Kristin McKirdy

Kristin McKirdy

20 May - 16 June 2021

An American, though born in Canada, Kristin McKirdy has chosen France as the place in which to live and to create. Over the last thirty years she has become a central figure within the world of French decorative arts, and is, perhaps, the artist who best personifies the renewal of ceramics in France.

As well as being an historian specialized in France's brilliant early 20th century glazers, she is also an heir of the pioneering heroes of American ceramics. From Peter Voulkos, who was the first to "sculpt" clay, to Ken Price and Ron Nagle, she has assimilated the essential lesson of freedom these men transmitted through their work, and so found a new and unique way of approaching her art form. In sculpting clay, whilst embracing the carnality of the enveloping glazes, she revels in a repertoire of surfaces both soft and rugged, white and joyously colorful - which, in reconciling form and surface, brings to a close of half-century of silent battle between the guardians of the temple of glazes and the adventurers of form.

Her language thus nurtured and matured, Kristin McKirdy offers it up in a permanent dialogue with time and space. Through her pieces she allows us to encounter the cultures of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, crystallizing these infinitely varied landscapes of inspiration in her own intimate and personal lexicon. Powerfully charged with the history of humanity, her pieces take us back to a primal object, freed from all traces of mannerism and decoration, drawing deeply from culture in order to rediscover the archaic. Their simple, round, tactile volumes invite touch, and evoke a softness that awakens the senses. In rediscovering the pleasure of ceramics, each work is an encounter with the genesis of form, and perhaps indeed with that of life itself.

In this inexpressible presence of life and of history that is so singular about Kristin McKirdy's work, as pursued over the last three decades. Contemporary yet timeless, discreet yet determined, modest yet radiant, the artist reveals herself, step by step; from one piece to the next she creates a family of objects that surprise us despite their apparent familiarity.