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Harold Wortsman
"FOR THE OLD ONES", sculpture, clay, abstract, contemporary, ceramic, tribal

2014

$2,500

About

FOR THE OLD ONES, a ceramic sculpture of high-fired clay pigmented with oxides, sitting on a slab of limestone. It is a recent work by artist Harold Wortsman. Note the blending of volumetric and organic form in this work, the mark-making and perforations on the surface, the striking colors of black and copper in variable stripes – it is characteristic of his practice – warm, contemporary, uniquely crafted, yet speaks to ancient, primitive traditions of art-making that cross cultures and histories. Highly attuned to the art of Africa, the Middle East, India and Asia, his forms are organic abstracts with masculine and feminine attributes that resonate together as a pleasing enigma. They make sense immediately, yet never give up all their secrets. From Harold Wortsman – "With sculpture, my material of choice is high-fired clay. Pieces are first low-fired in an electric kiln. I do not use glazes. Instead, I use oxides applied to the bisqued (low-fired) clay. As with a tattoo, oxides permit the surface underneath to breathe—like naked skin. The work is then high-fired in a gas kiln with double reduction to cone 10. The final temperature is 2,300 degrees F. At a certain point, oxygen intake is reduced to the kiln. Because the fire has reached a critical mass, it needs oxygen and chemically takes it from the clay and the oxides painted on. Like a jazz improvisation, each kiln load comes out slightly different." From Jonathan Goodman, Poet & Art Critic – "Wortsman re-examines ancient and modern traditions in light of what it means to make art." – Tussle Magazine, July 2019. Harold Wortsman is a sculptor and printmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. He “creates forms that bring to mind archaic cult objects and exude a quiet concentrated strength.” (Argauer Zeitung, Switzerland). His work, an edgy mix of freedom and clarity, can be found in public and private collections in the US, including The Library of Congress, Yale University, The New York Public Library Print Collection, The New York Historical Society, Smith College, Indiana University’s Lilly Library, Brandeis University, The Newark Public Library Special Collections Division, and the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum Print Archive. Also in private and public collections in Europe, including the Municipal Collection of the City of Brugg, Switzerland. Harold studied at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, with sculptor George Spaventa and painter George McNeil. At Brandeis University, Boston MA, Harold received his BA Fine Arts, Honors in Sculpture Phi Beta Kappa, Magnum Cum Laude, studying with sculptor Peter Grippe and William Seitz, the late curator at MoMA, NY.

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