Lacoste/Keane Gallery presents RENATA CASSIANO-ALVAREZ: CONSUMED BY THE GOSPEL OF UNCERTAINTY, February 15 – March 7, 2020, the first solo exhibition of Italian Mexican artist, Renata Cassiano-Alvarez with the gallery.
The idea of change and its manifestations, be it good, bad and indifferent, is presented in ceramic sculptures made by the artist spanning two years, 2018 and 2019. These were productive years marked by her residencies at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, ME, Kent State University, OH, Lanzhou City University, China, Kohila Symposium, Estonia and Clay Gulgong, Australia. As the result of frequent change in environment, the artist knowing and unknowingly absorbed each new space (physical and metaphysical) through materials and processes.
The works in this exhibition strongly convey Cassiano-Alvarez’s art abstract mind, her ability to push boundaries and keen knowledge of clay and glazes. Respected International Mexican artist, Gustavo Perez wrote in his essay for this show, “My strong interest in her work exists because of her unique visionary personality and the seriousness of her creative investigations; something which I find quite exceptional...”
Cassiano-Alvarez received her MFA from UMASS Dartmouth and has worked as an Assistant to renown ceramic artists such as Gustavo Perez (Mexico) and Nina Hole (Denmark). Her works are in public collections such as New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan, Narodni Museum, Slovenia, Riga Porcelain Museum, Latvia and Hetjens-Museum Germany. She is currently the Artist in Residence at UARK Ceramics, University of Arkansas.
The artist will be at the public reception at Lacoste Keane Gallery on Saturday February 15, 3:00 – 5:00 pm and an Artist Talk on Sunday February 16, 1:00 pm. For details and high-resolution images call 978-369-0278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My sculptures dwell on the physicality of change, and imagine the concept of change as if it were an organ with an independent mind occupying a place within our bodies. Change is an essential and fundamental part of our human experience, and yet, a full understanding of the how or why often escapes us. As well, we often cannot see a change as it is happening, we are merely confronted with the outcome and construct a new reality around this shift. With the idea of change then existing in a space undefined, my efforts center around bringing a form to the undefined through material and process.
All the works in this show reflect my interest and curiosity with the material and processes, and my efforts to create a new vocabulary with ceramics.
- Renata Cassiano-Alvarez
ESSAY by Gustavo Perez
The first solo exhibition of Renata Cassiano-Alvarez at Lacoste/Keane Gallery in Concord, Massachusetts titled Consumed by The Gospel of Uncertainty from February 15 to March 7, 2020 is certainly a meaningful step in her career. For her work to be exhibited in an established gallery that represents so many respected ceramic authors of our time, while also keeping a distinct eye towards the future by showing the work of dynamic emerging artists, demonstrates that Cassiano-Alvarez’s work deserves the attention of a serious critical public.
For Cassiano-Alvarez, this exhibition is a well-deserved opportunity. Her engagement with ceramics has been so rich that, in spite of her youth, her CV is in fact quite impressive in terms of international presence and a variety of professional experiences in many countries; she is well on her way to being a known figure in the world of ceramics. All this fundamentally because she maintains an intensive studio practice, has a critical understanding of art in general, and buttresses her creative work with interest and knowledge of literature, music, film, and language. All of this results in a body of work which is strong, playful and has grown in a very natural and poetic manner.
I came to know Renata as she worked in my studio for three years as one of my most trusted assistants. During this time, I had the opportunity to follow closely her development and have maintained a connection to her and the trajectory of her practice. My strong interest in her work exists because of her unique visionary personality and the seriousness of her creative investigations; something which I find quite exceptional and has always intrigued me. In all the years that I have had assistants working at my studio (and there have been many!), there has never been someone as absolutely personal and original as Renata. From the very beginning, while Renata could make very well what she was asked to do for the studio, whenever she had the time to make her own work it was amazing to see always how incredibly far away it was from my own. This is something I had never seen before. She had already a personal voice, a vision; no need at all to detach herself from a teacher because she had the absolute direction of ideas of her own.
Since I am a maker and not a critic, my first instinct is to approach her work from the standpoint I know. Having witnessed over a decade of her creative growth, I can say that I admire and respect the freedom and the force of her work, the energy it contains, the endless curiosity it shows, and the risk it implies. And also how it goes playfully from one theme to another giving always a strong impression of love for ceramics and a deep understanding of what clay and fire are, what they can be when handled with knowledge and passion. For the little part I did play in the development of her career, I am grateful. Her vibrant energy and endless ability to question the assumptions of our material makes her stand out amongst all of the young artists I have known and worked alongside.
Gustavo Perez is an international ceramic artist whose works are in private and public collections including LACMA, Long Beach Museum of Art, Racine Art Museum, MFA Houston, Gardiner Museum Toronto and The Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art Shiga Japan.