The Form of Function

Ceramic Sculptures
2-person exhibition with Anastasia Greer at Nationale, Portland, OR, 2016

The distinction between craftwork and fine art is commonly plotted along points of function, form, tradition, and, while often left unspoken, gender. However, this work playfully dismantles these outdated associations by resituating the feminine voice of pottery as a vital source of fluidity within sculpture and painting’s traditional rulebook.

Pottery has always been informed by quotidian needs—a mug to hold tea, an urn to carry those we’ve lost. Evans’ terra cotta sculptures, however, feel no obligation to this functional history. Her objects, colored with luminescent underglazes in ruddy pinks, milky whites, and charcoal, only temporarily allude to specific uses. While our eyes seek out the recognizable curves and voids of handles and slots—shapes that beckon to be held or to hold—such literal interpretations do not linger. Conflated and multiplied in Evans’ compositions, these at first familiar forms are revealed to be purely symbolic. They exist instead somewhere between art and life, never confined to one fixed meaning or purpose.