How can an inert object produce deeply unsuspecting, indecipherable, uncontrollable emotions? Wayne Fischer is an artist who can create works that force one to ask such moving questions as this. If he doesn’t know why, if he can’t explain the deepest reasons of his artistic research, he definitely knows the workings and limitations of the artistic process he invented.
He has never deviated from the course he set for himself since university; translate life. The works presented here show the evolution of his creations over the past thirty years. If Wayne Fischer has received several international prizes and quickly obtained the recognition of his peers in ceramics, nevertheless he retains a singular position at once unavoidable and disturbing. His sculptures are paradoxical, powerful and sensual, and cause a certain unease. They are beautiful, carnal, touchable, all the while being outside the standard idea of beauty. The ambiguity of attraction and rejection is at the heart of this evolution.
The pieces from the 1980s and 90s are imposing by their size, stature and symmetry, which give them balance. They generate surprise, curiosity and play between contrasts that are both soft and aggressive. They reference the body, muscles, and torso, without presenting an exact reality. They are double-faced, seductive, and enigmatic. Wayne’s shapes are inspired by shells, bivalves, sometimes presented as though they are floating in space. But the reference of the marine world to the mysterious female body has only one interpretation and only history and emotion condition the reaction of the spectator: he accepts or refuses to see, to be seduced. He is touched or he flees.
The more recent sculptures are appreciated in the fullness of their round volume and the search for a pure universal beauty. “Metamorphosis,” the work recently awarded by the Bettencourt Foundation, is from this series of pieces wheel-thrown and deformed which pushes the porcelain from the inside so the bulges evoke the movement of waves or the musculature of several bodies. The exactness, the clean breaks, the assurance of lines and valleys are testimony to the interior power that governs the creation. The life energy expressed is also felt by the artist as the origin of ceramics. All the pieces are curved and tense. They show no marking, no sign of the hand, no imprints, and yet give an impression of spontaneity, as if a dropped piece of clay found its form by chance. Depending on the angles, the content becomes “the origins of the world”. Femininity and sensuality are exalted. Inspired by the body, before and after birth, or simply the sea, the parts of the sculpture conjugate around a mysterious interior cavity, secret and troubling. The interior wall doesn’t correspond to the exterior, and has its own volumes, deformities, and intimacy. The pieces present two kinds of interior: one open, and partially uncovered, the other totally hidden inside. The differences of their respective deformation reinforce the impression of life : the subjective representation of muscles and bones, of bulges pushed by an interior force, like a visceral movement of respiration. The surface of the ceramic is crackled but soft and fine, even reflecting light like the skin. The nuances of color reinforce the expression of sensuality.
Wayne Fischer perfected his technique in the 1970s and has remained faithful to it. He adds fibers to porcelain clay that has been chosen for its whiteness to create and accentuate volume around empty space, by assembling slabs or thrown pieces. Then, he makes another pièce that takes its place inside; both parts are formed with no hand mark before or after their assembly. These sculptures are called double-walled. The colorants are airbrushed on, then sprayed with a layer of transparent glaze. The piece is colored in the manner of a painter in mastering the light. The darker parts accentuate shadow and depth, the paler parts come forward and focus on the light. After firing at 1250° Celsius each pièce is sandblasted to remove the shine but leave the transparency, a soft crackling, and an optical fusion of depth. This description doesn't take into consideration the complexity and necessary mastery of this difficult process and perhaps explains why this fastidious technique has not been taken up by other ceramicists. It demands a unique knowledge that Wayne Fischer claims with determination. "You have to feel the material in order to create powerful pieces," he says. A perfect knowledge of materials is necessary for expressing what you wish, but it is equally important to have something to say with this technique.
Wayne is an artist above all. From the minute he wakes up, no matter what he is doing, Wayne is an artist to the point of being disconnected from reality at times. He makes no concessions in his process, nor in the time he dedicates to work. He didn't look for a well-paying job, he didn't give up his art despite suffering and sacrifice, or tensions caused by his intransigent attitude. His perseverance and obstinacy have kept his sculpture at the highest level of quality.
Outside of contemporary artistic trends, without belonging to any movement, without reference to 20th century sculpture, which has favored other materials and techniques, Wayne Fischer innovates. His style is his alone. It speaks of the body without being figurative, but is not really abstract because the pieces exude eroticism. In keeping with simplicity of form (influenced during his studies by the work of Barbara Hepworth) Wayne Fischer addresses the unconscious and seeks to create discord which he himself feels in relation to the works of Bacon, Goya, and Magdalena Abakanowicz. He shows, as does Bernard Dejonghe, that the artist isn't in opposition to the craftsman, that ceramics can give birth to works of art and "bring about thought and emotion and share a view on the world."
Nicole Crestou, doctor of Arts and Art Sciences.
.. Je est un autre
In France since 1986, the American artist Wayne Fischer uses the plasticity of porcelain to create profound work which, ranging from containers to sculpture, is an organic ode to the real.
