Edward Cella Art & Architecture presents Field Language, an exhibition of new ceramic sculptures and works on paper by David Hicks. Drawing inspiration from the cultivation of nature through farming, Hicks creates what he calls a “library” of experimental ceramic forms that resemble beautifully decayed produce. These individual ceramic elements are assembled together by welding wire armatures aggregating dozens of disparate pieces into singular large, wall mounted sculptures or in large fields. This new series displays an assortment of surfaces, colors, and shapes that will be exhibited as groupings of objects in the gallery’s project room and front windows.
Hicks’ awareness of his own attraction and appreciation of agriculture, the politics of labor and those who labor can be found in the fields surrounding his home in California’s Central Valley. Often called the “Bread Basket of the World”, forms that could be hanging from trees, in the hands of migrant harvesters, on our tables or rotting on the dirt, find their way into his obsession with this increasingly standardized process.
Empathetic of these organic yet systematic forms, Hicks sees in these the opposition of the natural processes of agricultural cycles. The industrial and the heirloom. Cycles that feel allegorical and autobiographical, referencing the human struggle which starts with fertilization, moves through growth and finally ends in decay. Hicks says, “(t)his process is raw and connected to my understanding of self.”
Hick’s was part of a two-person show at Edward Cella Art & Architecture in 2016. He graduated from the well-regarded ceramics programs at California State University, Long Beach and received his MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, New York. Recent exhibitions include Nucleus, Cross Mackenzie Gallery, Washington DC; Material Collaborations, Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, FL; Goodwin Fine Art, Denver, CO; and MUCK, Curated by Peter Held, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ. His work is included in numerous private and public collections including the St. Petersburg Museum of Art, the US Embassy Art Collection, Washington, DC, Arizona State University Art Museum, and the American Museum of Ceramic Art.