Maybe the coolest show I'm in this year... "Infinity Pool" curated by Rebecca Morgan and Stephen Eakin for Spring / Break NY, "examines the artist as primary examiner, critical of both the inward and outward scope of art making and expression and their place in it." Included artists are: Paul Bergeron, Heather Garland, Paul Gagner, Lawrence Mesich, Bryan Rogers, Erik Schoonebeek, Ken Weathersby and Robin F. Williams.
What's better than hanging out in NYC for six weeks? Having a fellowship at Greenwich House while you do it! Linda and I are bringing the baby on the road for our first residency since Oona's birth. We'll be sharing work space and splitting time with the kiddo. We're both really looking forward to a summer in the city. If you're in town between July 14th and August 30th, stop by the studio and say hi!
The University of Arkansas Ceramics faculty are pleased to present an exhibition at Belger Crane Yard Studios, A Hard Swath to Mow
"There’s a spot just at the edge of the field, where the manicured and predictable meets the unruly. Here, things are a little less certain—problems arise more readily, and one misstep could leave you stranded in the woods. The artists in this exhibition, members of the ceramics faculty at University of Arkansas, represent a group of practitioners eager to seek the more difficult terrain."
Thrilled to have a feature in NEW CERAMICS this month! Author Matt Blomeley writes, "As with all good artists, McConnell's practice is interesting not because he spells something out. He doesn't. Rather it is that McConnell's work deliberately communicates to a trait inherent in each of us at some level or at some time in our lives. Similar to the mimetic way in which we all learn at a fundamental level, by creating facsimiles of works of other artists and makers using his trained hands, McConnell's installations seek to find something new through making and then grouping "his" objects. What he is seeking is not the perfect copy but that almost alchemical moment of discovery and learning, when something new happens." Link to the full article here.
Next week I'll be giving a lecture and meeting with students at CSULB—a ceramics program I have long admired! I'm very eager to see what Tony Marsh's latest crop of students has been up to. If you're in the LA area, drive on down and catch the lecture at 7PM on November 3rd.
Linda and I are soon on our way to Cincinnati to hang with Katie Parker and Mike Davis, the duo behind the excellent Future Retrieval. Linda and I will be giving talks, doing a short demo, meeting with students, and (hopefully) getting a grand tour of Cincinnati. Our lectures are on October 13th at noon, somewhere in the art building, I assume.
Linda and I will be leading a two-week course at Oxbow this summer, titled Ghost Collaborators. Come join us on the shore of Lake Michigan!
"We are all under the sway of many collaborators—some are acknowledged, but most are not. In this two-week course, we will attempt to identify the ways in which we have been influenced by our ghost collaborators and how we can take more accountability for those collaborations. Studio assignments will focus on extracting influences from the work you have produced in the past. Once apprehended, you will be asked to minimize or amplify those influences in new work. The course will also include readings, discussions, and short technical demonstrations—including open-form building with coils using fiber clay, fabricating models for splash molds from simple materials, and using casting slip in combination with press-molding techniques."
"Each artist in Dredged|Drawn is a maker who uses drawing to produce work as an act of visual inquiry where the physical act of hand to eye to create line and document process becomes an endeavor to contemplate systems of identity, beauty, memory, and space. For these artists drawing is not just a tool, but rather an innate facet of their practice."
Curated by Israel Davis and Michele Bosak. Artists in the exhibition: Jesse Albrecht, Brian Caponi, Lilli Carré, Benjamin DeMott, Emily Duke, Shannon Goff, Del Harrow, Myung Jin Kim, Mathew McConnell, Allan Rosenbaum, Valerie Zimany
The Fed Galleries @ KCAD
March 1 - April 16
"A multidisciplinary exploration of mind, hand, and mouse."
"The artists included in this exhibition harness the internet's glitchy, ridiculous, virtual reality to create work with an irreverent humor that at once exposes, critiques, and embraces contemporary culture. No practice is too hallowed, no subject too taboo for their gleefully satirical approach... Using the decontextualizing power of the Internet, the artists in #F*UNKED! lay bare the gritty—and in their works appealing—underbelly of our age. "
Curated by Susie Silbert and Anna Walker. Exhibition includes works by Matt Causey, Zachary Lechtenberg, Roberto Lugo, Adams Puryear, Brent Owens, Mallory Westin, Dustin Yager, Nate Prouty, and others.
Kansas City Art Institute, Dodge Painting Building
Hours: March 15th-18th 10am-5pm
Reception: Thurs, Mar 17, 5-9:30pm
My newest work, "More Possibilities for Distance and Mass" will be on display at the Kansas City Museum's Corinthian Hall until May 14th.
From the Press Release: Now & Then showcases contemporary ceramic works that offer insight into the intersections between art, culture, and daily life. This exhibition brings together a selection of graduates and professors from the University of Colorado’s Boulder MFA program. Organized and curated by Casey Whittier and Blanca Guerra, Now & Then includes works from Scott Chamberlin, Kimberly Dickey, Rachel Eng, Kelcy Chase Folsom, Julia Galloway, Joshua Paul Hebbert, Janice Jakielski, Stephanie Kantor, Linda Lopez, Mathew McConnell, Alia Pialtos, Joanna Powell, Jeanne Quinn, Annie Strader, and Emily Schroeder Willis.
