Young Clay opened at the Shay Arye Gallery in Tel Aviv on the 20th of April 2008. The purpose of this exhibition was to provide a forum for young artists to show their work and for the public to view contemporary ceramic art in Israel. Young artists are the future of ceramics and they have the chance to provide a fresh view on a very ancient tradition of this region. Each generation is influenced by its own experiences and events. It is interesting to see how this is expressed in art in Israel and in ceramics in particular. The active participation of young ceramic artists in the dialogue of contemporary ceramics is essential and this exhibition is an important showcase for this dialogue.
Young Clay - Curators' text
With great excitement, hesitation, deliberation and curiosity we accepted the offer to curate together the exhibition of young artists. Numerous questions lay before us, the main one being: What is young clay? When we began seeking for a clue to define the exhibitions concept we grappled, among others, with the question: What is young?. Despite our repeated attempts to find answers, we discovered again and again the complexity of the term, perhaps because the answer lies with someone who is not old, but who yet chooses the ancient ceramic matter to express his young spirit.
Pressured by time and having to decide the topic of the young artists’ exhibition, we understood that the answer lies in the forces themselves, in the young artists, who through their work and creations will make their statements, while we merely provide them the stage. However, we believe that the success of the exhibition will derive from the desire of the young ceramicists to examine and understand the questions “What is young?” and “What is young clay?” Their substantive answers to the questions will present a picture of young clay in Israel without us trying to define and delineate the subject from the vantage point of our age.
The range of proposals we received was impressive in terms of the pluralistic direction that we ultimately chose, though in retrospect the choosen works fall into two main categories: one group of artists originates in the ceramic discipline i.e. creators for whom the ceramic material and process are the base of their creations. The artists in this group try to adhere to and at the same time expand the ceramic medium, in an attempt to escape the conventions, to connect and to compose a contemporary language of ceramic material, form and use. The second group opts for a post-modern personal expression of social criticism, where the use of ceramic material is circumstantial.
We hope to have managed to encompass in the exhibition a rich myriad of directions, and to present the remarkable abilities and skills of the participants who are worthy of faith, encouragement and support in their ensuing future in ceramic art.
Rina Kimche and Arye Franco, Tel Aviv, Winter 2008
Dani Gassner & Ori Saidi - studio OTOTO