Re-Collections: A Visual Dialogue between Ceramic Artist Richard Hirsch and Glass Artist Michael Rogers

By Meyer, Scott | Ceramics Art & Perception, December 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Re-Collections: A Visual Dialogue between Ceramic Artist Richard Hirsch and Glass Artist Michael Rogers


Meyer, Scott, Ceramics Art & Perception


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

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 palpable. His is a point of view similar to the views of Joseph Campbell whose eclectic study of human culture and spirituality yielded a sense of what is shared by all.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Rogers is an intense student of words and their power to transform meaning as they are juxtaposed. By using recognizable objects in surprising contexts, his glass sculpture builds a complexity of associations the way a poet builds depth and resonance in the spaces between words. But he is a visual poet and as such is unrestricted by linear or temporal order. Indeed he refers to his assemblages as "constellations", aggregates that can be understood only in the infinitely diverse relationship the whole has with its parts.

There is an obvious love this artist has for the particular. The objects he collects (his vocabulary) are from this culture, lifted from our lives and the lives of our families. Ornamental birds, doll parts, toys carry with them very specific and personal associations. Someone played with these, handled them and handed them down. We've found them in drawers and chests when moving from homes that were dear and we saved them, made them stand for people, places or eras. Often Rogers takes advantage of the transparency or translucency of his medium to surround his objects with a series of bulbous domes, and places them on special presentation platforms. From their perch and in this surreal vacuum they appear always to know more than they can say, muted by their very significance. Of course their silence is an invitation for the viewer to dream.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

On the surface, enough common ground for useful exchange between these two sensibilities might not have been anticipated. While not directly in conflict, their ways of getting to the centre of their statements begin at opposite poles of a continuum. Fortunately, for both artists, surface is not skin-deep. What lies beneath, each object's specific history, is evidenced in its rich and rustic shell. They and their collections share much more than is evident at a glance, much more than the artists thought when they started their work together. For both, the wear of time makes significance possible. The Japanese word wabi is most applicable.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Re-Collections: A Visual Dialogue between Ceramic Artist Richard Hirsch and Glass Artist Michael Rogers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?