Doing it wrong: Cherry and Martin's new ceramics show upends convention


Cherry and Martin's 2732 space in Culver City presents 'Try again. Fail again. Fail better.', a four-person ceramics show that upends typical assumptions about what counts as technical mastery. Photography: Cherry and Martin/Jeff Elstone


Source: WALLPAPER
A group exhibition of ceramics at Los Angeles’ Cherry and Martin gallery takes its cue from Samuel Beckett’s 1983 prose piece 'Worstward Ho', embracing the possibilities of success in deliberate failure.
But unlike Silicon Valley’s recent adoption of the text’s soundbite phrase, 'Fail better,' the fire-hardened sculptures — with slumping edges and irregular glazes — present a three-dimensional range of things coaxed into going wrong, including a precarious totem of vases from the artist William J O’Brien, whose solo survey exhibition was at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago last year.
Across the gallery’s 2732 space in Culver City, the four-person show, 'Try again. Fail again. Fail better.', both expands the ongoing vogue for work in clay and collapses it, by upending assumptions about what counts as technical mastery.


'I like how ceramics reveal every action you take, every decision you take', says Katy Cowan, whose slip-cast hammers and crowbars blur the line between studio tool and result. Failure, she adds, 'is funny in terms of a ceramics show' because it is a medium with 'so many right ways and wrong ways of doing things, and so many restrictions that you don’t have to follow, but people still do'.


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