Portrait Society
Press Release

I made this for you: Small gestures in clay

November 20 to January 8. Reception: 6 to 9 p.m. November 20, 2015

By - Nov 12th, 2015 08:07 am
Adolph Rosenblatt. Photo courtesy of Portrait Society Gallery.

Adolph Rosenblatt. Photo courtesy of Portrait Society Gallery.

Portrait Society Gallery is pleased to present its first ceramic-based exhibition. Figurative and commemorative ceramics as well as functional vessels will combine into a handmade exhibition featuring small-scale works, perfect for the holiday season.

Exhibiting artists include: Rory Burke, Adolph Rosenblatt, Colin Matthes, Harvey Opgenorth, Darlene Rzezotarski Wesenberg, Gary John Gresl, Rudy Rotter, Debbie Kupinsky, Craig Clifford, Gerit Grimm and Meghan Sullivan.

The malleable, amenable intimacy of clay allows for a range of sculptural expressions as artists deal with its textures. Some, like Gerit Grimm, create figurative works with an almost skin-like velvety surface. While others, such as Colin Matthes, retired UWM professor Adolph Rosenblatt and the self-taught Manitowoc artist Rudy Rotter, allow the many marks from the pushing, prodding and pinching of the clay to lend a hand-hewn expressive spontaneity to the work.

What unifies this exhibition is the small scale and primarily figurative aspect of most of the work. Matthes paints simple graphic faces on his hand-built vessel forms. Rosenblatt is well-known for sculpting portraits from life, using the clay like a drawing material. The gestural surface of his work matches the gestural physical quality of each figure. Artist Darlene Rzeztarski Wesenberg creates intimate sculptural scenes and portraits that show people in their environments. New portraits of Mary Nohl, Joseph Pabst and the poets Antler and Jeff Poniewaz will be included.

In addition, Portrait Society has spearheaded a special project called Wisconsin Supper Club. Twenty artists were invited to paint portraits of fellow Wisconsin artists (dead or alive) on ceramic plates which were hand thrown by potter Scott Dercks of the Milwaukee Potters Guild. This project was coordinated for the gallery by Rachele Krivichi. All of the plates will be for sale.

Opening reception: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, November 20. Open to the public. Free.

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One thought on “I made this for you: Small gestures in clay”

  1. Christina Zawadiwsky says:

    Wisconsin Supper Club remind’s me of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party. And I’m certainly eager to see Adolph Rosenblatt and many other talented artists at this show!

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