Coproreal Impulse transforms at VPAM

By Brian Villalba

Corporeal Impulse displays themes of identity, fragility and perspective using the age-old mediums of clay and ceramic at the Vincent Price Art Museum.

In the artist walkthrough of Corporeal Impulse, Kathleen Ryan and Bari Ziperstein spoke to a crowd about their work on Wednesday.

They both create with clay and ceramics and explained their methods of bringing the neolithic materials into modern art.

Ziperstein uses the form of the ceramic and other materials as well as what is painted on the materials to tell her story.

In one piece there is a woman’s silhouette and the out of focus face printed on the ceramic, which shows an unclear identity.

It appears that you are looking at the front of Ziperstein’s work no matter what angle you are looking at it.

Ryan’s work focuses on the combination of clay and steel. She uses experimentation in her exploration of the unknown. She builds structured, angular works and fires them in the kiln. The problem is that kiln temperatures can go as high as 900 degrees. Even though the melting temperature for steel is higher than that, with the clay hanging on softer steel, you can have unpredictable results.

In one piece, Ryan attempted to make a piece inspired by a fence. After being fired in the kiln, it resembled the kind asymmetrical, wobbly fence you would see in a Tim Burton movie.

After a bit of despair, Ryan decided to embrace the new take on the form. “I felt it had its own character now, a bit of humanity,” said Ryan.

This is the second of two walkthroughs for Corporeal Impulse. The exhibition will continue through April 12.

All of Corporeal Impulse included a focus on art made with clay and ceramics.  Each artist displayed his or her ability to challenge traditional uses of the medium and transcend it.

Corporeal Impulse is on display at the VPAM until April 12.

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