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CAVIN-MORRIS GALLERY NEW YORK, NEW YORK


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A L C L E B E R


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AY NEK CHAND CHRISSY CALLAS PETER CORDOVA BURGESS DULANEY RICARD ESTELLA BESSIE HARVEY JASMIN JOSPEH KAZUMI KAMAE SYLVIA KATUSZEWSKI JIM MCDOWELL MELVIN EDWARD NELSON NEPAL DAVID PARSONS KEVIN SAMPSON JIMMY LEE SUDDUTH SYLVESTER STEPHENS EUGENE VON BRUENCHENHEIN STRAIPH WILSON MASAMI YAMAGIWA


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“REBEL CLAY”

One can look at a landscape a million times, completely comfortable in its familiarity, and suddenly one day something catches your eye, something that was always there but never demanded your attention. After seeing it, the landscape is never again the same. Ceramics have been with us forever. From the quiet perfection of an earthenware cup, to the ubiquitous urns that hold grains and liquids in every culture, ceramics have been present in every time period. Stretches of the postmodern imagination in ceramic form are now a staple of contemporary galleries. In or out of vogue, ceramics are handmaidens to the human condition. Ceramics are no longer expected to be functional. We accept whatever form they may take that the artist and craftsman may choose. Functional ceramics can still be art, and art can still be functional. All of which is to say there is now definitively a ceramic mainstream. Cavin-Morris Gallery works in a field that is predominantly outside the mainstream. This non-mainstream work in particular is hard to brand-- it has never been successfully done, whether it is referred to as Art Brut with its implied “purity,” or the inadequate sobriquet of Outsider. The genre, forever restless, refuses to be pinned down. Category criteria become totally subjective, the art is inevitably described and never fully defined. This is a terrible and beautiful situation. Our early approach to making categories when looking at non-mainstream art has proven reliable and true. We ask, and attempt to determine the answer to a deceptively simple question: who is it made for? The answer has nothing to do with quality or legitimacy. The answer has only to do with OUR needs for some kind of specialization. When that answer eliminates the art world mainstream, our interest is piqued, our eye is engaged, and we look closely. This exhibition could be done again with completely different artists. We could easily have included the skulls of James Son Thomas, Juanita Rogers’ feral sculptures, or Georgia Blizzard’s deeply personal portraits. When choosing the artists for this exhibition, we can pun and say we have decided to work from the ground up. It was the plasticity of the material itself that fascinated us. Nek Chand’s concrete figures for example, are not clay exactly, but sculpture formed from malleable material that sprang from the earth. The Photo-Genetic series of Melvin Edward Nelson consist of colored earth pigments gathered from under the runners of interplanetary vehicles that landed on his property, spread on paper, laid out flat on a board, sheet or glass. He added water, and let the electromagnetic forces of the earth create what he felt was a depiction and recording of the birth of a planetary body being born. The Nepalese masks in the exhibition are made from a mixture of mud, clay and cow dung in individualistic manifestations of an ecstatic spirit drawn directly from Nature. No artist in this show made his or her work to fulfill an art world agenda. In fact no two artists in this exhibition made their work for the same reasons. Eugene Von Breunchenhein made his ethereal pieces as part of a magic kingdom he lived in with his wife Marie. He was able to manipulate and control the botany he soloved into crowns, vessels and votive objects in an illuminated personal Court.


