Robert Raphael “Foreign/Domestic”


poster for Robert Raphael “Foreign/Domestic”
[Image: Robert Raphael "Untitled (made in Japan)" (2014) Shigaraki stoneware, 16 x 8 in.]

This event has ended.

Foreign/Domestic features recent works by Brooklyn-based artist Robert Raphael. Raphael’s ceramic-based work draws on the complex history of decorative art, a tradition that intersects and runs parallel to the history of art. Raphael’s research has led him to a love of pattern, excess, and ornament. Decoration is often perceived to be superficial, but he believes its strength lies in its seductive nature and the complex meanings that result when surface, mass, pattern, and cultural history come together.

The “foreign” works in this exhibit were created during a residency in Shigaraki, Japan in late 2014. Shigaraki is an area known for industrial ceramics, traditional Japanese wood fired pottery, and feldspar mines. Raphael spent his time investigating the form of rope, both a utilitarian object and decorative motif. His experimentation with Japanese clays from the region led to a distinctive aesthetic that lends itself well to the rope abstractions created in the residency.

The “domestic” portion of this exhibition highlights recent sculptural works in which the artist explores the dichotomous relationships manifested in architectural forms that juxtapose strength, structure, and mass with ornament and lush surfaces. Columns and other constructions created by the artist reference these relationships and exist more in the realm of architectural folly than in functional space. Ceramics has a long history of being both functional and decorative, and Raphael perceptively exploits these aspects with a skillful understanding of the material.



from May 27, 2016 to June 24, 2016

Opening Reception on 2016-05-27 from 19:00 to 21:00


Robert Raphael

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