APRIL 5 - MAY 12, 2012
The personal quietude of American artist, Tim Rowan, belies the depth and activity of his process. He allows his work to be his voice but sometimes this choice leaves much to the perceptions of the viewer. The work often depends on the viewer not only to intellectually grasp it but to intuit it as well. The Japanese aesthetic of Yugen or mysterious essence is an important part of his presentation. This work not only occupies gallery space but it also has a placement in the context of his studio and land. When one sees his work in its birthplace one realizes that we are standing in the presence of one of the world’s great Poets of Place.
Tim Rowan’s work does not refer directly to the history of traditional Western ceramics. Of course aspects of all ceramic sculpture processes are universal but his work does not travel to us out of an evolution of Western form and surface techniques. By this token they barely travel out of Japanese form either, although there are parts of the process that refer to it obliquely; including firing technique and flame markings. His cups are not chawan (tea bowls), and his sculpture does not quote Bizen form. His urns are not mizusashi (water containers). If there are any references at all to the work of his teacher, Ryuichi Kakurezaki, they come from Rowan’s response to that work despite the Japanese legacy that work comes from. When you look closely at Tim Rowan’s abstract pieces, the implications of his free-form place in history come home to roost. One can offer up for comparison his colors perhaps, his textures perhaps, his melted ash perhaps, but his forms are his alone. They are not utilitarian objects trying to break free from tradition. They are however, utilitarian to the eye and the soul, used in aesthetic contemplation and the cerebral and ephemeral pleasures therein. He is saying new things in an ancient language.
I am not sure I would label Rowan as anything but a Contemporary Artist. His sensitivity to found and shaped stone forms extend his ceramic vocabulary. He is a Minimalist but that is more a description of his affect than of any philosophical viewpoint. The tension in his pieces is not minimal. His work covers power with a veneer of control and calm; a dangerous directed power. It seethes. The spikes on his cups or in his bowls, the cracking and splitting of his geode-like forms whether ceramic or metal, reveal mineral turmoil and convey a universe that can be ominous and/or aggressive even in its quietest moments. He creates a geological ethnography with objects that have resonances beyond the membrane of our ordinary aesthetic recognition.
Tim Rowan’s work is made in Nature yet it willingly acknowledges what is manmade. Rust, iron stains on concrete, granite and marble walls all resonate throughout the work yet they are twisted and owned by the artist. Landscape art is about the land. This is art that is land, a natural landscape of its own. Cavin-Morris is pleased to present these new works by an important sculptor.
For further information, please contact Shari Cavin, Mimi Kano, or Randall Morris at 212 226-3768, or e: info@Cavinmorris.com.