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Burgess Dulaney’s simply worked and unfired sculptures are both dignified and abstract. He found time to create despite a hardscrabble life farming subsistence crops, outside the realm of literacy and schooling. His work evokes images of proto-humans, and fantasy animals.  They are timeless. Yet, for all their seeming simplicity they are poignant and deep human in their expressions. They manifest the quiet humor of people who have struggled to survive and the pain and love and hardship is sometimes reflected only in the hardness of their hands and the softness of their eyes. Bessie Harvey did not make many ceramics, but when she did they were further demonstrations of her Conjure world of African American spirits and her conscious invocations of ancestors. Ceramics were a direct form for her to quickly communicate her iconography to a three-dimensional shape. The pieces are never about anything but her hard earned visionary interpretations of the spiritual and natural world. Jim McDowell is the only artist in this exhibition who makes utilitarian ceramics in addition to pursuing a notso-covert ceramic form that explores his ancestral memories and legacy.  His spirit jugs consciously refer to altars and the Kongo cemetery complex that became sacred memorial objects made by slaves and freedmen in the US and Caribbean. He was inspired by a Jamaican relative who had been enslaved, and by the original face pots and poems of David Drake. If we step back and look at the whole cottage industry of face jugs, so ironically appropriated from the early African American face jugs of David Drake and his enslaved brethren, (an important and fascinating American story unto itself) we see that Jim McDowell has reclaimed the form from the white cottage industry it has become. His work is moral and political, and he uses his pieces to confront racism and hatred by expanding the visual vocabulary of the original jugs. He is the only African-American spirit jug maker in the United States. All sculptures by Kevin Sampson, familiar to us from what we can see in the collections of the Newark Museum, Intuit in Chicago, and the American Folk Art Museum in New York, would have worked well in this exhibition because of his “secret” formula of cement and glue that is actually a sculpting medium.  Instead we decided to introduce some of the results of his recent residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts and Industry program.  Sampson experimented with his themes of cultural resistance and ancestral remembrance in stark black and white porcelain. He never worked in clay before, and there is a spontaneity and power in his ability to convey abstract political imagery and still make the forms beautiful to touch and see. In an entirely different vein are the works of three Japanese artists. The curators first encountered the work in a 2009 visit to the Yanomami Art Center near Shigaraki Prefecture in Japan.  We were intrigued by the balance between whimsy and a feral pop demonic aesthetic, which evoked everything we loved about Japanese mythology and its edgier arts. Kazumi Kamae, Yukio Miyashita and Masami Yamagiwa have unmistakable styles that are rougher and more expressionistic than some of the other Japanese art brut sculptors who work in clay. Because they do not use glaze the natural landscape and flavor of the famous Shigaraki clay comes through and adds to the power of their stories.


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David Parsons is a new artist to be shown at Cavin-Morris Gallery. His work pulls essential souls from his animal subjects in a gestural, visceral way.  The marks of his hands are everywhere in the work, even when covered by his forceful, colorful glazes.  We have also included some of his abstract drawings which are drawn AT THE SAME TIME that he works on his clay figures, each inspiring the other. He pushes the limits of spontaneity. Parsons works with Creative Growth in Oakland, California. We are introducing for the first time the occult ceramic fungi of Scottish artist Straiph Wilson.  Perfect examples of cryptic abundance, there are clues in their titles. Perhaps the artist says it best himself here: “I’m interested in the relationship between ritual and power creating religious objects from these ideas. My art practice attempts to go beyond or behind customary established dogma, to experience the intersection between science, religion and belief.” We have an insatiable desire to fill a room with these marvelous forms and listen to their cross-epochal cacophony. There is a sound and poetry to Sylvia Katuszewski’s pieces. They are raw and expressionistic yet they have an interior tenderness with dream-like subjects.  She uses her glazes and pigment like paint.  Her early association with the Dadaists suggests an inference of symbolist poetry in the dark perfume of her subjects and colors. Chrissy Callas has populated her own world with her figures. The expressions in their eyes reflect not only survival through a coming to terms with pain, but mystery, implying a timeless conversation that has gone on forever. She never loses touch with the clay, allowing its natural textures to add to those of her subjects. She creates small, intimate pieces that are sensitive and emotional. She comments “I use clay to exploit Man’s conflicts, frailty, muscle, and wit; Art imitating real life from chunks of clay. The work speaks for itself. You either get it, or you don’t.” Ricardo Estella and Peter Cordova are both from the Philippines.  Both make their work at Creativity Explored in San Francisco.  There is a strong roots feeling to their pieces as they give us very different imagery, from the mundane to the supernatural richness of their American and Filipino roots. This exhibition reveals a field that has been here all along. There are many more people making ceramics outside the mainstream than one might realize. They have often been lost, miscategorized, their work collected under other auspices, including 20th century folk art, or ignored. They makers are not part of a movement. They use clay as a direct way to convey heart and mind, not as a way into the art world. It is the clay itself that is the Rebel in our title. It shakes off complacency, and we will continue to pursue this alternative path as fervently as we do Art Brut and world ceramics. We hope you enjoy the results. Randall Morris, 2017


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Sylvester Stephens Art is Pain, 1996 Polychromed terracotta 12.5 x 14 x 14 inches 31.8 x 35.6 x 35.6 cm SS 5


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David Parsons, Untitled, 2015, Ceramic, 5 x 4 x 10 inches,12.7 x 10.2 x 25.4 cm, DPa 2


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David Parsons Untitled, 2016 Ceramic 6 x 6.5 x 4.5 inches 15.2 x 16.5 x 11.4 cm DPa 4


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David Parsons Untitled, 2016 Ceramic 5.5 x 5.5 x 5 inches 14 x 14 x 12.7 cm DPa 3


