Press Release

Sculpture Space NYC Center for Ceramic Arts is pleased to present Counterpoint, as part of its Curatorial Program series, featuring work by AV Ryan and Susan York, and curated by Patricia Zarate. On view from March 10 through April 15, 2023.

Counterpoint is an exhibition that pairs the solid graphite and the porcelain work of Susan York with the paper sculptures of AV Ryan. Both artists have an affinity for precision and repetition, using layers and layers of their chosen medium and transforming the surface with repeated sanding and polishing. Together their sculptures result in contrasting elements such as straight edge vs. curves, lightness vs. heaviness, black vs. white.

AV Ryan’s interest in the Baroque shroud is at the heart of her sculptures. Made with layers of paper that are folded and refolded, the resulting organic shapes, finished with polished gesso, create a sensual surface. The work appears heavy like marble, but in actuality is as light as paper. Ryan’s work is a way of presenting metaphorically, the body’s weight and lightness as it leaves the physical world.

Susan York works with an abstract language of geometric shapes. Her material is primarily graphite, a powdery light substance that is transformed into solid cast graphite that she sands and polishes for hours. As she has mentioned, “My art practice is based in repetition and labor.” The repetitive motions are both physical and meditative, creating a state of mind that is akin to her Zen Buddhist practice. York’s wall hung sculptures evoke perceptual dualities of weightiness and weightlessness, and the surface sheen both reflects and absorbs light.

About the artists:

A V Ryan is an artist and writer. Her work has been exhibited at EFA Project Space, FiveMyles, My Gallery NYC, Pen + Brush, Sweet Lorraine Gallery among others. Her architectural projects include temple, which she built for the sculpture prairie at Art Farm Nebraska, and sol, which she built for the PlusSpace at FiveMyles. During the first winter of the pandemic, she collaborated with lighting designer Linnaea Tillett to create a month-long, all-night light installation in the FiveMyles Plus/Space. Her writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail. Ryan holds a BA from Princeton University and a BFA from Rutgers University. She also worked with the homeless for over a decade in theatre and as a legal advocate. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Susan York earned her MFA in ceramics from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Her work is placed in numerous collections in the US and abroad, including: The British Museum, London, UK; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Kunst Museum Winterthur, Winterthur Switzerland; Lannan Foundation, TX and NM; Morgan Library & Museum, NY; Museum Haus Konstrktiv, Zürich, Switzerland; Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt, Germany; The Panza Collection, Switzerland and Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven CT. Residencies include Bullseye Resource Center Residency, Santa Fe, NM; Ucross Foundation, Alpert/Ucross Residency Prize, Ucross, WY; and Europees Keramisch Werkcentrum (European Ceramic Work Center), s’-Hertogenbosch, NL. She is a Joan Mitchell Fellow and the recipient of a Gottlieb Foundation grant.

Sculpture Space NYC - Center for Ceramic Arts is a ceramic and sculpture center founded in 2013. Sculpture Space NYC's mission is to stimulate creativity, new ideas and collaboration in ceramics-based investigations. Artists, designers, and craftspeople of all backgrounds converge in this center to experiment, learn, make, reflect and grow artistically.

SSNYC-CCA Curatorial Program is dedicated to promoting contemporary visual art focusing on the research and exploration of three-dimensional work with an emphasis towards ceramics. The not-for-profit gallery maintains an ongoing exhibition schedule featuring works of the underrepresented artist community, as well as the work of emerging and established artists.