‘Jacob Foran: In Between Dreams’
Seattle ceramic artist Jacob Foran’s dandy exhibit at Abmeyer & Wood Fine Art explores color in ceramics in two sharply contrasting ways. About half the pieces are heads of smiling youngsters with closed eyes who serve as pale clay “canvases” for fancifully dripping pastel-hued glazes.
In the other half, black shiny glazes are so reflective that they half-obscure the detail. In “Head of Boy with Rockets,” for instance, the glossy uniformity of the dark glaze makes the child’s mind and the rocket-pad perched on his head merge into a single dreaming entity.
Something similar happens in three ornate pieces titled “In Space Together Forever.” Whether the focus is on two newlyweds or a pair of spacemen, the formula is the same. The figures, with rockets and/or flowery bowers rising behind them, stand on planetlike orbs cradled in dishes tarnished mirror-black. We’re talking space-travel fantasies as formal-dining centerpieces.
Skulls, scuba divers and roses turn up in Foran’s other work. The next stage in his artistic evolution is hinted at in “Head 2,” with its four increasingly small heads sprouting from one another.
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays through Feb. 28. Abmeyer & Wood Fine Art, 1210 Second Ave., Seattle (206-628-9501 or abmeyerwood.com).
Preview- The GALLERY GUIDE
In his second solo gallery exhibition, 33-year-old Jacob Foran underscores his growing reputation as a nationally recognized figurative ceramic sculptor. Coming up through the ranks of the North American clay establishment — undergraduate, graduate, residencies, competitions, scholarships, in-group awards — Foran displays a dedication to the human figure that is less elegant than that of one of his University of Washington teachers, the late Akio Takamori, and not as violent or expressionistic as another, Doug Jeck. Nevertheless, Foran seems more dispersed, with a wider range of subjects, moods and material approaches.
The new sculptures add to the group of busts and heads he showed at Zinc Gallery in Seattle last year, and bring to the gallery eerie children’s heads dipped in white glaze and dripping with pale colours. In Space Together Forever (Moon Landers’ Vessel) and Head of Boy with Rockets, he introduces outer space travel as a metaphor for sleeping, dreaming and death. Drenched in dark metallic lustre glazes, these pieces glow and vibrate, especially appropriate given the glistening spacesuits of the astronaut couple. He has already shown in juried clay exhibitions in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and the Netherlands.