May 2018: Brad McLemore & Reed Clarke

Brad McLemore’s ceramic works are made of stoneware and porcelain clays imbued with ash and atmospheric deposit—a record of the several days-long firing in wood-fueled kilns. A trust in formal strategies guides his choices in the composition of these pieces—activating interest or rhythm in a form through repetition and variation of elements; the tactile quality of surfaces."In this work, I offer a fiction of hand-hewn conviction and archaic engineering—perhaps a fragment of a greater, discarded system—a relic of industry and discovery. The object is organized to implicate utilitarian reasoning, yet a certain awkwardness of form offers ambiguity of purpose, at best. Vaguely familiar structures provide some clue to the reasoning within, yet coarse materials and an aging firing process erode our certainty."

Reed Clarke is a oil painter who concentrates on faces and figures. “The question of what it means to be human haunts me and forces its way into my work. On the one hand, I want to portray people in order to show their unique presence, but also to somehow allude to the underlying mystery of what it means to be human. The idea of having a human subject and the discipline that imposes on the composition of a work is something I value. Once a painting is begun I’m soon lost in the actual process of the interplay of color, line, volume, value and other visual challenges that must be dealt with before the finished painting begins to emerge. In the end, I hope for a balance between the subject of the painting and actual quality of the paint on the canvas. I hope to create in the viewer a desire to continue to experience the painting over time, as with someone who he or she feels they would like to know better.”