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FracShard

Exhibition  /  02 May 2008  -  01 Jun 2008
Published: 29.04.2008
Patrick Shia Crabb. Object: Untitled, 2008. Clay. Patrick Shia Crabb
Object: Untitled, 2008
Clay
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Intro
(...) Patrick Shia Crabb is widely known for his reconstructed clay vessels and sculptures, and cites Rick Dillingham as an important influence. Dillingham conceived of the clay vessel as a whole object, made up of numerous pieces. He was among the first to deliberately crack his work, only to reassemble it.(...)

California artist Patrick Shia Crabb brings twenty new works in clay to an exhibition opening in May at Patina Gallery. He will provide a range of works that includes several small pedestal pieces along with several wall pieces. He will also bring his signature tall vessel forms.
Crabb’s work is found in the collections of several important museums including the Mint Museum of Craft + Design in Charlotte, NC, the International Ceramics Museum in Florence, Italy, the Kyushu Ceramic Museum, Arita, Japan and the Yingee International Ceramics Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. 

Patrick Shia Crabb is widely known for his reconstructed clay vessels and sculptures, and cites Rick Dillingham as an important influence. Dillingham conceived of the clay vessel as a whole object, made up of numerous pieces. He was among the first to deliberately crack his work, only to reassemble it. Describing his fi rst experience of Dillingham’s work, Crabb says “When I fi rst saw his work in the mid-seventies it completely blew me over. Prior to that, I thought of a crack as an impediment.”
There are obvious similarities in their work but differences, too. “Dillingham controlled the cracking of his work, I break mine with a two by four.“

Crabb also finds inspiration in primitive and ethnographic sources. He elaborates, “I have always looked at clay in historical terms. Japanese Jomon ware, African sculptures, pre-Columbian tripod vessels and American Southwest Indian art are important infl uences. Going to cultures outside of Europe, I discover really interesting forms.”
New to this exhibit is a group of works in matte monochrome, accented by sparing shots of warm color. Crabb has decoupaged newsprint on some, juxtaposing snippets of current event reporting with the shadings and tone of his palette. “In the world of clay,” says Crabb, “there is a tendency to stay within established ‘clay technique.’ Clay artists don’t decoupage.”
After an initial fi ring, he takes the perfect vessel and breaks it. The shards are painted and glazed so that when the vessel is reconstructed, the arrangements of color and pattern are random. By snipping the corners of the shards with scissors, he heightens the appearance of fragility. “The idea of taking broken pottery and turning it into a coveted aesthetic is quite remarkable!” says Crabb.

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