It is with great enthusiasm that I present my newest works in a solo exhibition at Harvey Meadows Gallery in Aspen, CO, entitled Forward and Back. Exhibiting alongside my work you’ll find the amazing vessels of one of MY very favorite ceramists, Sam Chung — twice the impact and in a brand-new gallery space, to boot! I’ll be in town for the opening on Thursday night – hope to see some of my dear Aspen/Snowmass friends there!
Forward and Back, an exhibition of Christa Assad’s most recent ceramic sculpture, offers a commentary about war and decaying cities in the U.S. With the Industrial Revolution came iron and steam technologies, followed by the advent of steel and other alloys. Subsequently, the Machine Age introduced mass production, moving assembly lines, enormous machinery for high-volume output, and the development and deployment of modern war machines such as tanks, submarines and the modern battleship. All of this “progress” affected craftspeople in an adverse way: mass consumerism and national branding replaced local buying and skilled crafts. Large corporations employed low-skill laborers, and their exploitation eventually led to trade unions. Nations fighting over energy and material resources contributed to the causes of two world wars. Ironically, these coveted natural resources were soon employed in the fabrication of weapons of war.
Assad states, “I am drawn to photographs that document the Industrial and Machine Ages, particularly the work of Berenice Abbott (1898-1981), whose black and white images often document the relationship between technology, society, and the ever-changing urban landscape.”
The slow, personal process Assad employs – each piece is individually wheel-thrown and constructed – subverts our acceptance of the fast, impersonal, machine-made. The hand-painted surface imagery lends an added touch of nostalgia for the forgotten past, which once pointed to a future bright with promise.