Our exhibition for August and September features new ceramic work by Venezuelan born artist José Sierra. Sierra was introduced to ceramics at the University of the Andes in Mérida, Venezuela, where he learned the basic skills of ceramics. In 1996, José began working professionally as a sculptor in Mérida. In 2000, José moved to Iowa where he worked as an artist making sculpture and useable ceramics. He currently resides in New Mexico where he maintains a studio practice.
Sierra's ceramic work is influenced by his past as well as his present surroundings. Images and memories of the Andean region of Venezuela, the textures and colors of the Andes and Catalinas mountains, pre-Columbian art and architecture are all important parts of his visual vocabulary. Working with altered wheel thrown porcelain and stoneware, his fluid forms are a canvass for brightly colored decoration and geometric pattern, his response to landscape and architecture. He also credits pre-Hispanic art and architecture and contemporary artists Jesús Soto, Alejandro Otero, Carlos Cruz Diez and Gego as influences on his work.
Jonathan Kaplan, Plinth Gallery curator, notes that "Sierra's use of intense color, geometry, and softly shaped forms are innovative and exciting. While his work is quite contemporary, a sense of historical reference is both subtle and dramatic. I am extremely honored to exhibit his new work at the gallery."
José Sierra-New Ceramic Workopens at Plinth Gallery on Friday evening, August 2, 2019 from 6pm to 9pm. The exhibition will be on view through September 28, 2019. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday, noon to 5pm and by appointment.