robert Fornell. We have shown Mr. Fornell’s work for a number of years, in particular his teaware and sakeware, which, while paying the respect due to traditional Japanese form and content, have always pushed the envelope in surface and style. In this small but entirely representative exhibition we will continue with some of the tea and sake sculptural forms with new variations as well as a new series of flat chargers in stark black and white that challenge the boundaries between glaze and painting. Rob Fornell’s work has an immediate recognizability and a deep affinity with Asian spiritual practices. His work is known, respected and appreciated in Japan and Korea. This will be his first oneperson exhibition in New York City.

While I have been working with clay for close to some 30 years, lately my work has taken two divergent yet closely related paths, that of works for Chanoyu, or the Japanese tea ceremony as well as a separate set of expressions which are more sculptural and abstract in nature. Regarding the tea ware, styles of older chawan from which I find inspiration include Shino, Hagi, and Karatsu as well as old Korean wares. The approach I take is simple, to find and use materials in a raw state and then step back and let the fire and clay have their voice or dialogue; preferring to consciously assume the role of that of the enabler rather than the creator. In my work, I tend to keep the forms fairly simple and strong in hopes to provide a canvas for interaction of the glaze, slip, and fire. While respecting the various genres of the past I am also interested in expanding the vernacular of chatou, or tea ceremony ceramics, in a contemporary sense as witnessed by the development of a black Shino glaze, which evolved from Nezumi Shino, as well as my current use a combination of black and white glazes which French artist Claude Champy originated and I have altered to suit my needs. The wall chargers, which are a relatively new direction for me that I started a few years ago, have their roots reaching back some 20 years. When living in Japan, I would frequently escape the frenzy of Tokyo by taking refuge in the Ueno no Mori Museum where I would spend hours in front of the calligraphy/brush paintings found within. Drawn to the power of the brushwork as well as the idea of working with one color, black, on a white ground I became fascinated with the simplicity of the medium. This interest deepened when I had the opportunity to exhibit in Yamaguchi with brush painter Kishino Naohito in 1996 and realized with a degree of envy, as a potter with kilns, wheels, and tons of materials stockpiled, how rooted and immobile I was in comparison. Thus for many years I thought, “In my next life I will be an ink painter”. Concurrently, and perhaps it was due to my work making pieces for the table where the food was the “star” and not the piece it was served on, my color palette moved more towards neutral colors such as soft whites and a variety of nuanced blacks. In contrast to the directness of ink on paper, working on clay tends to be more indirect due to the processes involved with the potential for structural alteration of the ground as seen via fissuring and warping of the clay as well as the “burn” of the glaze all of which are unattainable with ink on paper. This powerful transformation within the kiln is further encouraged via how the pieces are loaded and the firing cycle/atmosphere. Over the past year or so, the tragic events of March 2011 in Japan have weighed heavily on my heart and I continue to carry a deep concern for all affected. Some of the works here are tied directly to those feelings with my goal being to try to create works that while referencing the past, are contemporary in their expression and concern, which function to bind us in the expression of our humanity at this moment.


Guinomi

Black /White Hot Guinomi, 2012 Ceramic 2.75 x 2.5 x 2.25 inches 7 x 6.4 x 5.7 cm RFo 101


Black /White Hot Guinomi, 2012 Ceramic 2.25 x 2.75 x 2.5 5 x 7 x 6.5 cm RFo 102

Black /White Hot Guinomi, 2012 Ceramic 3 x 2.75 x 2.5 inches 7.6 x 7 x 6.4 cm RFo 103


White Carved Guinomi, 2012 Ceramic 2 x 2.25 x 3 inches 5.1 x 5.7 x 7.6 cm RFo 96

White Carved Guinomi, 2012 Ceramic 2.25 x 3 x 2.5 inches 5.7 x 7.6 x 6.4 cm RFo 97


White Carved Guinomi, 2012 Ceramic 2.75 x 2.25 x 3 inches 7 x 5.7 x 7.6 cm RFo 98

White Carved Guinomi, 2012 Ceramic 1.5 x 2.25 x 3.25 inches 3.8 x 5.7 x 8.3 cm RFo 99


White Carved Guinomi, 2012 Ceramic 1.75 x 3 x 2.5 inches 4.4 x 7.6 x 6.4 cm RFo 100

Black Angle Guinomi, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 1.75 x 2.75 x 4 inches 4.4 x 7 x 10.2 cm RFo 104


Black Angle Guinomi, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 1.5 x 3.75 x 2.25 inches 3.8 x 9.5 x 5.7 cm RFo 105

