Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York is excited to announce an exhibition of dynamic new ceramic sculptures by Andrew Casto and paintings by Catherine Howe. Though working in different mediums, the artists have similar process-focused practices, built on layering colors and textures to create complex and shifting surfaces. After a year in which many of us experienced the world through a screen, the works in this show are refreshingly physical, earthly, and mysterious.
Andrew Casto conceives of his ceramic sculptures as a series of images as he works. Layering slips and glazes through multiple firings, his creative process is decidedly physical, and intentionally strains the material. Drawing inspiration from nature and geology, Casto considers how stress can also shape people physically, mentally, and emotionally. Personal and collective experiences build one over the other and come together to form an imperfect and unique being, all ideas at play in Casto’s organic shapes. Throughout his work, there are lines of precious metal, cracks of gold and silver that seemingly go through the entire piece, a glimmer of treasure ready for excavation.
Catherine Howe also draws inspiration directly from nature, and experiments with surface texture in innovative ways using unconventional materials. In this new series, Howe no longer grounds her semi-abstractions of flora and fauna in vases or on tabletops. Her wild flowers and tangled nature morph in and out of figuration completely untethered from the still life. The forms are suggestive of motion, of a blowing breeze, or of the flight of insects.
Casto and Howe both anthropomorphize forms and ideas from nature, while embracing the tension between figuration and abstraction as they construct their works. Andrew Casto pushes his medium to the limit, in his stratum of glazes and paints. Catherine Howe presents opalescent surfaces built over layers of pigment and topped with gold and other vivid colors. Using paints including acrylic and interference and luminous pigments, Howe’s colors shift and change depending on the light and viewing angle. The works remind us that the way we position ourselves as viewers impacts the way we experience art and meaning in the world.