October 1 - December 31, 2016
Through daily ritualistic stacking, assembling and rearranging of hundreds of wheel-thrown ceramic sculptures, artist Julie Cloutier used the storefront gallery at Irving Street Projects as a testing ground for various groupings and realignments of her works. Useful Irrationalities questioned the boundaries of utility within the domestic environment and explored the relationship between labor and value and fine and applied art.
Cloutier’s stoneware vessels evoke both an ancient and modernist aesthetic and technique. Her works highlight the natural beauty of the dense, rock-like nature of her material when it is fired to its maturation temperature, through a process that historically dates back thousands of years. For this project Cloutier has developed a specific language of wheel-thrown shapes and characters according to the naturally occurring variance of color and texture of various clay bodies. Each work in the installation is ever-so-slightly non-functional; cups with rounded bottoms, concentric and exact clay circles, hourglass shapes that could never hold sand.
A series of limited edition prints made by Cloutier in collaboration with The Aesthetic Union accompanied the exhibition, along with a limited edition handmade folded screenprint documenting one day of arrangements printed by Matt Katsaros.
Inspired by Julie's work and its relationship to craft, we held a panel discussion about how overlapping interests in art, craft and design relate to issues of accessibility, personal agency, independence, and economic pressure. You can listen to it here:
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Julie Cloutier is an artist living and working in the Outer Sunset district of San Francisco. Her ceramic work focuses on handheld sculptures, functional wares and everyday objects. She draws upon her architectural background to inform her minimalist lines and quotidien investigations. She holds a Masters in Architecture from California College of the Arts and a Bachelor in Environmental Design from University of Colorado at Boulder. She has exhibited her work at The Lab (SF), Jancar Jones Gallery (SF), Chandran Gallery (SF), POP Gallery (Culver City) and Little Paper Planes (SF).
photo credit: Airyka Rockefeller