Black Angle Guinomi, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 2.75 x 3.25 x 2 inches 7 x 8.3 x 5.1 cm RFo 106


Black Angle Guinomi, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 2.75 x 3 x 2 inches 7 x 7.6 x 5.1 cm RFo 107

Black Angle Guinomi, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 2.5 x 3 x 2 inches 6.4 x 7.6 x 5.1 cm RFo 108


Black Angle Guinomi, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 2.5 x 2.5 x 1.875 inches 6.4 x 6.4 x 4.8 cm RFo 109

Black Angle Guinomi, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 1.5 x 1.375 x 4.25 inches 3.8 x 3.5 x 10.8 cm RFo 110


Pink Angle Guinomi, 2012 Porcelain 2.5 x 3.75 x 1.75 inches 6.4 x 9.5 x 4.4 cm RFo 112

Pink Angle Guinomi, 2012 Porcelain 2.75 x 2.25 x 2.5 inches 7 x 5.7 x 6.4 cm RFo 113


Pink Angle Guinomi, 2012 Porcelain 2.5 x 3 x 2 inches 6.4 x 7.6 x 5.1 cm RFo 114


Katakuchi

Katakuchi, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 2.75 x 4.25 x 2.5 inches 7 x 10.8 x 6.4 cm RFo 71


Chawan

Katakuchi, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 2.5 x 4.5 x 2.25 inches 6.4 x 11.4 x 5.7 cm RFo 72


Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 3.5 x 5.5 x 4.75 inches 8.9 x 14 x 12.1 cm RFo 62


Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 3.5 x 5.5 x 5.25 inches 8.9 x 14 x 13.3 cm RFo 63


Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 3.75 x 4.25 x 4.3 inches 9.5 x 10.8 x 10.9 cm RFo 64


Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 3.75 x 4.75 x 4.5 inches 9.5 x 12.1 x 11.4 cm RFo 65


Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 4 x 4.5 x 4.25 inches 10.2 x 11.4 x 10.8 cm RFo 66


Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 4.8 x 4 x 4.25 inches 12.2 x 10.2 x 10.8 cm RFo 67


Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 4 x 4 x 4 inches 10.2 x 10.2 x 10.2 cm RFo 68


Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 3.75 x 5.5 x 5.25 inches 9.5 x 14 x 13.3 cm RFo 69


Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 3.5 x 5 x 4.75 inches 8.9 x 12.7 x 12.1 cm RFo 70


White Carved Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 4 x 4 x 4.25 inches 10.2 x 10.2 x 10.8 cm RFo 92


White Carved Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 3.25 x 4.5 x 5 inches 8.3 x 11.4 x 12.7 cm RFo 94


White Carved Chawan, 2012 Ceramic 4 x 5 x 4.5 inches 10.2 x 12.7 x 11.4 cm RFo 93


Stealth (set of 6), 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 3.5 x 5.5 x 4.75 inches 8.9 x 14 x 12.1 cm RFo 60a-f * Also available individually

Chawan, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 4 x 4.5 x 4.25 inches 10.2 x 11.4 x 10.8 cm RFo 60a


Chawan, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 4 x 4.5 x 4.25 inches 10.2 x 11.4 x 10.8 cm RFo 60b

Chawan, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 4 x 4.5 x 4.25 inches 10.2 x 11.4 x 10.8 cm RFo 60c


Chawan, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 4 x 4.5 x 4.25 inches 10.2 x 11.4 x 10.8 cm RFo 60d

Chawan, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 4 x 4.5 x 4.25 inches 10.2 x 11.4 x 10.8 cm RFo 60e


Chawan, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 4 x 4.5 x 4.25 inches 10.2 x 11.4 x 10.8 cm RFo 60f


Chargers

Charger (Sun & Moon), 2012 Ceramic (Moon) 26.5 x 20.5 x 2 inches 67.3 x 52.1 x 5.1 cm (Sun)27 x 20.5 x 2 inches 68.6 x 52.1 x 5.1 cm RFo 84


Charger, 2012 Ceramic 26.5 x 20 x 2 inches 67.3 x 50.8 x 5.1 cm RFo 85

Charger, 2012 Ceramic 26.5 x 20 x 2 inches 67.3 x 50.8 x 5.1 cm RFo 86


Charger, 2012 Ceramic 26 x 20 x 2.75 inches 66 x 50.8 x 7 cm RFo 87

Charger (Set of 3), 2012 Ceramic (each)20 x 27 x 2.25 inches 50.8 x 68.6 x 5.7 cm RFo 89


