South Comes North
Apr 02, 2014 • Connie Matisse
All of our astrologically sensitive friends gave us due warning of April's encroaching, energetic thunderstorm, so we had our feet planted firmly in the mud as last month approached. Truly, April was a tremendous time for East Fork Pottery. Right out of the gate, Alex made his small-screen debut on UNC-TV's Our State and I've since spent a small fortune on jumbo sunglasses, floppy hats & plastic noses to keep him hidden from the paparazzi and fans that have set up camp in our front yard. Being a celebrity is so exhausting. Though we haven't yet heard from Marty about the screenplay proposal we sent him, the operative word is most definitely yet - we hear his peoples' peoples 'peoples' people are all abuzz. Who do you guys think should play Alex in the biopic?! Penelope Cruz is the clear choice for me and I'm thinking Peter Dinklage for John. What about Daniel Radcliffe for Alex? He'd have to get a tan, but he certainly has experience playing hairy potters. (At this point, Alex seriously starts regretting having made me responsible for EFP Social Media)
In all seriousness, Morgan Potts and his crew did a killer job portraying East Fork Pottery honestly and tenderly. You can see the PBS segment by clicking here.
Memorial Art Gallery Presents Alexander Matisse: New Ceramics
We had the great pleasure of spending three days in Rochester, NY to attend the opening events for Alex's first solo museum show at the Memorial Art Gallery. The show, which runs until June 6th, features large scale works that Alex has produced over the last five years. Seeing the pots in a museum setting - under good lighting, on pedestals, with room for them to breathe - was more moving than I could have anticipated. I'd venture to guess that many who saw the show agreed: the great debate that takes up so much space in the mind-stuff of potters far and wide, the polarizing back-and-forth between art & craft, high & low, all fell to the wayside. The work was firmly, proudly, and equally both - Art & Craft - at peace with each.
The show opened alongside a collection of his great-grandfather's prints. Neither show, Alex's or Henri's, cared much for a competition. Nor do they seem to even bother with conversation. They simply nod to one another - maybe exchange a wink - as they hold their space, each in their own quiet & dignified way.
(Alex is likely gonna huff and puff at me for waxing poetic about his work, but hey! Somebody's gotta do it.)
The joy of seeing the pots in such a lauded setting was rivaled, however, by the warmth, generosity and hospitality of Rochester! Thank you so much to Marie Via, Charlotte & Raul Hererra, Grant Holcomb, Jim Hackney and the whole MAG crew for your beautiful work and support. The weekend was made all the more special by the attendance of so much of our family: Alex's mother, father, step-mother, grandfather, brother George, sister Ariel and my mom all joined in on the festivities. Thank you all for coming!
Mark Hewitt - who I think you are all quite familiar with - wrote a smart, profound & cheeky essay to accompany the online catalogue that the museum put together. You can read the essay and see the work below.
We passed back through North Carolina to zonk out for 24 hours, say hi to Zuma, and trade our parkas for shorts and sandals before heading to Los Angeles to see a childhood friend walk down the aisle (white seems to be the season's new black - everyone's getting hitched!). We took a short break from stuffing our faces with noodles, sushi, & cocktails (our favorite thing to do in L.A.) to meet Adam Silverman of Atwater Pottery & Heath Ceramics. Adam makes fantastic work and brings a refreshing new approach to being a potter in the 21st century.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, John held it all down and cranked out so many beautiful pots - very big & very small - that I'm so excited to fire in a few weeks. Alex is still hustling to catch up. Go, Alex, go!
And May! So much more to come in May. What am I doing wasting my time on the Internet?