Van Doren Waxter is pleased to announce Brian Rochefort’s debut solo exhibition in New York, presenting new ceramic sculptures inspired by Rochefort’s recent year-long travels throughout South and Central America and Africa. The show is on view at the gallery’s 195 Chrystie Street location November 3 – December 22, 2017.
The exhibition is comprised of 15 of Rochefort’s “craters” – large vessel-like sculptures made of glazed stoneware and earthenware. Drawing from his experience of exploring the earth’s natural beauty, this body of work is inspired by volcanic landscapes, earthen depressions, remote tropical rainforests, protected barrier reefs, and exotic animals.
Rochefort’s craters are created utilizing a process that is both additive and subtractive; each piece begins as a large unfired work that Rochefort smashes, and sometimes breaks apart, imbuing the piece with spontaneous uncertainty. The works are then submerged in mud and clay—drying and cracking to build mass—and then fired over to add color and build texture, airbrushing gradients and then using glazes; a single work can go through a process of multiple firings. Chromatically rich in color, and highly varied in surface structure and finish, these works can resemble a marine habitat or a Hubble photograph. Rochefort infuses these organic forms with otherworldly surfaces, made with glaze, ceramics, and glass. The interior space of each sculpture is made of pooled glazes and melted glass on the bottom of the work, referencing the artist’s experience visiting the Blue Hole and Actun Tunichil Muknal caves, among the sites in Belize he has visited and experienced. Rigorous investigations into process and material, Rochefort’s work pushes the formal and technical confines of the medium of tradition-bound ceramics; he expands past its limitations to new territories of freedom, invention, and play.