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© 2012 Lillstreet Art Center 4401 N. Ravenswood Ave. Chicago, IL 60640 Artwork © the artists. Text © Rachel Sampson. Photographs by Joe Tighe Photography. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, or by any electronic or mechanical means, without permission in writing from Lillstreet Art Center. Cover: Sam Chung, Cloud Vase, 2012


June 8 - July 8, 2012


The Language of Line by Rachel Sampson

“The Language of Line” showcases the

Her cleanly constructed aesthetic

ceramic and two-dimensional works

and play with shapes breaks her

from visiting artists Sam Chung, Josh

from traditional approaches and

DeWeese, Heather Mae Erickson, and

recreates the way viewers engage

Chicago-based artist Neha Vedpathak.

with functional ceramics.

Though varying in approach and materials, the artists’ shared interest

DeWeese also explores this intimate

in cultural histories and repetition of

relationship between mankind and

forms allows each to uniquely explore

ceramics but chooses to experiment

the tactile relationship between their

with high temperatures and different

audience and their works.

types of glazes to investigate this connection. His vessels take on

With sleek curves and engaging

organic and rather whimsical forms

shapes, Erickson’s ceramic work

that invite the viewer in with their

reexamines the dining ritual that

flowing, underpainted designs and

occurs between people and pottery.

warm coloring.


Chung, meanwhile, elegantly

Her pieces draw the viewer in with

integrates historical and cultural

their subtle textures, muted colors,

references in striking shapes and

and gentle strokes and slowly capture

colors to create what he refers to

the space and attention of those

as a new language of ceramics. He

around them.

makes vases, pots, and dish sets that challenge traditional forms by using

Together, this group showing pushes

strong motifs to guide his work.

the boundaries for functional ceramics and minimalist two-

Vedpathak’s two-dimensional mixed

dimensional work through each

media works allow the viewer a

artist’s reinterpretation of form,

different perspective on embracing

materials, and relationship with the

form, line, space, and how they

viewer. By drawing the audience

create a tactile relationship with

to the concept of the line, “The

the audience. She utilizes a variety

Language of Line” seeks to

of materials, from handmade paper

demonstrate how each artist alters

to acrylic polymer to dried flowers,

interactions and interpretations at the

to create series of repeating and

foundational level of their work.

evolving patterns.


Sam Chung Based in Tempe, Arizona, Sam Chung focuses on creating functional ceramic pieces such as vases, pots, and dish sets that challenge traditional forms, using graphically strong two-dimensional images to guide his hand. He often melds various cultural or historical references with his contemporary techniques to create works that create new shapes and interactions with ceramics. This exhibition showcases the artist’s Cloud series, which shows Chung’s focus on replicating the cloud motif through bulbous shapes and thick sections of line and bold color. His image selection and inlay approach draws from the ancient Korean decorative technique known as sanggam, which was used on vessels for the court and nobility from the midtwelfth through the sixteenth century. Potters inserted white-and-black clay-based pigments in liquid form into stamped or carved motifs on the surface of the vessel, which was then coated with a translucent celadon glaze. Chung embraces this cultural tie with his own interpretation of clouds, which he feels suggest a fluidity and freedom in their physical form. He finds their imagery inspiring and believes they motivate him to introduce shapes that are not bound by a tradition. One can see this unique rendering in works like Cloud Teapot, which has a playful feel with its bright orange coloring and playful cloud outline.


Cloud Teapot, 2012 Porcelain, Glaze, China paint Cone 10 and low-fire 7 x 9 x 3 inches


Cloud Teapot, 2012 Porcelain, Glaze, China paint Cone 10 and low-fire 6 x 7 x 5.5 inches


Cloud Bottles, 2012 Porcelain, Glaze, China paint Cone 10 and low-fire 17 x 7 x 7 inches (left) 10 x 5 x 5 inches (right)


Cloud Teapot, 2012 Porcelain, Glaze, China paint Cone 10 and low-fire 7 x 7.5 x 3 inches


Ewer, 2012 Porcelain, Glaze, China paint Cone 10 and low-fire 8 x 5.5 x 3 inches


Cloud Teapot, 2012 Porcelain, Glaze, China paint Cone 10 and low-fire


Creamers, 2012 Porcelain, Glaze, China paint Cone 10 and low-fire 5 x 3 x 1.5 inches

