Sunday, January 7, 2024

Charles Bound: RETROSPECTACLE

  12 January 2024 through 16 February 2024

Curated by Christopher Brayshaw

Charles Bound (b. 1939, NYC) has worked variously as a publisher’s representative, secondary school teacher, published poet, theatre worker, and, since the mid- 1980s, as a potter and ceramic artist. His earliest works in this, his first retrospective exhibition, are largeish wheel thrown, gas-fired pots whose symmetrical forms and gestural, highly activated surfaces only hint at the departures the artist would subsequently make from the wheel’s enforcing symmetry. Spurred by his close and careful reading of African and Japanese ceramic history, and by the fortuitous acquisition of a wood-fired kiln, Bound’s post- mid-90s ceramic productions are gnarlier, less symmetrical, and seemingly derived from complex natural phenomena: cart tracks through mud; buried “antique” forms; erosion, wind and rain, and other natural processes.  More recent works collage, recombine & refire failed and broken ceramic experiments, or seem indistinguishable from shapes created by undirected geological processes.

In spring 2023 I was fortunate to visit the famously taciturn Bound’s rural Wales studio and to spend a few days handling and photographing 40+ years of ceramic production.  From that visit, and our wide-ranging conversations, came the germ of this exhibition, which includes works from numerous North American and European collections, and loans from the artist’s own recent production. There is no living ceramic artist I have learned more from than Charles Bound, and I thank him for participating in this necessarily limited survey of his exemplary career.
 
Christopher Brayshaw
January 2024