GREAT CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS OWE their quality to several key attributes. Of primary importance is the shared supposition that a truth can be reached between participants, insight not accessible to the solitary individual. For over a year, ceramic artist Richard Hirsch and glass artist Michael Rogers have been involved in an extraordinary exchange, a Gestalt almost completely impossible to imagine when considering each artist's personal path and vastly disparate approaches to content.
Hirsch has defined his career as an insatiable student of other cultures, particularly eastern and particularly ancient. From his early involvement in the development of American Raku, his sculptures have effortlessly integrated disparate techniques and spiritual dispositions to produce works of timeless and primal poignancy.
In his process, Hirsch is a reducer, endlessly honing and refining his forms to their simplest and most powerful presence. It is the same "less is more" aesthetic evidenced by the work of Noguchi, Brancusi, and Giacometti, artists he holds in greatest esteem. His content is principally the vocabulary of form, colour and surface, subtly referencing utility while defying overt narration and cultural specificity. A mortar and pestle, for example, might be discernible in a piece, but presented with such economy that they become only important as stand-ins for larger issues; their anima/animus relationship or as a record of human use and wear over considerable time. For Hirsch, the particular only exists for the purpose of making the universal …