University Art Gallery

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CHRIS GUSTIN: CIRCLING INTO NOW LARGE-SCALE VESSELS 2005 - 2010

October 2 - November 14, 2010

It is a special pleasure for the University Art Gallery to present an exhibition of large-scale vessels by Chris Gustin, a former ceramics Professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The vessels were done over a five-year period, and the exhibition presents an unusual opportunity to view a large collection of his extraordinary vessels in one place.

Chris Gustin chose to take early retirement in order to concentrate on his career. Already established as one of the preeminent craft artists in the country, he has devoted his time to an extensive exploration of the potential within his own work. He has also been instrumental in many national ceramics initiatives and events, and is much sought after as a lecturer and teacher of workshops.

Chris Gustin's work is unusual in the way it uses the traditional form of the vessel for the exploration of sensations associated with the human body, in work that is almost human in scale. As he explains, “I am interested in pottery that make connections to the human figure. Though most of my work only alludes to function, I use the pot context because of its immense possibilities for abstraction. I want my work to provoke an image to the viewer, to suggest something that is just on the other side of consciousness. I don't want my pots to conjure up a singular recollection, but ones that change with each glance, with each change of light. I use surfaces that purposely encourage touch, by inviting not only the eye but also the hand, to explore the forms. I hope to provoke numerous memories and recollections that have the potential to change from moment to moment.”

Chris Gustin's work is in collections worldwide. Most recently a group of work were acquired by the Icheon World Ceramic Center in Korea. His work has also been acquired by the Houston Museum of Art, The Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, the Mint Museum of Craft in Charlotte, North Carolina, and numerous other museums.

The exhibition was organized by the University Art Gallery and coordinated with an exhibition of Chris Gustin's new series of platters at Navio Gallery in New Bedford. That exhibition will also feature a selection of work by seventeen of Gustin's outstanding students from his years of teaching.

A catalog with illustrations and essays by Jim Lawton, Stuart Kestenbaum and Rick Snyderman, is available at both locations.


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