Josh DeWeese creates a visual symphony of formal elements allowing for a syncopated installation. Viewers climb the stairs to the Loft Gallery to see the room dominated by swelling tympanic volumes of two large jars asserting their mass in space. A row of tumblers present as a high hat run, opening the floor for the entrance of his golden basket: a trumpet blast of a handle shoots upward and curls around our imagination. However, it is the base rhythm found within the surface drawings and washes of glaze where viewers are allowed to immerse their observations in energetic defining lines. When the effects of heat work cause the literal renderings to collaborate and disappear into the spontaneous gestures of glaze–magic baby!
DeWeese’s creative endeavors are the chance to bear witness to years of knowledge and technique executed intrinsically. His sense of color gives each vessel an intentional mood, where the oft touted “earthiness” of clay supports the artistic alchemy possible through years of spirited experimentation. And, while the massive volume of the work is staggering, it is the line, dancing across the surface activating the forms of jar, basket, cup, pitcher, or ewer that keep viewers moving around the surface. Like Cy Twombly and Matthew Ritchie, DeWeese knows how to activate space, real or concocted, with line. The heavy weight of a lip emphasizes the potential of the portal and restates the form. Handles become entangled dalliances carrying our eyes across a bridge. Records of plasticity where spirals cut into the meat of a spout restate centrifugal forces and foretell the brown, sweet nectar forthcoming in a swirling pour.
What we’re looking for, as patrons of DeWeese, is a fluent riff wherein art, history, function and material amass magnetically and cease to matter individually. In an aural tradition like jazz it is said that sound must proceed notation. The objects wrought by DeWeese parallel the sentiment and acknowledge the visual tradition where sight must precede the rules of composition.