Ceramicist Dirk Staschke, featured in HF Vol. 23, has meticulously studied Dutch and Flemish still life painting, specifically, the Vanitas genre, to create his work. Some of his new works for the “Nature Morte” exhibition at the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) expose Staschke’s hand-executed process, and we are finally able to see the creative thinking behind his disturbingly delicious imagery of florals and food tableaus.
While Dirk Staschke’s past work has had a meticulously polished look, his latest series of sculptures for his upcoming solo show, “Executing Merit” at Seattle’s Winston Wachter Fine Art, reveal the rough-hewn edges of his process. Staschke (whom we featured in HF Vol. 23) creates opulent ceramic still lifes that evoke 17th-century vanitas paintings. In his previous pieces, he labored to conceal the evidence of his hand-executed process. His latest work, however, juxtaposes pristinely glazed forms with unglazed, unrefined surfaces, exposing the craft behind Staschke’s typically immaculate work. “Craft and skill have always been important in my work and by examining this further my recent sculptures have become an exercise in relinquishing control,” wrote Staschke in his artist statement. “Executing Merit” opens on March 3 and will be on view through April 15.