"Fire & Water" Michael Boroniec, Jae Yong Kim, Dylan Martinez

ARTIST'S RECEPTION: Saturday, June 8th, 4-6pm

[New York] Lyons Wier Gallery is pleased to present Fire & Water, a group show featuring works by artists Michael Boroniec, Jae Yong Kim and Dylan Martinez.

Fire & Water brings together three immensely innovative sculptors working in clay and glass today.  Each artist is uniquely pushing the boundaries of their respective materials offering a fresh perspective to their craft.  A common trait amongst the three artists is their deftness of hand, ingenuity and brazen embrace of beauty.  Together, Fire & Water celebrates an artist’s unrelenting respect for their materials driven by an unwavering dedication to the advancement of their artistic vision.

Michael Boroniec’s Collections is comprised of two collections, Gourd Vessels and Cylinders, that investigate ceramic material through vessel form. Collections: GourdVessels are works that stem from a long tradition of emulating the gourd in utilitarian wares since the Neolithic age. The works are wheel thrown with a localized clay body found in Berkshire County, MA, and finished in a second firing with a smooth satin black glaze giving it the feel of compressed carbon. The forms become purely sculptural objects as the extreme long neck removes any utilitarian purpose. These vessels are the second iteration of Boroniec's Gourd Vessel series originally exhibited at the Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts in 2006.

Collections: Cylinders investigates the primary or minimalist form of ceramics as a cylinder. The majority of ceramics' foundation is found in the round. The potter begins with 'throwing' a cylinder on the wheel, which then takes on an infinite amount of forms. These cylinders act as beakers of alchemy. Each work becomes a canvas for an abstract painting made by mixing and blending periodic elements and chemical compounds together. The works are fired to 2000°F degrees several times until the desired result is achieved.

Jae Yong Kim pays tribute to his Korean roots with his Chunghwa Baekja (traditional blue and white pottery) series. Employing his signature donuts as his canvas, Kim's ceramics are hand drawn Sehwa (Korean New Year's paintings) that depict intricate landscapes populated with birds, flora, and animals that traditionally hang in the front doorway to ward off bad spirits and promote good health, long life, wealth and fertility for the incoming year. Years of trial and error and learning from local masters has enabled Kim to successfully apply the traditional Chunghwa Baekja technique to his donuts. Through color, imagery and form, Kim's latest series is an homage to the three cultures that influenced the artist during his lifetime: Korea; traditional blue and white pottery, the Middle East; Persian carpets that frame his compositions, and the United States; for its brazen consumerism and gluttonous consumption. Kim combines various imagery and artistic techniques he culled from living on these different continents to tell a story about his search for identity and a familiar sense of home.

Dylan Martinez' Surge series is crafted by first creating large cylinders of colored glass. Once cooled, each cylinder is cut into rings. The edges are then ground and polished. The rings are slowly heated to 1000°F. A gather of glass is balled up on a steel rod at 2100°F and used to pick up the ring. The ring is then heated in a chamber at 2200°F, at this temperature the glass is softened to the point where it begins to move and change shape. Each ring is heated and manipulated until they capture a sense of movement. The ring is then slowly cooled to room temperature over a 12 hour cool down period before the base is ground and polished.

Made entirely of hot sculpted glass, Martinez' popular H2O/SiO2 water bag sculptures challenge the viewers' perception. The seemingly water-filled 'plastic' bags are all but what they seem. Driven by the fact that Martinez is color blind, his alternative way of seeing the world has inspired him to ask us to question our own ways of seeing and what we perceive as truth.