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David Parsons Untitled, 2015 Graphite and ink on paper 22 x 30 inches 55.9 x 76.2 cm DPa 14


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David Parsons Untitled, 2017 Prismacolor and graphite on paper 11.25 x 15 inches 28.6 x 38.1 cm DPa 11


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David Parsons, Untitled, 2016, Prismacolor and graphite on paper, 12 x 18 inches, 30.5 x 45.7 cm, DPa 9


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David


d Parsons, Untitled, 2016, Prismacolor, graphite and ink on paper,15 x 22.25 inches, 38.1 x 56.5 cm, DPa 8

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Burgess Dulaney, Four Animal Heads, circa1970-1989, Clay, marble, 9 x 17 x 11 inches, 22.9 x 43.2 x 27.9 cm, BDu 1

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Burgess Dulaney Double Head, circa 1970-1989 Clay, marble 8.5 x 11.5 x 9.5 inches 21.6 x 29.2 x 24.1 cm BDu 3


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Burgess Dulaney Seated Figure, circa 1970-1989 Clay, marble 13 x 8 x 8 inches 33 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm BDu 2


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Chrissy Callas Speaker, 1999 Ceramic 5 x 3 x 4 inches 12.7 x 7.6 x 10.2 cm CCa 27

Chrissy Callas Speaker, 1999 Ceramic 5.5 x 3.25 x 5 inches 14 x 8.3 x 12.7 cm CCa 28


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Chrissy Callas Big Guy, 2002 Ceramic 6 x 3.75 x 3 inches 15.2 x 9.5 x 7.6 cm CCa 25


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Chrissy Callas Fragman, 2008 Ceramic 8 x 3.75 x 2.5 inches 20.3 x 9.5 x 6.4 cm CCa 21


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Chrissy Callas Fragman, 2008 Ceramic 8 x 3 x 2 inches 20.3 x 7.6 x 5.1 cm CCa 36


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Chrissy Callas Broken, 1990 Ceramic 4 x 4 x 3.5 inches 10.2 x 10.2 x 8.9 cm CCa 22


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Chrissy Callas Crowd, 2013 Ceramic 9.25 x 9 x 6 inches 23.5 x 22.9 x 15.2 cm CCa 31


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Chrissy Callas Curbed, 2000 Ceramic 6 x 7 x 4 inches 15.2 x 17.8 x 10.2 cm CCa 29


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Chrissy Callas Headweight, 2013 Ceramic 4.5 x 5 x 3 inches 11.4 x 12.7 x 7.6 cm CCa 24


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Chrissy Callas Blue Fragman, 2000 Ceramic 6 x 3.25 x 2 inches 15.2 x 8.3 x 5.1 cm CCa 40


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Chrissy Callas Speaker, 2011 Ceramic 6.5 x 6 x 5 inches 16.5 x 15.2 x 12.7 cm CCa 35


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Chrissy Callas 2 Benched Men, 2005 Ceramic 7.5 x 7 x 3.5 inches 19.1 x 17.8 x 8.9 cm CCa 39


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Chrissy Callas Big Head, 1990 Ceramic 10 x 4.5 x 6.5 inches 25.4 x 11.4 x 16.5 cm CCa 33


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Chrissy Callas Fragman, 2000 Ceramic 6.5 x 4 x 2.5 inches 16.5 x 10.2 x 6.4 cm CCa 30


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Chrissy Callas Troll, 1983 Ceramic 5 x 4.5 x 4 inches 12.7 x 11.4 x 10.2 cm CCa 37


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Melvin Edward Nelson Untitled, 1962 Mineral pigment on paper 12 x 17.5 inches 30.5 x 44.5 cm Nel 57


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Melvin Edward Nelson Untitled, circa 1961-1965 Mineral pigment on paper 13 x 20.5 inches 33 x 52.1 cm Nel 51


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n Edward Nelson, Untitled, circa 1961-1965, Mineral pigment on paper, 14 x 20.5 inches, 35.6 x 52.1 cm, Nel 50

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Melvin Edward Nelson


n, Untitled, circa 1961-1965, Mineral pigment on Paper, 11 x 13.5 inches, 27.9 x 34.3 cm, Nel 90

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Sampson, Black and Blue No. 15, 2017, Porcelain, canvas, wood, 13.5 x 6 x 8.5 inches, 34.3 x 15.2 x 21.6 cm, SK 225

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Kevin Sampson Black and Blue No. 13, 2017 Porcelain, canvas, wood 13.5 x 5.5 x 12.5 inches 34.3 x 14 x 12.7 cm SK 223


