Thomas Devaux

Thomas Devaux is a French photographer. He lives and works in Paris. He has authored several complex and ambitious series. In each of them one can find a subtle but strong game of jousting played out between his core values and the evolutions brought about by modern technology. The inflammatory value behind the photography is not so innate. It is more a direct effort meant to mirror a fragment of a future re-composition. The works in the “ATTRITION” series were selected according to their composition and their figurative will. This is a double articulation between what is borrowed and that which is a reinterpretation on one hand and an axe in art history on the other hand. “ATTRITION”, thanks to the expanded possibilities of digital techniques of which I have become very experienced, shows a n affluence of forms and materials such as an organic proliferation of hair, of body parts, etc. The portrait becomes a division of a face created by itself or vanishes in its own contour. The development material, though shadowy and opaque, is light and see-through. It raises the texture of the paper which allows for an automatic refinement of the forms and pigments. The final result is both sensual and onirique in the in the very image of the models that Devaux photographs in the backstages of fashion shows. They allow him to grasp the pictorial qualities which remain anchored in this field of photography. His surface does not rely upon the thickness of painting materials but rather on an artificial yet original vocabulary which is personal and photographic. 

Linda Lewis

Artist Linda Lewis is known for creating figurative sculptures from clay. Linda's narrative sculptures explore various themes : parenthood, love, family, and the search for fulfillment. Instead of focusing on the figure she tells the story through the use of facial expressions, the tilt of the head , the shifting of the stance, as well as the texture of the surface & the use of symbols. Titles are added to each piece to support the narrative of each piece: anything from 'The harassed housewife' to 'Daydreaming' to 'Just between us'.  Her inspiration comes not only from her own life but from the stories of those she listens to in her everyday life.
    The pieces are coilbuilt from clay with a combination of surface applications of glazes, slips, terra sigillatta, oxides and overglazes and multi fired to cone 04. Her unique glazing techniques causes crazing (or crackling) on the surface of the glaze.  The overglaze is applied and sprayed off allowing the black colorant settle into the cracks and  crevices giving the piece a raku-fired appearance.
   Like many artists, Linda got a bachelors degree in art and also something more practical i.e. teaching.   For the next 34 years she worked as an educator in the Des Moines Schools until she took a workshop given by a narrative sculptor in Santa Fe, New Mexico that reignited her passion for creating objects.  She now works full time as an artist creating figurative sculptures from clay. Over the last 4 years Linda has exhibited her sculptures at nationally recognized juried art festivals, galleries, exhibitions and most recently at SOFA Chicago.  She has received several awards including best of show, first place in sculpture as well as recognition in national print media.
Linda offered some thoughts concerning her work, saying, "I believe storytelling connects us to one another and explains who we are. Working for several decades as an educator, being a parent and working with adults strengthened my desire to express common threads of the human experience and honed my use of imagery and gesture as powerful narrative tools." She adds, "Working with clay allows me to create a world in which a story can unfold. I work with the human form because while the figure can be approachable, the presentation of its inner psyche is infinitely complex."
Art critic Brian Sherwin commented on Linda's sculptures, stating, "Viewers will note the playful nature of sculptures created by artist Linda Lewis. Linda explores serious themes based on a range of emotions and situations -- but her work is intentionally approachable. She beckons viewers to establish their own narrative while viewing her creations."

 Solo Exhibitions

2013     Dreams for our children, Scottish Rite Park, Des Moines, Ia.
2013    Mother's and their dreams, Lanesboro Art Center, Lanesboro, MN
2012    Mother's and their dreams, Charles City Art Center, Charles City, MN
2011    Finding Voice, Graceland University, Lamoni, Ia