Exhibition Opening Reception on Friday, March 18 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
From the press release: Accessibility by Design seeks to mark the democratization and ubiquity of design. Perhaps this has led to a larger, less discerning, representation of design in a market place that includes everything from technological devices and domestic necessities to studio-made art and design objects.... This exhibition of ceramic work by artists and designers who are negotiating this current will evidence makers' access to new discourse and technology, affinities with related design practices, and/or the market's appetite for a certain level of sophistication, resolve, and distinctiveness.
Accessibility By Design features work by Luke Armitstead, Andrew Casto, Rebecca Chappell, Trygve Faste, Neil Forrest, Tyler Lotz, Mathew McConnell, Tim Berg/Rebecca Myers, Anders Ruhwald and more. Organized by Susan Beiner and Brian Gillis.
Vulpes Bastille. 1737 Locust St, Kansas City, MO
Hours: March 15th-19th 10am-5pm
Reception: Fri, Mar 18, 6-9pm
The catalogue states, "Curated by Susan Beiner and Brian Gillis, Accessibility by Design is a group exhibition surveying contemporary ceramic design and navigating its emerging facets. It showcases the artists and designers at the forefront of this movement who are negotiating a career between art and design. It aims to clarify the seemingly disparate trends seen in the LA Clay scene, the Brooklyn ceramic pop-up shops, the Ron Nagle-inspired pop-curiosities, and the increasing popularity of both "dumpy" pottery and clean, sharp style."
This past week Linda and I were very lucky to have been hosted by California College of the Arts' ceramics program for demonstrations and lectures. An excellent program with a generous and smart faculty. I simply can't say enough good things about how great we were treated and how impressed we were with the program as a whole. Nathan Lynch, Arthur Gonzalez, Erik Scollon, Nancy Selvin, Edith Garcia, and Kari Marboe: you're all my new favorite people!
I'm surprised and humbled by Garth Clark's generous review of More Possibilities. He writes of the exhibition, "Each object is remarkable, sculpturally convincing, self-standing, independent, without a runt in the litter. And the more I come back to his art, the more it grows." He continues, "His conceptualism arrives at that rare mix of an intuitive sensualist with a powerful command of material. This is probably my favorite combination in art: intelligence that does not overburden the objects’ autonomy. Indeed, if I found a work alone with no knowledge of McConnell’s practice the visceral sculptor’s bite would be as strong."
"Shades" was recently featured on Art Viewer, which "promotes contemporary art through a curated selection of documentation of art exhibitions and events."
Curated by Jess Hirsch and Haynes Riley, this latest iteration of The Bedfellows Club, a periodic exhibition series that inhabits an inhabited bedroom, set up in the home of Layet Johnson, of Little Rock, AR. For images of the exhibition, follow the link here.
"5 x 5 x 5 features five current and contemporary ceramic artists who each submitted five pieces. This exhibition explores the ceramic medium in a smaller scale, featuring artists who were required to create artworks that do not exceed five inches in any direction."
February 5th to 26th
The Loft Gallery
Interested in picking up a few bad ceramic habits? Here, I'll present all my best tricks in under six hours!
Friday, February 5th. 10AM-4PM
Greenwich House Pottery
16 Jones St., NYC
Just a few days away... come join me for an opening featuring my latest work, "More Possibilities for Distance and Mass."
From the press release: "McConnell is a provocateur, engaging a dialogue of appropriation, originality and authenticity almost entirely outside the purview of the ceramics sphere. A cerebral artist, McConnell’s approach to art is analytical and pragmatic using others art as a catalyst for his own."
JANUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 5, 2016
Artists Reception: Friday, January 8, 6-8 PM
16 Jones St, NYC
Again, in its peripatetic way, The Bedfellow's Club has installed itself in a bedroom at 722 S. Valentine St. in the Capitol View/Stifft’s Station neighborhood of Little Rock, Arkansas with an exhibition opening January 2, 2015 from 5–9 pm. Shades is co-curated by Jess Hirsch and Haynes Riley and features work from: Michael Assiff, Aaron Blendowski, Mariel Joan Capanna, Dante Carlos, Caroline Charuk, Lauren Cherry & Max Springer, Sara Condo, Anaïs Daly, Lindsey Dezman, Matt Ducklo, Derek Ernster, Ron Ewert, Kristina Gerig (with fellow Nike design team members Rob Williams and Courtney Clarke), Mia Hall, David Humphrey, Shana Kaplow, Seth Keller, Jacqueline Laurita Cortese, Sarah Leflar, Linda Lopez, Mathew McConnell, Adam D. Miller, Anthony Pearson, Jerry Phillips, Armando Ramos, Greg Stimac, Austin Swearengin, Wesley Taylor, Ezra Tessler, Anne Vieux, and John Zane Zappas
This month my work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly, by writer Kathleen Whitney. It was a pleasure speaking with Whitney in preparation for the article, and I'm quite happy with her analysis of the work. It's one of the most rewarding aspects of being a studio artist—having someone take the time to critically assess years of hard work spent toiling away in the studio. You can find it in the November issue or, the pdf is here.