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Kevin Sampson Black and Blue No. 14, 2017 Porcelain, canvas, wood 13.5 x 6 x 13 inches 34.3 x 15.2 x 33 cm SK 224


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Kevin Sampson Black and Blue No. 8, 2017 Porcelain 10 x 10 x 10 inches 25.4 x 25.4 x 25.4 cm SK 218


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Kevin Sampson Black and Blue No. 18, 2017 Porcelain 10 x 9.5 x 13.5 inches 25.4 x 24.1 x 34.3 cm SK 228


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Kevin Sampson, Black and Blue No. 17, 2017, Porcelain, 16.25 x 16.25 x 7.25 inches, 41.3 x 41.3 x 18.4 cm, SK 227

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Kevin Sampson, Black and Blue No. 16, 2017, Porcelain, 16 x 16 x 6.5 inches, 40.6 x 40.6 x 16.5 cm, SK 226


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Nek Chand Untitled, 1950-1980 Concrete over metal armature with mixed media 22 x 22 x 13 inches 55.9 x 55.9 x 33 cm NC 13


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Nek Chand Untitled, 1950-1980 Concrete over metal armature with mixed media 34 x 12 x 12 inches 86.4 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm NC 10


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Nek Chand Untitled, 1950-1980 Concrete over metal armature with mixed media 33 x 8 x 9 inches 83.8 x 20.3 x 22.9 cm NC 12


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Masami Yamagiwa Untitled (Head), 2003 Shigaraki Stoneware 11 x 6.5 x 7 inches 27.9 x 16.5 x 17.8 cm MYa 16


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Masami Yamagiwa Untitled, 2007 Fired Ceramic 6 x 5.5 x 5 inches 15.2 x 14 x 12.7 cm MYa 5


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Masami Yamagiwa Face, 2004 Fired Ceramic 13 x 6 x 9 inches 33 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm MYa 12


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Kazumi Kamae Untitled (Totem), 2006 Shigaraki Stoneware 16 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches 40.6 x 11.4 x 11.4 cm KaK 22


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Kazumi Kamae Untitled (Head), 2004 Shigaraki Stoneware 9.5 x 6 x 6.5 inches 24.1 x 15.2 x 16.5 cm KaK 23


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Jim McDowell Mad Black Man, 2015 Soda-fired clay in a gas kiln, amber celadon glaze, red iron oxide, and blue-stained glass runs 18.75 x 7.5 x 7 inches 47.6 x 19.1 x 17.8 cm JMcD 7


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Jim McDowell A Righteous Judge, 2011 Gas-fired clay with white shino glaze, words written with black stain prior to firing 20.5 x 8.75 x 8.5 inches 52.1 x 22.2 x 21.6 cm JMcD 6


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Jim McDowell Gonna Lay Down My Sword And Shield, 2016 Ceramic, fired in a gas soda kiln; made of high fire clay, glazed with Jack Troy root beer glaze and white shino; embellished with blue glass 16 x 7.5 x 9 inches 40.6 x 19.1 x 22.9 cm JMcD 10


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Jim McDowell Night Fall Does Not Come At Once! Neither Does Oppression, 2016 Ceramic, fired in a gas soda kiln; made of high fire clay, glazed with Malcolm Davis shino and Val Cushing shino 15 x 9 x 6.5 inches 38.1 x 22.9 x 16.5 cm JMcD 11


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Jasmin Joseph, Dog, 1955, Terra cotta, 8 x 14.5 x 2.5 inches, 0.3 x 36.8 x 6.4 cm, JJ 9


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Masks Nepal, Mid 20th C. Cow dung, clay, organic materials 11.5 x 7 x 4 inches 29.2 x 17.8 x 10.2 cm M 201


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Masks Nepal, Early 20th C. Cow dung, clay, organic materials 12.5 x 10 x 2.5 inches 31.8 x 25.4 x 6.4 cm M 207


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Masks Nepal, Early to mid 20th C. Cow dung, clay and plant material 8.5 x 6.5 x 3.5 inches 21.6 x 16.5 x 8.9 cm M 355


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Masks Nepal, Early 20th C. Cow dung, clay, organic materials 11 x 8.5 x 3 inches 27.9 x 21.6 x 7.6 cm M 226


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Masks Nepal, Early 20th C. Cow dung, clay, organic materials, fibers 8 x 6 x 3 inches 20.3 x 15.2 x 7.6 cm M 235


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Ricardo Estella Maya, 2011 Glazed ceramic 10 x 10 x 8 inches 25.4 x 25.4 x 20.3 cm REs 4


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Ricardo Estella Skull II, 2013 Glazed ceramic 5.5 x 11.25 x 8 inches 14 x 28.6 x 20.3 cm REs 2