PROFIL from the magazin : Ateliers d´art July 2003
BY PASCALE NOBECOURT
You have to touch Wayne Fischer's pieces. Feel the softness of their skin, slide your fingers over their curves, stroke the slight swelling of the veins and folds, before plunging your hand into the hole, without really knowing what's waiting there, lurking in its depths; bottomless space, an unknown being or just the relief of a smooth, silky mold? The sculptures of Wayne Fischer go beyond words. They are an experience to be lived.Their forms undulate in space, animated by their own energy, pieces without any beginning or end of an expanding material that appears liable to retract suddenly and be swallowed up by the void, that black hole which they each have inside them and which silently contemplates the spectator. Like any work that speaks via gut feelings rather than going via the head, Fischer's triggers strong feelings among audiences, who either accept it or reject it, instinctively. Its strength lies in its ability to place us face to face with ourselves. For that, there is no need for speeches, drama or cannons...
1974-1978 : University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, USA
1978 : Diploma B.F .A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts)
1972-1974 : Carroll College - Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA
COLLECTIONS AND AWARDS :
2013 : Musée de Sevres, Sevres - Purchase
2012 : Liliane Bettencourt Prize "Intelligence de la Main", video
2005 : Biennal International of Ceramics, Cebiko, Korea, Honorable Mention
2002 : Musee des Arts Deco, Louvre, Paris- Purchase
2000 : Triennal of Art of Ceramics, Spiez, Suisse ( 1st prize )
1999 : Biennal of Ceramics, Andenne, Belgique (1st prize)
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
First Bank of Milwaukee, Milwaukee
Byer Museum, Chicago
Colorado Art Center, Colorado Springs (Purchase Prize)
Peters Valley Art Center, Layton, New Jersey (Purchase Prize)
Mar. 2013 : Catalog Wayne Fischer, Gallery Silbereis.
Mar. 2012 : Ceramic Review "Sensual and Indescribable" p. 36-41
Mar. 2011 : Cramics Art and Perception "Erogenous Zone", p. 80-82
2010 : Circuit Céramique aux Arts Décoratifs, Les Arts Décoratifs,
2010 : Made in France, By Americans, Mona Bismarck Foundation,
Sept. 2009 : Keramik Magazin Europa, “Erogene Zonen”,
2008 : Collection, Atelier D'Art de France
2006 : Ceramiques XX Siecle, Edition Musee des Art Deco, Paris, p. 176-177
May 2003 : L'Oeil - Wayne Fischer Porcelaine Palpitante
July 2003 : Atelier d' Art « Wayne Fischer- Portrait » p. 19-21
2002 : Ceramic Figures - A directory of Artists / M. Flynn p. 69-70
2001 : The Human Form in Clay / Jane Waller p. 35-37
Sept 1998 : Art et Decoration p 32
April 1998 : Kerameiki Techni « Wayne Fischer » p 58-60
La Revue de la Ceramique et du Verre :
May 2006 : " Wayne Fischer- Le Reve Ceramique" p. 48-51
June 1991 : " Le Printemps des Potiers - La Porcelaine " p. 47-51
Feb . 1990 : " Wayne Fischer- Les Palpitations de la Vie "
20 April : Printemps des Potiers, Clay to Bronze Prize, Bandol, France
28 June : Biennale de Vallauris, France
8 October : "Living Forms", Adrien Dubouché National Museum, Limoges, France
15 October : Liliane Bettencourt Prize Winners, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
2018 : Puls Gallery, personal exhibition, Brussels
2017 : "L'Experience de la Couleur", Museum of Sevres
2017 : Collect, Ateliers d'Art de France, London
2016 : Gendras-Regnier, Gallery Laroche, Personal Exhibition, Paris
2015 : Etceraterra,Gallery 28, Personal Exhibition, Lyon
2014 : Ceramic Museum, Hohr-Grenzhausen, Germany
2014 : Kunsthall Grenland, Porsgrunn, Norway
2014 : European Ceramic Context, Bornholm, Denmark
2013 : PIASA, Bettencourt Prix Winners, Paris
2013 : Gallery Silbereis, Paris, Personal Exhibition
2013 : Gallery Format, Oslo, Norway. Ateliers d'Art de France
2012 : "Peau de Terre" Petite Galerie Château de Roussillon en Dauphiné
2011 : "La Matière et l'Imagination", Ateliers d'Art de France, Korea
2011 : Gallery Accroterre, Paris, Personal Exhibition
2010 : Museum of Decorative Arts, Louvre, Paris, Cuicuit Ceramique
2010 : Museum of Ceramics, Sèvres, IAC Member Exhibition
“Made in France, by Americans” :
2010 : Bismarck Foundation , Paris
2009 : Bernardaud Foundation, Limoges
2009 : Ceramics of Contemporary Artists, Charenton 2009
2008 : Theodore Deck Museum (Florival), Guebwiller, Personal Exhibition
2008, 2003, 2000 : Triennale de I'art de ceramique, Spiez, Switzerland
2007 : Biennial of Ceramics Carouge, Switzerland, Personal Exhibition
2006 : Fuping International Contemporary Ceramics Museum, China
2006 : Gallery Collections, Atelier d'Art de France, Inaugural Expo
2006, 2003 : Galerie Pierre, Paris, Personal exhibition
2006 : International Biennial of Ceramics, Cebiko Korea
2005 : Center of Creation Ceramic, La Borne, France
2005 : Contemporary European Ceramics, Troyes, France
2005 : Voyage d'Argile, Aubagne, France
2005, 1999 : Galerie Loes + Reinier, Deventer, Holland
2004 : SOFA, Chicago, USA, Atelier d'Art de France
2003 : Biennale du Revest, Le Revest, Var, Personal exhibition .
