Assistant Professor of Ceramics Linda Swanson looks at the work of Meghan Smythe in the recent major exhibition titled “Épisode” – the second Virginia McClure Ceramics Biennale at the McClure Gallery in Montreal.
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The exhibition entitled “Épisode” features four artists whose works speak not only to excellence and innovation in ceramics, but to its relevance as a discipline that allows for a specifically corporeal, embodied articulation of contemporary human experience
“The ceramics scene in Canada is developing rapidly alongside resurging interest in materiality in the arts,” says Swanson. “These exhibitions showcase what is happening in Canada and internationally and brings these exciting developments in the contemporary ceramics scene to Quebec for the first time.”
Swanson’s choice of artists — Phoebe Cummings (Stafford, U.K.), Benjamin DeMott (Chicago, U.S.), Janet Macpherson (Toronto, Canada) and Meghan Smythe (Los Angeles, U.S.) — has resulted in an inspiring, materially seductive exhibition. Each artist recognizes the historical heritage of ceramics, yet offers a highly original and imaginatively provocative vision.
“The exhibition is deceptively clear. The complexity of the materials in play and the issues involved slowly unfolds to you. As you walk in, the first piece is made of raw clay, it’s extremely fragile and seems to suggest ideas about our own mortality,” says Swanson.
“Épisode” is the second of five biennales taking place between 2014 and 2022.