September 6, 2023–October 22, 2023
New Collectors is thrilled to announce Pottery/Star, the gallery’s second solo exhibition with ceramicist Ryan Rennie. The exhibition comprises six wall hanging ceramics, including a diptych and triptych, modular stools presented as a stacked freestanding sculpture, and mirror-glazed vessels, all fabricated in the past year and a half. The exhibition is on view from September 6th to October 22nd, 2023 at New Collectors located at 191 Henry St, 10002. The opening reception will take place on Wednesday, September 6th from 6 to 8 pm.
The ambiguous title, Pottery/Star, hints at Rennie’s playful tendency to explore work with dual meanings. Without a deeper understanding of the themes and symbols throughout his work, one could take the title to be self-aggrandizing. With a closer look, his interest in space and constellations, their connection to spirituality, and the use of clay throughout many creation stories, allows for a more nuanced take on the title.
Everything about Rennie’s work holds truths and contradictions; he uses molds which are essential to mass-produced reproductions yet he only makes one or two pieces from each mold (each one still uniquely glazed). At times, the wall works can appear either reverently veiled or hastily vacuum sealed. He references celestial symbols like stars and spirals suggesting themes of spirituality or science (ceramics are an important component in space exploration due to their resistance to heat once fired). Those same cosmic symbols are juxtaposed against traditional pottery shapes (vessels, bowls) in many of the works to draw attention to the fact that pottery and spiritualism have been synchronous throughout history and across cultures.
The wall hanging ceramics and modular stools are all constructed using plaster press molds. These molds are hand made and require an extensive process of building positive and negative prototypes to create the final work of art. In addition to the mirror-glazed vessels, the other works are glazed in his signature style: a spraying technique that creates an allusion of highlights and shadows on their bas-relief surfaces.
For the first time at New Collectors, Rennie is also exhibiting standalone vessels. More traditional than the silhouettes of pottery found in his wall hanging pieces, these vessels harken back to the fundamentals of pottery. His inventive use of forms and glaze, extensive technical understanding of ceramics, and curiosity regarding history and mythology, culminate in work that is at once innovative, alluring, and deeply personal.
Ryan Rennie (b.1992 Seoul, Korea) is a ceramic artist, sculptor, and potter working primarily with hand-built and press-molded forms. His work explores systems of history as they relate to lineages of makers and the collecting and organization of art objects. Growing up in Pensacola, Florida in a family of many artists, Rennie went on to study at the Maryland Institute College of Art where he received his BFA in ceramics in 2015 and his MFA in ceramics at Alfred University in 2017. Most recently, Rennie was a resident artist at Odyssey ClayWorks in Asheville, North Carolina. Rennie is exhibiting his second solo exhibition with New Collectors and sixth single person exhibition in total. He has taught ceramics at studios throughout New York City and is currently the studio manager at the historic Greenwich House Pottery.
Wednesday, September 6, 6-8 pm
191 Henry St, 10002