Press Release

February 2010, Philadelphia, PA–Locks Gallery is pleased to present Kathy Butterly and Jill Bonovitz, an exhibition featuring small-scale ceramic works. The exhibition will be on view March 23 through April 24, 2010. There will be a reception for the artists on Friday, April 2nd, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
Butterly’s small-scale ceramic sculpture - all of the pieces are between 5 and 8 inches tall - are remarkable for their intense humanity, vivid glazes and daring manipulations of clay. Each piece offers unexpected flashes of human, landscape and/or Art Deco inspired forms; they are playful but also challenging, using a breakthrough approach.­ Curators and writers have linked her work to that of George Ohr, Robert Arneson and Ron Nagle.
Her animated ceramics defy convention with their heavily ornamented, folded and curvy layers. The 6 works on view each offer alternate readings - both as vessels and as abstract sculpture. With a sculpture/vase like Garter, the voluptuous folds and bands of glazed “braid” read like a zaftig blond doing the shimmy.
A graduate of Moore College of Art and the University of California at Davis, Butterly has exhibited regularly in galleries and museum since 1992 (her earliest one-person exhibits were at Moore College and the Clay Studio—both in Philadelphia). Selected for the 2005 Carnegie International—the curator wrote that “Butterly’s colorful, cartoony, and richly ornamental vessels might be seen as 3-D ‘cousins’ to the drawings of Robert Crumb.” The artist’s work was recently included in Dirt on Delight—organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and subsequently shown at the Walker Art Center. The artist’s work is in several museum collections including The Museum of Arts and Design, MoMA and the Smithsonian Museum of Art.
This is the artist’s first exhibit at Locks Gallery.
Jill Bonovitz’s formal concerns with clay have consistently followed a spare, linear aesthetic. Her porcelain vessels are formed by chance combinations of thrown sections with sculpted additions (often coils or discs or nipples). Her work is informed by ethnographic textiles, primitive drawing and forms from nature. Throughout the last fifteen years, Bonovitz has worked separately in wire and earthenware but has repeatedly focused on porcelain, roughly 8 inches high and with muted, monochromatic glazes.
Bonovitz has shown frequently in Philadelphia and New York. A graduate of Columbia University and Moore College of Art and Design, her work is in such museums as the Museum of Arts and Design, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Stedelijk Museum.
This is the artist’s third exhibit at Locks Gallery.
Kathy Butterly and Jill Bonovitz is one of 95 exhibitions that are part of INDEPENDENCE: The 44th Annual National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference taking place in Philadelphia from March 31–April 3, 2010. The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA is serving as the onsite liaison and organizing body of the exhibitions program. For a complete list of programmed exhibitions, visit:

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