Alyce Barr
Medium: Sculpture and Ceramics/Pottery

Studio Location:
162 2nd Street
Studio # Gowanus Boathouse

Phone: 3474469370



Artist Bio:
Alyce Barr lives and works in Brooklyn. After completing a Robert Smithson Sculpture Fellowhship at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, she became involved in education, working as a teacher and then as founding head of Brooklyn Collaborative, a public secondary school.

Alyce's current art work includes ceramic and mixed media sculpture, functional vessels, drawing, painting, and photography, In her ceramics, she favors simple shapes that reveal how they were made, through a pattern of finger-marks or colors and patterns left by wood flame and ash.

Artist Statement:
I use clay to produce functional work and sculpture. Working in series I study a form's needs and possibilities, its potential and limits in size, scale, weight, and thickness - and how these dimensions interact. Through repetition with variation I produce bodies of work in which individual pieces become components of a whole. Every piece is an exploration of its materials: How thin a wall before warping occurs? How can warping be a semi-intentional element of surprise within an otherwise controlled shape? How does thickness affect expression of solidity and groundedness? How does one piece call to another within a display?

Study of Bauhaus design has pushed me to consider of how to capture the specific properties of clay and firing environment in each piece, leaving a record of the forming process while attending to overall design elements and the relationship of form to function. In my most recent functional ceramic work I consider the relationship of vessels to holding, making, and serving food. I want to create plates and bowls that honor the bounty of the harvest, the farmer's patient nurturing of crops, the craft of the chef, the butcher, and the baker.

Many of my sculptures are comprised of rocklike heart forms, built into cairns, arranged into installations, or combined with other materials. Originally inspired by the work of Jim Dine, I started working with the heart shape early in my career. Chosen for its universality in both nature (leaves, flowers) and in popular as well as historic iconography I am attracted to hearts because they have a line of symmetry and have varied viewer expectations. I work with and against these expectations: altering or disturbing the symmetry or creating a rough surface where one might expect a smooth one.

In 2016, as a response to the November 8 Presidential Election, I began a series of tile pieces (still in progress) that contrast November 8 and November 9, 2016.

All images and text copyright Alyce Barr