Alice Mackler & Derek Weisberg
November 17, 2018 - January 12, 2019
Alice Mackler and Derek Weisberg both produce human figurative sculptures in clay, but with a difference. Mackler's female figures look as if they'd emerged naturally from primordial mud before assuming coats of vibrant, colorful glazes. Weisberg's unglazed male figures appear as if they were assembled from diverse fragments of ancient sculptures.
Funny, sad and enigmatic and with running mascara and smeared lipstick, Mackler's lively heroines pose singly and in familial groups rooted to rough islands of clay. Mackler glazes them with painterly elan, leaving some areas unglazed to produce contrasts of glossy color and matte white. Lately she has intrepidly explored more complex sculptural forms to mythic and sometimes surrealistic effect. In a recent series, her figures stand within partial enclosures of curved walls like matriarchal totems in sanctified spaces. Though humbly scaled, Mackler's works assert terrific sculptural vigor and raw beauty.
With their mismatched heads, torsos and limbs Weisberg's sculptures suggest a desperate, Postmodernist effort to construct an image of the human being that seems coherent and, possibly inspiring, like classical sculptures of Ancient Greece. Broken-down Frankensteinian monsters, they express, rather, an absurdistŐs doubt that any such heroic image of Man could ever emerge from the conflicts and confusions of cultures and politics prevailing around the world today.
Mackler and Weisberg have worked together for many years at Greenwich House Pottery in New York City, where she creates her sculptures and he serves as an instructor. In that capacity, he has been for Mackler a teacher and facilitator. For this exhibition, which opens on her 87th birthday, she asked that Weisberg's works be shown along with hers to honor their creative partnership.
'To Summon the Specter of a Rose' 2018
cone 6 porcelain and mixed media
28 x 24 x 18 in
12 x 9 x 3 in