Mizusashi

Tengu Mizusashi, 2012 Ceramic 8.25 x 7.5 x 8 inches 21 x 19.1 x 20.3 cm RFo 76


Tengu Mizusashi, 2012 Ceramic 6.75 x 8 x 8.5 inches 17.1 x 20.3 x 21.6 cm RFo 77

Tengu Mizusashi, 2012 Ceramic 7.75 x 7 x 7.5 inches 19.7 x 17.8 x 19.1 cm RFo 78


Black Iron Mizusashi , 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 7 x 8 x 7 inches 17.8 x 20.3 x 17.8 cm RFo 79

Black Iron Mizusashi, 2012 Porcelain, black glaze 7.825 x 8 x 6 inches 19.9 x 20.3 x 15.2 cm RFo 80


White Shino Mizusashi, 2002 Ceramic, white Shino glaze 6.5 x 7.87 inches 16.5 x 20 cm RFo 90

Black/White Facetted Mizusashi, 2012 Ceramic, white Shino glaze 6.5 x 7.87 inches 16.5 x 20 cm RFo 91


Objects

Incense burner/ Small jar, 2012 Ceramic 3.25 x 2.25 x 2 inches 8.3 x 5.7 x 5.1 cm RFo 61


Incense burner/Small Jar, 2012 Ceramic 2.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches 6.4 x 8.9 x 8.9 cm RFo 73

Object, 2003 Ceramic, Sandblasted Shino glaze 10 x 11.75 x 5 inches 25.4 x 29.8 x 12.7 cm RFo 81


Heart Shaped Shino Kaki, 2001 Ceramic, Shino glaze 8.66 x 16.54 inches 22 x 42 cm RFo 82

Saucer, 2003 Ceramic, Black Shino glaze 5.51 x 23.62 inches 14 x 60 cm RFo 83


Education:

Bachelor of Fine Arts – Summa cum Laude, University of Minnesota Master of Fine Arts – University of Washington

Selected Exhibitions:

The Urasenke Foundation - Seattle, The Parsons School of Design - New York, The Otis Art Institute - Los Angeles, The William Traver Gallery, Seattle, The International Tableware Festival - Tokyo, The Ichikawa Prefectural Art Museum - Kanazawa, The Kintetsu/Matsushita Gallery - Yamaguchi Prefecture, “The Shape of Tea” - The Art Complex Museum Boston, “Works by American Potters” – Omotesenke Chakai at Daitokuji Kyoto, “Totally Teabowls 2” – The Oakwood Gallery England, “International Chawan Expo” – Antwerp Belgium, “Ikebana X” – Pottery NW Seattle, “Tea Beyond Japan Conference” sponsored by the San Francisco Zen Center, “Mizusashi” The Art Complex Museum Boston, “Biennial 2010” The Bellevue Art Museum, The Second Annual North American Clay Invitational – Seattle, The Nevica Project – Chicago, Cavin Morris Gallery - New York, Traditional Teabowl Exhibition – Mungyeon, Korea, “International Chawan Exposition” – Boston, “Teaware From the Edge” – NCECA – Tacoma Community College, Tacoma WA, “Robert Fornell Recent Works” solo exhibition – NCECA – Seattle Design Center, Seattle WA, “Tea Ceramics” The Art League Gallery, Washington DC, “A Kindred Spirit” Lacoste Gallery, Concord MA

Selected Collections:

The Mungyeon Ceramics Museum, Mungyeon, Korea Oregon State University, Corvallis OR The Art Complex Museum, Boston MA The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA The Urasenke Foundation, Seattle WA Dr. Joseph Monsen Collection, Seattle WA Higashida Shigemasa, Tokyo Japan Robert Yellin, Kyoto, Japan Sonny Kamm Teapot Collection, USA Gary Cadwallader, Urasenke Foundation, Kyoto, Japan

S e l e c t e d G a l l e ry R e p r e s e n t a t i o n : Sanwado – Tokyo, Japan The Oakwood Gallery – Nottinghamshire, England Cavin-Morris Gallery – New York Stewart-Kummer Gallery – California Utsuwakan Gallery – Kyoto Japan

Copyright © 2012 Cavin-Morris Gallery Cavin-Morris Gallery 210 Eleventh Ave, Ste. 201 New York, NY 10001 t. 212 226 3768 www.cavinmorris.com Catalogue design: Mimi Kano Photography: Jurate Vicerate


New Work by Robert Fornell