Juried Exhibitions
2013     Cup Exhibition, LUX Center, Lincoln, NE
2013    Des Moines Arts Festival, Des Moines, Ia.
2013    Faculty Art Exhibit, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Ia
2012    Lakefront Festival, Milwaukee, WI; Brookside Festival, Kanas City, MO; Des Moines Festival; On the square, Madison WI
2011   Des Moines Art Festival, Marian Art Festival, Iowa City AF, Krasl AF, Loveland Sculpture Festival, SOFA Chicago
2010   Cherry Creek Art Festival, Denver, Co. Des Moines Art Festival, Loveland Invitational Sculpture Festival, Iowa Art       Festival,  Krasal Art Festival, St. Joseph, Ia.
2009   Plaza Art Festival, Kansas City, Des Moines Art Festival, Loring Park Art Festival, Minneapolis, Krasl ArtFestival, St. Joseph, MI, Crested Butte Art Festival, Crested Butte, Co,  Iowa Arts Festival, Iowa City, Ia.
2008  Metro Arts, Two Rivers Festival, Des Moines, Ia.Marion Arts Festival, Marion, Ia., Iowa Arts Festival, Iowa City, Ia., Iowa Sculpture Festival, Newton, Ia., Krasl Art Festival, St. Joseph, MI, Uptown Art Festival, Minneapolis, MN.
2007    Greater Des Moines Exhibited 14; Polk County Heritage Gallery, Iowa Exhibited 21; Polk County Heritage Gallery, Uptown Arts Festival, Minneapolis, Mn.,  Iowa Arts Festival; Iowa City, Ia., Iowa Sculpture Festival; Newton, Ia., Uptown Art Festival, Minneapolis, Mn.
2006    Iowa Sculpture Festival; Newton, Ia, Iowa Exhibited 21; Polk County Heritage Art Gallery , Des Moines, Ia.
Group Exhibitions
2013       Heritage Art Gallery, Des Moines, Ia
2009-13  SOFA Chicago, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
2012, 13  Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach, FL
2011-2012  National Clay, paper, wood, glass metal, textile exhibition, Octagon Center, Ames, Ia.
2011    Lovers, Mothers & their Dreams; Polk County Heritage Gallery

 2011    Lovers, Mothers & their Dreams; Octagon Center, Ames, Ia
 2011    Finding Voice, Graceland University, Lamoni, Ia
2010   The Figure; Burlington Art Center, Burlington, Ia.
2009    Small Works; Chait Gallery, Downtown; Iowa City, Ia.
2009    Exhibit XIV; Heritage Gallery; Des Moines, Ia
2008   Linda Lewis & Jane Chukas; Outside the Lines Gallery, Dubuque, Ia.
2008   Life from mud; Charles City ARt museum, Charles City, Ia
2008    Exhibit XX1; Heritage Gallery; Des Moines, Ia
2007    The haunting and the hilarious; The Downtown Chait Gallery, Iowa City, Ia.
2007    Exhibit XV; Heritage Gallery; Des Moines, Ia
2007    Plays well with others:a collaboration between artists, From Our Hands, Des Moines, Ia.
2007    New Works from Linda Lewis, Diane Mattern & N. Briggs; From Our Hands, Des Moines, Ia.
2006       Earthen Treasures; From Our Hands, Des Moines, Ia.
2006    Galleries in the Gallery; Polk County Heritage Gallery, Des Moines, Ia.

2013  Best of Show, It's good to be small, Chair Gallery Downtown, Iowa City, Ia.
2011   Best of Show, National Clay, paper, textile, wood, glass metal exhibition;  Octagon Center, Ames, Ia
2009   Merit Award, Exhibit XIV; Heritage Gallery; Des Moines, Ia
2009   Best of Sculpture, Krasl Art Festival, St. Joseph, MI.
2009   First place, Iowa Art Festival, Iowa City, Ia
2008   Honorable mention, Iowa Sculpture Festival, Newton, Ia.
2007    First Place, Clay: Artbuzz, 2008 Collection
2007    Finalist, Uptown Arts Festival, Minneapolis, Mn.
2007    3rd Place, Sculpture Competition, Sculptural Pursuit
2007    3rd Place, Iowa Arts Festival, Iowa City, Ia.
2006    2nd Place, Iowa Sculpture Festival, Newton, Iowa

