Midnight Blue, a ceramic relief sculpture of high-fired porcelain pigmented with oxides, paint and epoxy, is a recent work by New York artist Harold Wortsman. This sculpture is ready to be mounted to the wall. Note the artist's hand in the mark-making – cuts and radiating lines, the suggestion of maps, geometry and counting systems – it is characteristic of Wortsman's practice. Warm, contemporary, uniquely crafted, yet speaks to ancient, tribal 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.
Midnight Blue was recently exhibited at Harold Wortsman: Time and Space, Orange Art Foundation, New York City, February 2022.
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 – "Wortsman has increasingly moved into his own – a place in which the relations between the abstractions of volume and the intimations of very old culture are merged in a way that is new." – Essay, "Harold Wortsman: Time and Space", Orange Art Foundation, February 2022, New York City.
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
Ceramic, Clay, Pigment, Other Medium, Porcelain, Epoxy Resin