Elisa Soliven: Memory in the Shape of a U

September 10 - October 17, 2020

Hesse Flatow is pleased to present Memory in the Shape of a U, a solo exhibition of new ceramic sculpture by Elisa Soliven. Soliven's ceramic vessels bulge and twist, braced in by the clay network that interconnects the surface. Studded grids of colorful tile-like fragments are linked by conduits. Aluminum-leafed components are influenced by the Japanese art of kintsugi, repairing ceramics with lacquer and metal in a manner that memorializes impermanence and accepts imperfection. Created through ritual and repetition, Soliven's forms feel primal, suggestive of the convex curves of a tree root, melting ice, or figures embracing one another.


For this exhibition, Soliven has created a series of modular, standing works she calls Body Totems, as well as smaller tabletop vessels. Each piece is built through both additive and subtractive methods over time, layering and pressing the clay into its final form as well as cutting out and drawing into the surface. The artist's touch and labor remain present in the final pieces, leaving surfaces that are dimpled and etched, both clearly ordered by the grid-like structure and warped with human irregularity.