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Steven Heinemann: Culture and Nature

Thu Oct 19 to Jan 21, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

“Ceramics is really painting and sculpture combined.”

For the past thirty-five years, acclaimed Canadian artist Steven Heinemann has transformed the medium of ceramics in Canada. Working in varying scale, Heinemann explores the paradoxes between culture and nature, deliberation and chance, interior and exterior surfaces, all within the tightly controlled ceramic vessel.

This timely retrospective exhibition examines Heinemann’s fascinating and evolving process to reveal how he exploits a limited series of gestures, textures, pigments, and images to achieve his wondrously tactile bowls, pods, and other vessel-shaped forms that embody the polarities between life and nature.

Heinemann works on a single piece for years, living with it, firing it multiple times to achieve the desired result, and reworking the surface by sandblasting, scratching, polishing, and sometimes stenciling to evoke glyph-like imagery.

The exhibition also delves into the artist’s creativity and inspiration, and particularly how his interest in ecology, cosmology, and ancient artifacts inform his lyrical investigations of containment, volume, and ornamentation.

About the Artist

Steve Heinemann exhibits and teaches internationally, and his works are held in collections around the world such as the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Icheon World Ceramic Centre (Korea), Museum of Art and Design (New York), and Museum Boymans van Beuningen(Rotterdam, Netherlands). He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Bavarian State Prize (Germany), the Juror’s Award (Mino, Japan), Fletcher Challenge (New Zealand), and in 1996 was granted the Saidye Bronfman Award, Canada’s highest recognition of achievement in contemporary craft.