2010   Western Art Collector, Review of Loveland Sculpture Festivals
2009   Des Moines Register, Artist Review
2009   Spotlight Art, Linda Lewis, DSM magazine
2008    Artbuzz; 2008 Collection
2007    "Linda Lewis, Narrative Sculpture", Sculptural Pursuit ,Fall,
2006     "Thou art the best"-art category,  Jim Duncan, Cityview, Des Moines, Ia.
2006    “The bearable likeness of being,”Jim Duncan, City View, Des Moines, Ia.
2006    “Clay’s the thing,” Michael Morain, Des Moines Register, Des Moines,Ia.

Gallery Representation
Mowen Solensky Gallery, Nevada City, Ca.
Terzaian Gallery, Park City, Ut.
From Our Hands; East Village , Des Moines, Ia.
The Downtown Chait Gallery; Iowa City, Ia
Maria Elena Karvetz Gallery, Cordoba, Argentina
Outside the Lines, Dubuque, Ia.
Lux Center, Lincoln, NE
2014  Akio Takamori, Anderson Ranch, Aspen, Co
2014  Adrian Arleo, Santa Fe, NM
2013   Kelly Garrett-Rathbone, Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, NM
2012  Making the figure from clay, Claudia Olds Goldie, Santa Fe Clay, NM.
2011    Large Scale Figures; Lisa Reinertson; Santa Fe Clay, NM
2010    Pottery Personas,  Esther Shimazu; Santa Fe Clay, NM
2009    Imaginative figures in clay, Janis Mars Wunderlich; Mudfire, Atlanta, Ga
2007    The figure; Judy Fox, Santa Fe Clay, NM
2006        Figure-Form-Surface-Vessel; Andy Nacisse, Santa Fe Clay, NM
2006        Sculpting the Figure; Rick Stewart, Des Moines Art Center , RDG  Dahlquist Clayworks
2006        Handbuilding; Chris Rodi, DSM Art Center , RDG Dahlquist Clayworks
2006        Mold Making; Rick Stewart, DSM Art Center , RDG Dahlquist Clayworks
2005        Storytelling, narrative sculpture; Debra Fritz; Santa Fe, NM .
2003-2006 Various ceramics classes through the DSM Art center, Des Moines, Ia.
1989    Drake University , MSE
1975    Graceland University, BA; education and art

Lives in West Des Moines, Ia with her husband Vincent.  Her studio is in her home.

Kate MacDowell

American artist Kate MacDowell uses porcelain clay to craft her nature-inspired works. After  teaching in urban high schools, volunteering at a meditation retreat in rural India, and creating websites in high-tech corporate environments,  in 2004 she returned to the US and she began to study ceramics at the Art Center in Carrboro, North Carolina, and then later expanded her education after a move to Portland, Oregon.  Though she is now a full time sculptor, the experiences she found during these travels have culminated and continue to bring both an informed statement, and a divine inspiration, to her phenomenal sculpture works; each of which comment on humanity’s struggle with nature, as well as how science has affected it.  
MacDowell’s works are realistically sculpted and meticulous. Hollowing out a solid form and building each piece leaf by leaf and feather by feather, she intimately involves herself with the process of building.  The works themselves are beautiful, ghostly white and evoke a very serene feeling. Upon a closer examination, however, things aren’t quite right. A large bird has human hands instead of its normal claws, and an apple has a tiny skull inside of it.
Kate’s attempts to show the link between humanity and nature can be seen easily in these pieces, in which a human skeletal system is revealed to be inside each animal. Both intricate and a bit disturbing, Kate’s pieces have a refreshing depth.
MacDowell’s work explores how the “romantic ideal of union with the natural world conflicts with our contemporary impact on the environment.” In Sparrow, the chimera of a human skeleton inside a broken bird-body has an apparently clear message: what we do to our world, we do to ourselves. We are biologically and ecologically interrelated. But in other pieces, like the installation Quiet as a Mouse, the message is not so clear.
''In my work this romantic ideal of union with the natural world conflicts with our                       contemporary impact on the environment.  These pieces are in part responses to environmental stressors including climate change, toxic pollution, and gm crops.  They also borrow from myth,art history, figures of speech and other cultural touchstones.  In some pieces aspects of the human figure stand-in for ourselves and act out sometimes harrowing, sometimes humorous  transformations which illustrate our current relationship with the natural world.  In others,  animals take on anthropomorphic qualities when they are given safety equipment to attempt to  protect them from man-made environmental threats.  In each case the union between man and  nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the disturbing implication that we too  are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.''

