Superhero pots from Doug Herren

VASE by Doug Herren
Vase Form with Green Stand, by Doug Herren, ceramic and mixed media; all pictures in this post taken by the artist and courtesy of Kelly & Weber Fine Arts

Here’s a funny pair of shows for you: The Japanese Yixing teapots at the Clay Studio (post here on these from one of the students from Colette Copeland’s class) and Doug Herren‘s exhibit, Industria, at Kelly & Weber’s 201 Gallery.

Green Teapot, Doug Herren
Green Teapot, Doug Herren

Herren until now was an ordinary tea pot and clay vessel maker. But suddenly his work has gone industrial strength, bringing muscle and rivets to giant vessel shapes that suggest steel girders and torsos and I-beams and fireplugs.

BLAST by Doug Herren
Compressor, by Doug Herren, on Seafoam Legged Stand

The finishes on these pieces, layers of sign-painter’s paint in intense Pop colors, get sanded down to reveal the under-colors–a technique used by Ken Price to quite a different effect. Here, the objects are robust to establish a physical presence that challenges personal space.

Blast Horn, by Doug Herren

And harking back to the Popeye era, the pieces bring up pre-electronics imagery like the Ben Franklin Bridge, the Empire State Building, or old-fashioned fire engines and distilleries. The monumental scale and style suggest the power of human labor, with the heroism of a Diego Rivera mural.

PRESSURE by Doug Herren
Doug Herren, Pressure Cooker on Pink Legged Stand

The exhibit includes 12 vesseks in all, not counting the bases, which are objects in their own right.

This is work not to be missed–and if you have the kind of space that can handle sizable pieces, this would be the time to buy.

We already mentioned the video of the artist talking about his work on Studioscopic, but here’s the link again.

Also, if you missed the sidebar on Melissa Dribben’s story about Philadelphia’s jumping art world, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, it’s here.