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CARY ESSER

Beneath, Within

sherry leedy contemporary art


SHERRY LEEDY CONTEMPORARY ART 2004 Baltimore Ave. Kansas City, MO 64108 816.221.2626 sherryleedy.com Catalog design Allison King Photo credit E.G. Schempf Cover image Disclosure (salt 202 & 203)


CARY ESSER Beneath, Within Exhibition dates November 1, 2019 - January 25, 2020


Artist Statement

An ongoing connection between organic and geometric structures in my work has

played a role in the creation and evolution of each new series. My early sensibilities as an artist were influenced by our built environments, and in particular by tiles and ornament with motifs of flora and fauna.

My reflections on architectural form and surface have been a touchstone, strongly

influencing my thinking about the exterior and the interior as having interlaced significance, of shared meaning. These over-arching ideas are perhaps most fully expressed in my current sculptures, wall-reliefs entitled “Disclosure�.

The works are cast with liquid clay in flexible molds, configured to deliberately encour-

age what at first might be regarded as technical flaws. The random markings and fissures left by the forming process are meant to contrast with the intentionally placed grids and frames. My aim is to render a clear tension between order and entropy. With each piece, the application of monochrome colors, along with various textures, emulate diverse industrial and natural substances, such as metal, salt, coral, oil, confounding the sense of their materiality.

The sculptures provoke in me a need to consider the mystery of their interior, that

shallow, folded, compressed space held between two planes or skins. I want the sculptures to allude to an internal state that is like a shield - the human need and impulse to protect, both physically and emotionally. Yet, that shield inevitably yields, frays, and discloses what is beneath and within. My deeper thematic interest is in the end of architecture, the end of the body, its inevitable succumbing to gravity, to decomposition, its return to the earth, and with that, the prospect of growth and renewal. Cary Esser 2019


Disclosure (salt 4), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


Disclosure (cobalt 1), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


Disclosure (salt 301), earthenware and glaze, 18” x 13” x 1.75”


Disclosure (metal 60), earthenware and glaze, 16” x 11” x 1.25”


Disclosure (metal 51), earthenware and glaze, 16” x 11” x 1.25”


Disclosure (stone 51), earthenware and glaze, 16” x 11” x 1.25”


Disclosure (metal 53), earthenware and glaze, 16” x 11” x 1.25”


L - Disclosure (black salt 1), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25” M - Disclosure (metal 13), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


R - Disclosure (crystal 1), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


Disclosure (metal 54), earthenware and glaze, 16” x 11” x 1.25”


Disclosure (metal 6), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


Disclosure (metal 5), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


L - Disclosure (metal 11), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25” M - Disclosure (metal 15), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


R - Disclosure (metal 1), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


L - Disclosure (salt 201), earthenware and glaze, 18” x 8” x 1.75” M - Disclosure (salt 202), earthenware and glaze, 18” x 8” x 1.75”


R - Disclosure (salt 203), earthenware and glaze, 18” x 8” x 1.75”


L - Disclosure (metal 8), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25” M - Disclosure (metal 12), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


R - Disclosure (metal 9), earthenware and glaze, 8” x 5” x 1.25”


Disclosure (crystal 4), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


Disclosure (clay 1), earthenware, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


Disclosure (metal 301), earthenware and glaze, 18” x 13” x 1.75”


Disclosure (crystal 51), earthenware and glaze, 16” x 11” x 1.25”


Disclosure (gold 51), earthenware, glaze, luster, 16” x 11” x 1.25”


L- Disclosure (metal 4), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25” R - Disclosure (metal 7), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


L- Disclosure (metal 2), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25” R - Disclosure (crystal 2), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


Disclosure (metal 57), earthenware and glaze, 16” x 11” x 1.25”


Disclosure (metal 59), earthenware and glaze, 16” x 11” x 1.25”


Disclosure (salt 51), earthenware and glaze, 16” x 11” x 1.25”


L - Disclosure (salt 2), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25” M - Disclosure (metal 3), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


R - Disclosure (colbat 2), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


L - Disclosure (crystal 3), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25” M - Disclosure (metal 14), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


R - Disclosure (stone 1), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


Disclosure (salt 3), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


Disclosure (gray matter 1), earthenware and glaze, 7” x 5” x 1.25”


CARY ESSER | CV 2019 EDUCATION 1984 1978

MFA, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University BFA, Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI)

SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2019 Beneath, Within, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO 2018 Second Surface, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO 2010 Lay of the Land, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO 1999 Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO 1998 Grand Arts Studio, Kansas City, MO, exhibition of Rosettes, public art project work-in-progress, in collaboration with Al Frega, metal sculptor 1992 Duke University Bryan Center Gallery, Durham, NC 1986 Glaxo Corporation, Research Triangle Park, NC 1985 Greenwich House, New York, NY GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2019 Shadow, Gerald Peters Projects, Santa Fe, NM The Form Will Find Its Way, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Minneapolis, MN Impact and Lineage, Haw Contemporary Stockyards, Kansas City, MO A Gifted Offering, Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR 2018 IN/SIGHT, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO 2017 Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics, Zanesville, Ohio 2016 The Once and Future: New Now, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO Chromaphilia, KCAI Gallery, Kansas City, MO 50 Women, A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics, American Jazz Museum, Kansas City, MO Recent American Ceramics From the Dr. Harold F. Daum Collection, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO Every Semester: Collecting KCAI Ceramics 1995 – 2015, Belger Arts Center, Kansas City, MO 2015 In Pursuit, H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City, MO 2014 The Center is a Moving Target, Kemper at the Crossroads, Kansas City, MO Analagons, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO 2013 20th Anniversary Clay on the Wall Invitational Exhibition, curated by Glen Brown, Landmark Arts, Texas Tech Uni versity School of Art, Lubbock, TX 2011 Narrow Margins, H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City, MO Islamic Influence, Crossroads Gallery, St. Petersburg College, Clearwater, FL 2010 Creating and Collecting: Kansas City and Contemporary Sculpture, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO (Re)Form, H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO Six McKnight Artists, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN (catalog) 25th Anniversary Summer Exhibition, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO Connecting with Contemporary Sculpture, Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 2009 Evermore: Pattern & Process, Epsten Gallery, Overland Park, KS (catalog) 2009-2007 Craft in America Exhibition and Catalog, venues: Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI PUBLICATIONS and MEDIA 2018 Natural Language, essay by S. Portico Bowman, Ceramics: Art and Perception, #107, Jan. 2018 2016 Order and Entropy, essay by Cary Esser, Studio Potter, Volume 44, Number 2, Summer/Fall Cary Esser: A Ceramicist for the 21st Century • profile by Elizabeth Kirsch, KC Studio, March/April, pp. 50 – 53 (cover photo) • video by Randy Mason, KCPT public TV, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUmE868Y4N02016 2015 Cary Esser: A Vital Geometry, photos, article by Glen R. Brown, Ceramics Monthly, February 2015


2014 Regional Artists Tackle Global Concerns With Vigor, review by Alice Thorson, The Kansas City Star, June 8, 2014, p. D1 Meditations from the Middle, photo, review by Alicia Eler, Hyperallergic, May 2, 2014, http://hyperallergic. com/124051/meditations-from-the-middle/ 2014 Summer Visual Art, Photo, preview by Alice Thorson, Preview Section p. 22, Kansas City Star, May 15, 2014 2013 Terra Sigillata, book by Sevim Cizer, Baser Publications, Izmir, Turkey The Songbird and the Architecture, article by Tanya Hartman, Ceramics: Art and Perception, issue 91, 2013 20th Annniversary Clay on the Wall Invitational Exhibition Catalog, essay by Glen Brown, Landmark Arts, Texas Tech University School of Art, Lubbock, TX 2011 Lay of the Land, review by Glen Brown, Ceramics Monthly, February Kansas City Clay: What’s Happening Now, article by Tara Polansky, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Issue 88 2010 Six McKnight Artists, Exhibition Catalog, essay by Robert Silberman, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN Art Institute’s Feats of Clay, review by Elisabeth Kirsch, Kansas City Star, Oct. 24, 2010 A Voyage of Ideas and Reflections, review by Aarik Danielson, with photo, The Columbia Daily Tribune, January 4th 2010 2009 Episode V: Process, Craft in America, documentary produced by Carol Sauvion, air date October 7th Public Broad casting Service Epsten Gallery Explores Pattern and Process, radio interview with Marcus Cain and Laura Spencer, arts reporter, KCUR 89.3FM Radio, January 14th Patterns at Play, review by Sarah Mote, The Kansas City Star, The Arts section, January 4th 2008 Evermore: Pattern and Process, exhibition catalog essay by curator Marcus Cain, Kansas City Jewish Museum, Over land Park, KS 2007 Craft in America: Celebrating Two Centuries of Artists and Objects, book by Jo Lauria and Steve Fenton, published by Clarkson Potter COLLECTIONS Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art Daum Museum of Contemporary Art Belger Collection el dorado architects North Carolina Arts Council Artworks for State Building First National Bank and Trust Company FGI Corporation Glaxo Corporation City of Sanford, North Carolina Montgomery County, Maryland, Art-in-Public-Architecture Archie Bray Foundation John Michael Kohler Art Center AWARDS and HONORS 2016-present Kathleen Collins Endowed Chair, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO 2009 McKnight Foundation Ceramic Artist Residency 2003 Lighton International Artists Exchange Program, Kansas City, MO 1994 Professional Development Grant, Duke University Institute of Arts, Durham, NC 1993 Research Grant, Duke-UNC Program in Latin American Studies, Durham, NC 1988 Visual Artists Fellowship, North Carolina Arts Council, Raleigh, NC


SHERRY LEEDY CONTEMPORARY ART 2004 Baltimore Ave. Kansas City, MO 64108 816.221.2626 | sherryleedy.com

Profile for Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art

Cary Esser: Beneath, Within  

"My deeper thematic interest is in the end of architecture, the end of the body, its inevitable succumbing to gravity, to decomposition, its...

Cary Esser: Beneath, Within  

"My deeper thematic interest is in the end of architecture, the end of the body, its inevitable succumbing to gravity, to decomposition, its...