Lacoste/Keane Gallery is very pleased to present JEFF SHAPIRO: A CREATIVE JOURNEY APRIL 4 - 25, 2020, the fifth solo exhibition of this internationally recognized ceramic artist at Lacoste Keane Gallery. This exhibition celebrates the artist’s long involvement with the Gallery including the curation of five major themed exhibitions, two of which were collaborations with the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the Ceramic Department at Harvard University.
This is the first time that Shapiro will show works from two new series: Oribe Reborn and Ice Flow. Seemingly different in surface color and effect, the two series have much in common. Both are fired first in the anagama tunnel kiln and then subsequently fired at least once more in other kilns with thick applications of glaze; Oribe for the green colors and a semi-translucent white glaze for the Ice Flow. Rich greens from the Oribe are difficult to obtain. Shapiro is looking for a spectrum of green from translucent mossy greens to turquoise blue which is the result of thick buildup of glaze. It is similar for the Ice Flow series as well that the glaze is pooled in the application, sometimes an inch or more in depth to create the feeling of ice flowing over stone formations. There are also a number of recent works from the anagama wood firing with the effects of heavy ash and fire.
Jeff Shapiro’s creative journey began in 1971when he traveled extensively in the East and Mid-east.
From 1973 – 1981 he studied the ceramic arts in Japan under the auspices of a Japanese patron, building his first kiln and making lifelong friendships with ceramic artists who have become the major stars of today. He was mentored by Isezaki Jun, now Living National Treasure of Bizen. Since returning to America, Shapiro continues to carve his own path following his inner direction apart from tradition.
Jeff Shapiro was born in the Bronx, NY in 1949. He presently works and lives in upstate New York with his wife Hinako. His work has been exhibited internationally in Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, England, and Japan. His work can be found in numerous Museum collections including: The Carlo Zauli Museum, Faenza, Italy, The Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, The Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY, The Fuller Museum, Brockton, MA and the Longhouse Foundation, East Hampton, New York.
I ‘look’ with the intent of perceiving the artistic elements of what I am viewing rather than the intellectual dissection of information. To that end, I want to be moved and inspired, and respond to the experiences I encounter.
I approach the process of making as a creative process giving myself the freedom to improvise and discover. I challenge myself to keep the work alive and evolving.
I believe that if I do not approach the work in this way, then the work stagnates and will precipitate the beginning of the end which leads to a slow downhill slide. Though I am predominantly working in the wood fire genre at present, I choose to utilize whatever technique, tool or process necessary to best resolve the finished work.
I challenge myself to be in a place or mental state of ‘abandonment’, devoting more energy to understanding the harmony that should exist between the maker, the concept, material, tools, and processes, and then learning to ‘let go’ rather than try to force something to happen. My recent work is the manifestation of this perception whether it be in tea bowls and sake cups, or solid sculpture.
I respond to the beauty that exists in the imperfections of nature; A torn leaf… a crack in a cement wall… a twisted branch…a shaft of lightning cutting through the night sky, all have the potential to be dimensions of beauty that feed the artistic soul and creative process.