2002 : Galerie Tabla, Bergen, Norway, Personal exhibition
2000 : Galerie Art 7, Nice, France
1999 : Concours Max Laeuger, Germany
1998, 1997 : Maison de la Ceramique, Mulhouse, France
1998 , 1999 : Kunsthuis, Ingrith Desmet, Kortrijk, Belgium
1998 : Exposition Sculpture, Pierrefeu, Var, France
1998 : Porcelaine 98, Giroussens, Samadet, Bressuire, Rieux-Volvestre, Paris, Colomiers
1998, 1996 : La Ceramique Française Contemporaine Biennale, Villeurbanne, France
1997 : Corps en Feu, Emibois, Switzerland
1996 : Biennale de la Ceramique, Andenne, Belgium
1996 : Tendance Sud, Frejus, France
1994 : Biennale Internationale de Ceramique d' Art, Vallauris, France
1993 : Concours International de Ceramique, Sarreguemines, France
1991 :Galerie Jean Lammelin, Paris
1991 : « La Porcelaine », Le Printemps des Potiers, Bandol, France
1989 : 5eme Biennale de Chateauroux, France
1985 : Revolving Museum, Boston, USA
1984 : Art Museum of Naville, Green Bay, USA
1984 : Art Museum of Milwaukee, USA
1982 : « Porcelaine 82 », Synopsis Gallery, Chicago
1982 : « Porcelaine 82 », Incorporated Gallery , New York
1979 : « Objectifs 79 », Colorado Art Center, USA
1977, 1978 : « Raku III + IV », Peters Valley, Layton, NewJersey, USA
since 2015: Gallery Gendras/Regnier, Paris
2013 -2015 : Gallery Silbereis, Paris
2011 -2016 : Gallery Accroterre, Paris
2001 -2011 : Galerie Pierre, Paris
since 1998 : Galerie Loes + Reinier, Deventer, Holland
1998 - 2003 : Galerie Jeanine Sauvaire, Paris
1996 - 1997 : Galerie Epona, Paris
1991 - 1992 : Galerie Jean Lammelin, Paris
1981 : 1982 : Incorporated Gallery, New York
1980 - 1985 : Synopsis Gallery, Chicago
1979 - 1986 : Mindscape Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
1979 - 1986 : Wisconsin Gallery, Milwaukee Art Museum
1977- 1987 : Bradley Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
This American artist has developed a very special technique which begins with the preparation of large porcelain slabs shaped by soft bags of vermiculite, wheel thrown added pieces and ending with a mixture of several glazes applied in layers over the bisque fired piece. They are then fired to 1220° C, sandblasted and hand finished.
In this way are born forms which resemble no others, forms shaped by soft contours, hollows delicately shaded and veiled in an organic or rose colored skin, slightly translucid. The work captures our attention by their unquestionably living aspect and evokes something which perhaps borders on the surreal.
Jacques Wolgensinger from "La Revue de la Ceramique et du Verre" number 50.
|Photo I. Wayne Fischer preparing nylon sacks filled with vermiculite which help in the shaping of the porcelain slabs. This step is sometimes preceded by sketching.||Photo 2. The porcelain slab having been prepeared, flattened and smoothed out has now reached its desired consistency, neither too soft nor too dry. It is then placed with its plastic sheet over the vermiculite bags|
|Photo 3. Together the board, the vermiculite sacks, the plastic sheet and porcelain slab are raised 30 to 40 cm. above the ground and carefully Dropped to get the approximate form||Photo 4. After basic forming, rectified if necessary by adding another bag, the sides are cut leaving enough of an edge for joining of second slab|
|Photo 5. The two slabs ready for .joining.||Photo 6. Joining of the two slabs.|
|Photo 7. Wayne joining the slabs by pinching and smoothing, sometimes adding an additional coil.||Photo 8. Wayne carefully examining this delicate stage of the process.|
|Photo 9. A third form, wheel thrown, is moistened in order to be shaped to the opening left in the piece.||Photo 10. Placing of the internal wall and joining. After drying and fiering, the piece will be carefully glazed using numerous coats of colorant mixtures in order to obtain a gradation of colors. This process is done with an airbrush. After electric kiln firing to 1220° C surface work is completed sandblasted and finally hand sanding.|