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Oklahoma State University

Contingent Structures: Recent Ceramics by Brandon Reese

This selection of new ceramic sculptures illustrates Brandon Reese's ongoing exploration of monumental open-worked constructions that reference archetypal and architectural structures such as towers, shelters, circular enclosures, and schematized human forms. Reese works mostly with salt-fired stoneware, minimally colored. His practice embraces the vagaries of the kiln, just as it relies on the artist’s intuitive and conditional engineering of his constituent parts into contingent wholes.

Reese’s primary structures reveal a post-minimalist array of formal strategies, including the use of modules, grids, and serial systems. Working with a well-defined vocabulary of roughly geometric shapes (circles and rectilinear forms predominate), Reese builds his lattice-like sculptures with hand-hewn girders, struts, and trusses—a personal, artisanal answer to the precise, nineteenth-century, industrial approach epitomized by the Eiffel Tower.

Reese embraces a hybrid aesthetic, one that makes clear reference to architectural framing, to drawing, and to the conceptual vessel genre that came of age after the Second World War. Reese’s forebears (and mentors) include Peter Voulkos, who first promoted the abstract sculptural potential of ceramics; Jun Kaneko, who pushed the physical limitations of the ceramic medium to prodigious scale; Don Reitz, who introduced salt firing to American ceramists; and John Balistreri, who continues the previous generation’s experiments with scale and process.

July 20, 2017 to October 28, 2017