Ewer, 2012 Porcelain, Glaze, China paint Cone 10 and low-fire 8 x 5 x 2.5 inches


Josh DeWeese Josh DeWeese’s work focuses on creating an intimate relationship between individuals and ceramics. Based in Bozeman, Montana, he is particularly fascinated by the process of high temperature ceramics and the element of chance that occurs in atmospheric firings. Whether playing with the extreme surfaces achieved by soda/salt firings or exploring the potentials of glazes, DeWeese creates organic and whimsical forms that connect to individuals interacting with them. His pieces have a definite sense of life and warmth to them, which can be seen in the twists and turns of his Oil Cruet with Saucer. DeWeese feels this kind of humanness in ceramics helps us build relationships with pottery and gives meaning to our lives.


Basket, 2012 Stoneware Woodfired, salt/soda 19 x 10.5 x 9.5 inches


Covered Pitcher, 2012 Stoneware Woodfired, salt/soda 10.5 x 8 x 5 inches


Small Platter, 2012 Stoneware Woodfired, salt/soda 3 x 11.5 x 12 inches


Pitcher, 2012 Stoneware Woodfired, salt/soda 10.5 x 8 x 7 inches


Tumblers, 2012 Stoneware Woodfired, salt/soda 7 x3 x 3 inches


Oil Cruett, 2012 Small Covered Jar, 2012 Stoneware Woodfired, salt/soda 7.5 x 6 x 6 inches (cruet), 5 x 6 x 6 inches (jar)


Medium Jar, 2010 Stoneware Woodfired, salt/soda 10 x 9 x 10 inches


Heather Mae Erickson Heather Mae Erickson’s work grounds itself in the world of object design, in particular Scandinavian design. Her Fulbright Post-Graduate Research in Ceramic Design in Helsinki, Finland greatly shaped Erickson’s style to one of crisp-lined simplicity and innovative compositions. Based now in Alfred, New York, she concentrates on reinventing the dining ritual and creating unique pieces of dining ware that change users’ relationships with food and ceramics. The exhibition features works from Erickson’s series “from Fujimoto.” The corresponding, muted colors and shapes show the artist’s process of reexamining the function of the dishes to each other, the table, and the way individuals interact with them. Though they have an industrial-like feel to them, each piece is shaped individually with clarity and simplicity in mind. Her work Revolve demonstrates her impeccable technique and incredible talent to mold designs that engage so fully with one another and the viewer. With cream, light verdant, and pink, the plates and cups of this set are able to interlock into each other and form their own table arrangement. They can also be separated and turned in different variations, giving the user the opportunity to interact with the ceramic pieces in both a system and an individual level.


from Fujimoto (detail), 2012 Porcelain, Cone 6


Revolve, 2012 Porcelain, Cone 6


from Fujimoto, 2012 Porcelain, Cone 6


from Pauline and Tony, 2012 Porcelain, Cone 6


Neha Vedpathak Originally from India, Neha Vedpathak is a multimedia artist who is based in Chicago, Illinois and creates minimalist paintings and ceramic works. She experiments with a variety of materials, ranging from handmade paper to acrylic polymer and plexiglass, to natural items such as soil and dried flowers. She focuses on creating subtle pieces that bring the viewer in and engage them in a meaningful dialogue. Vedpathak often works in multiples, creating mixed media pieces and drawings of repeating and evolving patterns. In “The Language of Line,” Vedpathak’s works consist of a series of drawings and mixed media pieces that showcase space and minimal forms in harmony. Her Mirror Drawings, for example, demonstrate an evolution of shapes that alter in size, coloring, and texture. They draw the viewer in close to notice these variations and their subtle complexities allow the observer to contemplate on the materiality of the work. The artist’s focus on space and subtlety can also be seen in her larger Untitled pieces, which consist of mostly white canvas with uniform bits of mixed materials arranged in rows.


Mirror Drawings, 2012 Graphite and Water Color on Board 6 x 6 inches


Untitled, 2011 Mixed Media on Canvas 36 x 36 inches


Untitled, 2011 Mixed Media on Canvas 36 x 36 inches


Mirror Drawings, 2012 Graphite and Water Color on Board 6 x 6 inches


Mirror Drawings, 2012 Graphite and Water Color on Board 6 x 6 inches


Study in Line, 2010 Graphite on Vellum 12 x 18 inches


Study in Line (detail), 2010 Graphite on Vellum 12 x 18 inches



The Language of Line