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Ricardo Estella Skull I, 2013 Glazed ceramic 6 x 10.25 x 8 inches 15.2 x 26 x 20.3 cm REs 1


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Peter Cordova Indian Face II, 2013 Glazed ceramic 12 x 8 x 5.5 inches 30.5 x 20.3 x 14 cm PeCo 3


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Peter Cordova Red Face, 2016 Glazed ceramic 11.75 x 9.75 x 7.5 inches 29.8 x 24.8 x 19.1 cm PeCo 4


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Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Untitled, circa 1960-1980 Hand dug clay and paint 10 x 5 x 5 inches 25.4 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm EV 46


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Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Untitled, circa 1960-1980 Hand dug clay and paint 7 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches 17.8 x 11.4 x 11.4 cm EV 47


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Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Untitled (crown), circa 1960-1980 Hand dug clay and paint 4.5 x 8 x 7 inches 11.4 x 20.3 x 17.8 cm EV 45


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Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Untitled, circa 1960-1980 Hand dug clay and paint 3 x 4 x 3 inches 7.6 x 10.2 x 7.6 cm EV 48


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Straiph Wilson Shekinah, 2016 Ceramic 6 x 8.5 x 8 inches 15.2 x 21.6 x 20.3 cm StWi 1


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Straiph Wilson Nadroc, 2017 Ceramic 6 x 9 x 9 inches 15.2 x 22.9 x 22.9 cm StWi 6


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Straiph Wilson Balsur, 2017 Ceramic 4.25 x 5 x 5.25 inches 10.8 x 12.7 x 13.3 cm StWi 14


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Straiph Wilson Armany, 2017 Ceramic 4.5 x 6 x 6.5 inches 11.4 x 15.2 x 16.5 cm StWi 15


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Straiph Wilson, Amdusias (The Golden Bough), 2016, Ceramic, 8.5 x 11 x 10, inches, 21.6 x 27.9 x 25.4 cm, StWi 8


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Straiph Wilson Forneus, 2016 Ceramic 3 x 5 x 4.25 inches 7.6 x 12.7 x 10.8 cm StWi 19

Straiph Wilson Gusion, 2016 Ceramic 4 x 6 x 6 inches 10.2 x 15.2 x 15.2 cm StWi 9


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Straiph Wilson Codriel, 2016 Ceramic 6 x 6 x 6.5 inches 15.2 x 15.2 x 16.5 cm StWi 12


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Straiph Wilson Seere (Nephilim), 2016 Ceramic 4 x 4.5 x 4.75 inches 10.2 x 11.4 x 12.1 cm StWi 13


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Straiph Wilson Foras, 2016 Ceramic 4 x 4.5 x 3.75 inches 10.2 x 11.4 x 9.5 cm StWi 18


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Straiph Wilson Leraje, 2016 Ceramic 6.5 x 3.75 x 3.75 inches 16.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 cm StWi 7


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Straiph Wilson Ipos (Death Cap), 2016 Ceramic 7 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches 17.8 x 11.4 x 11.4 cm StWi 10


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Bessie Harvey Untitled, Mid 1980s Ceramic, paint 5.5 x 4.5 x 6.5 inches 14 x 11.4 x 16.5 cm BH 99


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Bessie Harvey Untitled, Mid 1980s Ceramic, paint 5.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches 14 x 8.9 x 8.9 cm BH 100


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Sylvia Katuszewski Wandering Figure #2, 2016 Raku-fired terra cotta and oxides 16 x 8 x 8 inches 40.6 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm SyKa 3


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Sylvia Katuszewski Wandering Figure #1, 2016 Raku fired terra cotta and oxides 22 x 11 x 6 inches 55.9 x 27.9 x 15.2 cm SyKa 4


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Sylvia Katuszewski Untitled, 2016 Ceramic 23 x 19 x 6 inches 58.4 x 48.3 x 15.2 cm SyKa 6


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Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Serpent Woman,


, Early 1990s, Clay paint on plywood panel, 24 x 24 inches, 61 x 61 cm, JLS 1

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Copyright © 2017 CAVIN-MORRIS GALLERY Cavin-Morris Gallery 210 Eleventh Ave, Ste. 201 New York, NY 10001 t. 212 226 3768 www.cavinmorris.com Catalogue design: Sophie Friedman-Pappas Photography: Jurate Veceraite Introduction contributed by Randall Morris


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REBEL CLAY  
REBEL CLAY  

This catalog documents the first exhibition in the United States of Art Brut and non-mainstream works in ceramic