Night Gallery is pleased to present Retrograde, an exhibition of new ceramics by Colorado-based sculptor and painter Jasmine Little. This will be her first exhibition at the gallery.
The exhibition will be composed of large, cylindrical stoneware vessels with figurative iconography carved into their exterior surfaces. The numerous and varied influences in Little’s work span the entirety of the human experience. Flemish and Renaissance painting, medieval illuminated manuscripts, Safavid period carpets, Greek black-figure and red-figure pottery, and Japanese woodblock prints, are among the sources referenced in her work. The imagery oscillates between the extremes of elation and abjection while insisting in the perennial power of the object.
The decorative carving of these surfaces are dictated, in part, by the material itself as well as the firing technique. For this body of work, Little has used a unique formula of clay hand-mixed here in California that incorporates foreign substances creating a distinctive surface. She carves directly into this clay while it is still wet, then inlays additional materials including porcelain, common gravel, and, most notably, clinker bricks salvaged from a local Arts and Crafts-era house in Pasadena, CA. Clinker bricks, famously utilized by Greene & Greene Architects, are misshapen and discolored bricks that are created by hotspots within the kiln. These excavated bricks resonate with Little’s work on a technical and material level carrying a lineage of Californian craftspeople.
Little’s work foregrounds a communal aspect of ceramics that breeds cross-pollination and slippage between artists working in physical proximity to each other. By utilizing materials specific to a single location while employing imagery that is universal to us all, Little creates objects that are overwhelmingly human.
Jasmine Little (b. 1984) lives and works in Alamosa, CO. She has recently exhibited at Galerie Dumonteil, Shanghai, China; Johannes Vogt, New York, NY; Lefebvre & Fils, Paris, France; Tif Sigfrids, Athens, GA; and Five Car Garage, Santa Monica, CA. She has been featured in numerous publications including Whitewall, Artillery, New American Paintings and LA Weekly. Her work is included in the Smithsonian collection of American Art.