For our November 2015 exhibition, we are pleased to continue to host the work of Harris Deller. The artist holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree from The Cranbrook Academy of Art and has a lengthy career as a university educator at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is a recipient of a Fullbright Fellowship, an excellence in teaching award from the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts, and is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. His ceramic vessels have been widely exhibited and anthologized.
Deller uses primarily black pigment on white porcelain clay. Some recent work has more color inlayed on the suface in addition to his use of black. He makes vessels that he refers to “provocative contradictions.” Deller exploits the dimensional qualities by purposely minimizes depth, or that third dimension. "I deliberately limited my visual vocabulary so as to challenge myself to investigate the permutations of all the selected formal elements and search for forms that have meaning."
Constructed from slabs of porcelain clay, they appear to contain a full volume but as the piece is fully viewed, we see that he has altered our perception by flattening the form, in what he refers to as ”abstracted forms with the third dimension suppressed in varying degrees.” There is also an anthropomorphic quality in his work that relates to “stance, gesture and stride.” These human references are derivative of ceramic terminology, such as the base of a vessel being a “foot, the top edge being a lip, and the surface embellishment often noted as “skin or clothing.” Human activity has historically included pottery making and in all cultures, has always been about containment, a necessity for preservation of essential foods and drink. Deller’s ceramic work continues the idea of containment.
Plinth Gallery Curator Jonathan Kaplan views Harris Deller’s ceramic work as “a study of how formal elements are abstracted. His vessel forms suggest larger volumes but are dimensionally manipulated. His work is mature and extremely thoughtful. I am pleased to present Harris Deller’s ceramics to our Denver and Front Range audience.
The gallery will be open for First Friday November 6, 2015 from 6pm-9pm and the exhibition will be on display through November 28, 2016. Please join us for this event, which is free and open to the public. Plinth Gallery is located in the River North Art District