Josh DeWeese – ceramics
Chris Autio – photography
October 30 – November 29 2014
Opening Reception Thursday October 30 6 – 8pm
Artist Talk Thursday October 30 5pm
“The most recent body of work are the oil colored prints. I use transparent Marshall oils and oil sticks, blending them together either on a palette or the surface.
I chose some of these images for their extended, vaporous views of Montana. The other body of work are part of a series of 36 portraits of people in their workspaces, exhibited at the Missoula Art Museum last summer. All work is shot with medium format film and printed on matte surface, ideal for detail or oil application.”
In Autio’s photo essay, Hands On, each black and white photograph has a dramatic presence, and Autio has presented a wide array of subjects, including a masseuse, farrier, potter, guitar craftsman, baker, brewer, and steel forger. He does not consider himself a formal portrait photographer, which explains why his approach is more casual.
In the photographs he includes the environment or tools which his subjects use in their vocation or art making. His selectivity demonstrates his editorial control and the images reveal a sense of pride and personal identity that relates to the labor.
Autio states, “This project began as an essay of photographs of only artists’ workspace; their cluttered areas sharply defined by a big camera. But what would tell a story better than having the people in them? While it is ideal to have my subjects working in the photos, from a journalistic perspective, it was also my intention to show their portraits. All of these people have a story to tell, where they work and what they do.”
A native Montanan, Autio has been featured in many exhibitions throughout the region. He was featured in a two–person exhibition with Josh DeWeese at MAM in 1996. His work is included in museum collections throughout the state, and several of his photographs are in the MAM Permanent Collection.
Josh DeWeese is drawn to the beauty and mystery of high temperature ceramics and the element of chance that occurs in atmospheric firings. Wood firing and salt/soda firing are processes where extreme surfaces can be achieved, in the subtle qualities of raw clays and the vibrant depths of a running glaze. DeWeese strives to embrace these qualities in a thoughtful way for making pottery and in bringing the wonder of the natural environment to objects used in our daily lives.
“Perhaps pottery’s greatest power lies in its association with the human body. The language of pottery is the language of the body, with necks and feet, bellies and shoulders, and lips to touch our lips. The intimate relationship that develops with use strengthens this association. A personality develops, and the pots become our friends. In this friendship they become reflections of our humanness, and help give meaning to our lives. I try to make pottery that is successful in several ways: comfortable to use, enjoyable to look at, and interesting to think about.
I have developed a passion for painting with ceramic materials. I enjoy the phenomenon of the melt and the element of gravity that enters the image through running glaze. The loss of control is important, blurring the lines made with the hand, and introducing a sense of alchemy. The viscosity and movement of the glaze becomes an important element in the final image. I am interested in translating what I see in front of me, whatever it may be. Many of the drawings are sketches of my studio or the view out the window. Images of pottery in my studio often dance across the forms I am glazing. Virtually any view may serve as a still life to respond to. The drawings often disappear among the layers of information that become the final surface, creating a sense of depth and curiosity.” Josh DeWeese
Josh DeWeese is an Assistant Professor of ceramics. He has served as Resident Director of the Archie Bray Foundation, holds an MFA from Alfred, and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. DeWeese has exhibited and taught internationally and his work is included in numerous collections.
DeWeese & Autio are long time friends and the children of renowned artists Rudy and Lela Autio and Robert and Gennie DeWeese.