Choi Xoo Ang

Choi Xoo Ang shows us the realism of the human emotion frozen in an instant. The flow of life through polymer clay figures breathes the difficult reality we face today if Man does not confront the outer world. Choi personifies what he feels inside canalized by every emotion in a multidimensional way. He works through the whole body or a part, focusing on the intensity of sensation as he crystallizes life filled with so much severity and darkness. His artistic intuition suggests that Man hides behind his body but that the soul is so powerful that skin speaks a language of its own, howling when it hurts and playful when peaceful. However, when continuously fighting against society and the burden of existence, the quintessence of numbed flesh dies even though the blood flows and the heart still beats.
Born in South Korea in 1975, Choi holds a BFA (2002) and a MFA (2005) in Sculpture from the Seoul National University. His works have been exhibited in museums and galleries in Seoul such as The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gimhae Arts Centre, Seoul Museum of Art, Gwangiu Museum of Art and the Museum of Art Seoul National University, Dukwon Gallery, Doosan Art Center, Gallery Sangsangmadang, Alternative Space Choong Jung Gak, Kwan Hoon Gallery and Gallery Espace Sol. Internationally, Choi is taking his first steps into the contemporary art world in Paris, Beijing and Singapore. The artist lives and works in Seoul, Korea.
''I've been exploring ordinary people and society they live in. The bigger and more advanced a society, the more standardized and systemized it becomes so as to more efficiently manage and control its citizens. It seems to me that most of people cannot help but adapt themselves to this society, or even be fettered by it. Such a methodical, personally affecting system is the dynamics of 'excessiveness' and 'deficiency.' It creates collision and flow, like the + and - of electrodes, and produces a loss of existence within the conflict between adaptation and maladjustment for those living within it. According to Felix Guattari's analyses of capitalism and micro-fascism, power in capitalist society seeks to make the public internalize their desire. It leads the public to spontaneous actions, which society demands they follow. Those who obey power seem influenced by something external, but a source of their energy may derive from their own desire.
My work explores the individual state both in unity and conflict, and attempts to reveal the real dynamics among society's diverse forces. I want the public to reconfirm their own capacity for self-awareness and to rediscover our active part in these relations.''

Maria Rubinke

Maria Rubinke (b. 1985) is Danish born artist, currently works and lives in Copenhagen.  She studied at the Glass and Ceramic school Bornholm. Since graduating in 2008 she has attracted an enormous amount of attention with her sculptures, which break with the traditional aesthetic one associates with small, charming porcelain figurines. 
Maria Rubinke blends the childlike and innocent with the grotesque in her sculptural work, creating pristine porcelain toys and corrupting them with streams of red glaze emanating from rips and tears in their anatomies. The porcelain toys become biological beings whose visceral injuries can be difficult to look at despite the chubby-cheeked figures’ adorable countenances. Their inherent innocence is put at risk in the artist’s works, where various catastrophes have resulted in fragmentation and deformation. In one series of objects the traditional porcelain doll is removed from its idealized world and placed on the battlefield of subconscious desire. Small porcelain figures are reminiscent of the illogical compositions of surrealism, transforming the character of what are traditionally charming and passive objects into expressions of more taboo feelings that oscillate between desire and sadism. Most of her sculptures are of children, which of course, adds to the creep factor! Here violence and aggression are played out in bloody tableaux in sharp contrast to the decorative delicacy of the material.