Tennessee native Richard W. James uses ceramics and found objects to create surreal figures and scenes. Using earthenware, fabrics, and underglaze, he forges these characters from materials he associated with his youth. The artist says that in doing this, he “explores the discrepancy between how we, as humans, see ourselves and how we would like others to see us.”
Charles Birnbaum, a New York City-based artist, creates abstract ceramic pieces that seem both alien and influenced from the stranger part of nature. Whether it’s his wall sculptures or free-standing “vessels,” each pushes the form far beyond its classical uses. His work is held in collections and exhibited across the world.
Gunjan Aylawadi‘s intricate paper-weaving technique produces vibrant, surprising creations. In each work made by the artist, born in India and now based in Australia, seems to defy its materials and exists “between craft traditions, sensory pleasures she experienced growing up and the new culture she finds herself in now.” In a recent show, she continues her evolution into work that extends beyond two dimensions.
Hsu Tung Han’s wooden sculptures carry embellishments that resemble digital distortion. His “pixelated” figures weave contemporary and age-old artistic sensibilities. The Taiwanese artist stacks blocks of wood, whether it’s Walnut or African wax wood, and then crafts those pieces into surreal creations.
From bronze to blown glass, stainless steel to gems, the otherworldly sculptural works of Tian He have deep roots in the earth. The artist, based in Beijing, uses childlike imagery with intricate details that tell contained narratives of strange children and fanciful figures. Her pieces were recently featured in the show “Small is Beautiful VII” at Leo Gallery in Shanghai.
Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn unveiled a new sculpture at Ca’ Sagredo Hotel during this year’s Venice Biennale. “Support,” an enormous sculptural installation that appears to emerge out of the Grand Canal, appears as enormous, white hands. The work aims to display how humans have the ability and opportunity to “change and re-balance the world around them.” In particular, the hands are commenting on the urgency of climate change.