The hand that forms a mirrorcurated by Anders Herwald Ruhwald
Morán Morán is pleased to present a group exhibition in our viewing room, curated by Anders Herwald Ruhwald, titled The hand that forms a mirror. This exhibition of six artists: Ashwini Bhat, Pia Camil, Sharif Farrag, Julia Haft-Candell, Anna Sew Hoy, and Tam Van Tran, seeks to explore a mode of making when material and clay in particular, is used as a vehicle for self-expression. Founded in Francis McDermott’s hypothesis that early depictions of the human body in the European Upper Paleolithic period (so-called Venus figurines) were self-representations by women, rather than objects made by men looking at women. This show explores that ambiguity of (self)representation.
The hand that forms a mirror presents ceramics and other mediums that function as recorders of sorts. The tensile tension of matter becomes a membrane through which the individual artist seeks self-expression to explore the pluralities of being and living, often arriving at results that cannot be fully understood with the rational mind. This exhibition therefore seeks to explore a commonality within the affective and corporeal experience, not tied to a singular politic or framework, guided instead by a search to create meaning through matter.
Ashwini Bhat (b. 1980, Puttur, Karnataka, India) is an artist who works at the intersection of sculpture, ceramics, installation, and performance. Bhat is a recipient of the Howard Foundation Award for Sculpture, Pond Farm Julia Terr Fellowship (BIPOC Artists), and the McKnight Foundation Residency Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited nationally & internationally and can be seen in collections at the Newport Art Museum, USA; Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan; FuLe International Ceramic Art Museum, China; the Watson Institute at Brown University, USA; New Bedford Historical Society, USA; Daugavpils Mark Rothko Centre, Latvia, and in many private collections.
Pia Camil (b. 1980, Mexico City, Mexico) makes paintings, sculptures, performances and installations that emphasize the importance of collectivity and are frequently done in collaboration with local manufacturers. The subject matter of her work focuses on the rural/urban contexts with a formal yet critical dialogue with modernism. Her work has been exhibited internationally with recent solo-exhibitions including: Nidos y Nudos, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2021), Three Works, Moca Tucson (2020), Laugh Now, Cry Later at OMR Gallery, Mexico City (2020); and Here Comes The Sun, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2019).
Sharif Farrag (b. 1993, Reseda, California) merges classic ceramics styles with his own improvisational building techniques, representing his hybrid identities through clay. He has had several solo exhibitions at Los Angeles galleries, including François Ghebaly, in lieu, New Image Art, and gallery1993. His work has also been featured in group exhibitions at Jeffrey Deitch, New York; the 2020 Clay Biennial at Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles; Adams and Ollman, Portland; High Art, Arles; and Matthew Brown, Los Angeles. He is included in the collections of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, and the Rubell Museum in Miami.
Julia Haft-Candell (b. 1982, Oakland, California) works primarily in ceramics, a material that the artist is drawn to for its ostensibly contradictory states: fluid and malleable when wet, and fixed when fired. However, clay’s more transmutable qualities are present in Haft-Candell’s lexicon of forms and patterns, evoking universally recognizable themes such as infinity symbols, combs, hands, and chains. Since 2021, she has expanded her practice to include bronze, painting and drawing in direct conversation with her work in clay, at times combining the materials within a single work. Recent solo exhibitions include CANDICE MADEY, New York; Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Parrasch Heijen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and group exhibitions at CANDICE MADEY, New York, NY; LA LOUVER, Los Angeles, CA; Inman Gallery, Houston, TX; Grand Central Art Center at California State University, Fullerton CA; the Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; Interface Gallery, Oakland, CA; Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, NY; among others. Her work has been written about in Artforum, Surface Magazine, East of Borneo, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. She received an MFA from California State University Long Beach and BA in Studio Art and International Relations from University of California Davis. Haft-Candell is the founder of the infinite school, an experimental space for ceramic education outside of the institution.
Anna Sew Hoy (b. 1976, Auckland, New Zealand) utilizes sculpture, ceramics, public art and performance to connect with our environment and to demonstrate the power found in the fleeting and handmade. Sew Hoy’s work is in the collections of the Hammer Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. Solo presentations of her work have been mounted at the Aspen Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Hammer Museum; the San Jose Museum of Art; and the Orange County Museum of Art. Sew Hoy received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Visual Art in 2022.
Tam Van Tran (b. 1966, Kontum, Vietnam) makes abstract, mixed-media collages and sculptures dense with textured layers. His work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. He has had numerous national and international exhibitions including, Adornment of Basic Space, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles, CA; Mind is a Pure Expanse of Space, Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA; Luminosity, Cohan and Leslie, New York, NY; and Tam Van Tran: Psychonaut, Blaffer Gallery.
All images: The hand that forms a mirror, 2022, installation views. Photographs courtesy of Morán Morán