The Jane Hartsook Gallery is pleased to present "Vibrant Things," a three person exhibition featuring Andrew Casto, Evan D’Orazio and Hilary Harnischfeger, curated by Aimee Odum. Undertaking the near-impossible and intricate task of absorbing the world around them, the artists transform ephemeral events from their environment into tangible and vivacious ceramic assemblages. Each creates their own distinct aesthetic using layers of clay slip, encrusted hydrostone or brightly colored ceramic mounds. Casto, D’Orazio and Harnischfeger are influenced by geological processes, banal spaces or personal moods or relationships. They channel day-to-day experiences into objects that preserve the gestures that made them, giving these static forms a sense of movement. Vibrant Things connects these lively ceramic forms with stress, humor and memory – provoking us to evaluate the forces that shape us.
Andrew Casto’s forms are loosely structured branches that seem to divide infinitely, rising and gracefully melting into their own formations. Casto builds strata with soft hues and flecks of gold that flow over mounds of fluid slip and glaze. He extracts a visual language from geological processes like erosion, linking these dynamic changes to the repercussions of stress and how it shapes us physically, mentally and emotionally. Creating a tempo with his work, Casto repeats and evolves each ceramic form, relating these transformations to our fluctuating surroundings.
Casto presented solo exhibitions at Galleria Salvatore Lanteri (Milan, Italy); and Mindy Solomon Gallery (Miami, FL). His work has been included in national and international group exhibitions at Puls Contemporary Ceramics (Brussels, Belgium); Patricia Swaton Gallery (Oakland, CA); Gallery 8 and Cynthia Corbet Gallery (London, UK); and Sight Unseen Offsite for Design Week (New York, NY). His work is in numerous permanent collections such as the Regidoria de Cultura (El Vendrell, Spain); The Arizona State University Museum of Art Ceramics Research Center (Tempe, AZ); and The Archie Bray Foundation (Helena, MT). Casto currently serves as the Assistant Professor of Art in Ceramics at The University of Iowa. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa and is represented by Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami.
Evan D’Orazio’s objects serve as actants for his interests, identity and physical and mental stress. Through a cathartic process, the work become manifestations of D’Orazio’s anxieties as he piles, throws and manipulates clay into heaps, often resembling debris. D’Orazio brings lightness to his work by incorporating colors of the 1980s and processed and artificial foods. Bright, saturated surfaces act as a counter response to his negative day-to-day experiences. The objects pulsate with a sense of liveliness and humor, pushing and pulling the viewer through D’Orazio’s responses to his daily routine.
D’Orazio has held solo exhibitions at Morpho Gallery (Chicago, IL) and Pleasant Street Gallery (Dekalb, IL). He has been invited to show his work in group exhibitions at Forum Gallery (Bloomfield Hills, MI); Museum of Contemporary Art (Detroit, MI); Galleria Salvatore Lanteri (Milan, Italy); Palazzo Cisterna (Turin, Italy); and Morpho Gallery (Chicago, IL). D’Orazio currently lives and works in Ferndale, MI. He received his MFA from The Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Perceptive of the subtleties in her environment, Hilary Harnischfeger uses spaces and events to inform her raw, yet intricate forms. Mounted on the wall and in the round, the works are filled with dichotomies, acting as a truthful, yet mystical memory of her surroundings. Harnischfeger’s process involves taking molds of objects from her daily life and casting their likeness in hydrocal, further pairing them with colored porcelain, minerals and handmade paper. She finds inspiration from the architectural maquettes of German Expressionist, Hermann Finsterlin, her children’s interest in animated cartoons and a broken cliff face. Both entrancing and quiet, the objects act as passages for us to understand our own environments in a way that is fleeting, yet grounded.
Harnischfeger has had solo exhibitions at Rachel Uffner Gallery (New York, NY); American University Museum (Washington DC); Halsey McKay Gallery (East Hampton, NY); Neverwork (New York, NY); and Moody Gallery (Houston, TX). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, among them shows at Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, OH); MOCA Cleveland (Cleveland, OH); James Cohan Gallery (Shanghai, CH); James Fuentes (New York, NY); and Grimm Fine Art (Amsterdam, NE). Selected press includes reviews by Jerry Saltz in New York Magazine and Roberta Smith in The New York Times, among others. Harnischfeger lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA from Columbia University and is represented by Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York.