June 30 - July 22, 2022
167 E 4th Street, New York NY 10001
Ki Smith Gallery is pleased to announce Figurines, an exhibition of ceramics by Malwine Stauss, Sydnie Jimenez, and Sasha Feldman. Figurines positions the gallery space as a hybrid location, part toy-store and part temple, in its presentation of figurative explorations in clay.
Malwine Stauss uses ceramics and drawing practice to create empowering characters that challenge social norms and cultivate visibility. Through decadently glazed textures, Stauss renders her cast of cartoonish icons as resilient figures, unflinchingly present in spite of their breakable textures. Through this celebration of self determination, Stauss’ universe of figurines hold space for community and visibility, inspiring self determination and acceptance to all who view them.
Similarly, Sydnie Jimenez depicts figures that are not typically represented; calling attention to the phenomenon of seeing, highlighting both the action of perception and the complexities of receiving the gaze. Jimenez creates Black and Brown characters riddled with cultural signifiers; imbuing her characters with bodily autonomy in a society that thrives on the existence of the other, pointing to the ways fashion and self-expression function as forms of protest. Through her ceramic practice, Jimenez bends gender and challenges the inherent fetishization to combat and call out the reigning authority of the colonial gaze.
Sasha Feldman merges the history of clay with contemporary aesthetics to contemplate and pay homage to some of the oldest fertility objects on record. Feldmans votive figures are both sleek and ancient in their design; seeming to reference both minimalism-inspired consumer objects and archaeologically sourced artifacts.
The fragility of the ceramics is momentarily forgotten in their action figure-like display, amplified by their scale, playful color pallets, and a largely figural nature. Through this fantastical arrangement of contemporary and spiritual figures, the artists of Figurines use the ancient medium of clay to parse through modern notions of identity, representation, and the importance of craft and community in an increasingly isolated world.