SMU Associate Professor of drawing and ceramics Brian Molanphy had a busy semester.
He is showing in two exhibitions, New Orientalia & Académie Internationale de la Céramique at the Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taipei, curated by Director Wu Hsiu-Tzu.
These function as exhibitions of the 48thInternational Academy of Ceramics assembly, a biennial event taking place in Taiwan this year. The biennial is followed by his recent inclusion in SITE131’s CLAY + Things group exhibition in Dallas, and precedes his participation in The Form Will Find Its Way, the main exhibition of the 53rd National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference at the University of Minnesota and ended with an solo show at 100 west Corsicana annex space on December 1st.
Being a part of the International Academy of Ceramics has allowed the SMU art’s Molanphy fruitful interactions with a diverse set of artists across the world. “The academy enhanced my work in France through members like Michel Muraour, an inspiration for The Quick & the Dead at 100W Corsicana,” Molanphy says, “The recent assembly in Taiwan offered a refreshing alternative to concerns in the United States, especially guided by poetry & drawing.”
He spent hours perusing the painting and ceramics collections of the renowned National Palace Museum during his trip to the exhibit in Taipei. “In alignment with my own interests, tea & rocks have much more cultural power there than in the United States”
At the artists panel for Clay + Things in mid-October, the public had a chance to hear Molanphy discuss the process and ideation behind his activity in the ceramic medium.
“Ceramics is mostly about sex & death, not least because cycles of erotic production & decay through chemical change are always in play in ceramics.”
Molanphy’s work certainly produces examples of chemistry in action, particularly in his work “Saladier” which was included in the exhibitions with the International Academy of Ceramics this Fall.
The piece features a marbled clay technique, following a careful process of mixing four different colors of clay together in a tradition that can be traced back to East Asia, which has since spread across ages and cultures.
“Ceramics are containers, almost always, which is true of a loaf of bread, in the way I learned to make bread, as a way to palatably preserve a harvest.