Bundles: A solo exhibition by Aaron Wilcox

Cape Fear Community College is pleased to present Bundles, a solo exhibition of Aaron Wilcox’s work, opening on Friday, May 17, 2013, and running until Monday, June 28, 2013 at the Wilma W. Daniels Gallery on CFCC’s Wilmington campus.  An opening reception for the artist will take place on May 24, 2013 from 6-9pm.

Bundles consists of nearly 30 ceramic sculptures, accompanied by digital detail photographs of the sculptures, and drawings of existing or speculative sculptures.

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In this exhibition, Wilcox relishes in exploiting the malleable nature of clay and the boundaries that arise in its fired form.  His works are joyfully maniacal, with their endless yet subtly complex riffs on theme and variation. Strips of clay are thrown and stretched, fired (and sometimes glazed), and bound by zip ties – often cut into sharp edges – in ways that challenge the materials’ inherent characteristics with the demands of gravity and the artist’s conceptual manipulations.  In spite of the insistent restrictions placed on choice of elements and processes, each sculpture offers its own guiding logic, associations, and formal analogies – ranging from meditative tranquility to clenched anxiety.  The articulation of theme and variation is demanding in its call to observation and exquisite in its relentlessness.

Wilcox considers the sculptures residue of studio practice. In the studio, he aims to remove as many of his subjective tendencies as possible by establishing rules and limiting variables.   For him, the formal oppositions that arise are unresolvable. He writes of embracing this irresolution: “Clay — Plastic; Old — New; Precious — Disposable; Rigid — Flexible; Heavy — Light.”  As a result, he states that the sculptures with zip ties make him very uncomfortable.  It is, in part, out of this dialogue of oppositions and discomforts that the photographs and drawings arise.  Cropped, enlarged, and often installed with disregard to the orientation of the original piece, the photographs propose moments of admiration for, and reinvention of, the sculptures. The drawings serve the same purpose, replacing the abundance of the ceramic strips with the repeated gesture.  The resulting triumvirate (sculptures, photographs, drawings) captures and celebrates a rigorous investigation of the formal splendors of clay and the conceptual challenges arising from such an inquisition.

Aaron Wilcox was born in Winston-Salem, NC. He received an MFA in ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI (1998), and an M.A. in Liberal Studies (1994) and a B.A in Religious Studies and Art (1992), from UNC Greensboro.  He lives in Wilmington, NC, and is an Associate Professor of Ceramics at UNC Wilmington.

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