Thursday Salute to Originals: A New Era of Ceramics

The art of ceramics has existed for centuries – even before it was considered art – and has largely served functional and modestly decorative purposes. From early civilizations discovering how to craft ceramic bowls, cups, and vases, over time, these simple items have transitioned from purely practical into more intricate, decadent works of art. But even in the modern and post-modern era, ceramics is largely the same as it was centuries ago: the same old ceramic vessels crafted the same old ways, painted in slightly different fashions. But like most things, all it takes is a fresh perspective and a little ingenuity to breathe new life into an age old practice.

In this case, our eyes are on artist Livia Marin, who brings a refreshing (and still wildly beautiful) approach to ceramics with a series titled Nomad Patterns. Her spin? They’re broken. Not only are they broken – they’re melting into puddles. When we think about dropping a ceramic vase, we can hear the sound of the vase colliding with the floor and then shattering into hundreds of tiny pieces. But in Marin’s works, the would-be-shattered areas of each item appear to be in liquid form, and yet they retain their original pattern.


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Of course, Marin’s ceramics embrace much more than the uniqueness of their destruction. She makes us question whether or not the ceramics are really being destroyed; are they being put back together? The concept behind Nomad Patterns was to adhere two notions: care and ruin. The melted ceramics’ fluidity suggests that the two are more difficult to distinguish than we think. The impossibility of the way her ceramics are ‘breaking’ adds a surrealistic feel to the series.

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This week we salute Livia Marin for breathing new life into the centuries-old practice of ceramics. She has challenged our perception of traditional cermaic art, and has given this medium a form of unconventional destruction…or perhaps rehabilitation. We’ll let you be the judge of that!

Sources: Livia Marin, This is Colossal, Upper Playground, My Modern Met