Ricco/Maresca Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of ceramic sculptures by Toni Ross.
Informed by vessel vernacular, my work explores shape, surface, containment and the relationship between outside and in. The work is predominantly East Asian wedged coil built stoneware. Shino (shee-no), a traditional Japanese style glaze, is applied either to the entire piece or to the interior alone where it is encouraged to seep through the clay wall. Patterns emerge on the surfaces, often creating the effect of the piece being illuminated from within. In other instances, the shino has been abraded to expose the grayed, fire-touched clay underneath, a reminder of process and a sense of time passed.
These sculptural vessels are at once methodic and intensely personal; both in surface and in form they are rhythmic and yet unpredictable. Viewed as a group, the sculptures seem engaged in conversation, their restrained, almost ascetic sense of form radiating a subtle, powerful current. Singular pieces provide a counterpoint to this still reflection on form, as their vibrant surfaces demonstrate a sense of directness, almost urgency, instilled over time by various elements: fire, water, salts, minerals, and artist’s hand.
Each vessel contains, and emits, a strong sense of emotion, at times held powerfully within variations of form, elsewhere raw and exposed by the visceral surfaces. Ross’s concentration on containment is abstract rather than functional, each vessel inherently brimming with its own process of creation: a body of memories as well as possibilities.
Toni Ross lives and maintains a studio in Wainscott, NY. This is her first show with Ricco/Maresca Gallery.