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Guild Gallery is pleased to present Casey Zablocki: Modern Relics, the artist's first solo gallery exhibition in New York. Based in Missoula, Montana, Zablocki (American, b. 1982) creates stoneware fired in a wood-burning anagama kiln, producing forms and surfaces that are ancient in appearance and inspired by both the natural and built worlds. Modern Relics surveys the artist's practice over the last decade, presenting 66 works that span monumental sculptures, furniture pieces, and intimately-sized vessels. 

Zablocki's ambitious practice tests the limits of his medium and endurance. Stoneware is dense and non-porous, made from clay that is fired at extremely high temperatures. Using one of America's largest anagama kilns—a cave-like structure with history dating back to the fifth century—the artist's around-the-clock process requires a team of ten people to manage the furnace for periods of ten days at a time. Zablocki works to harness the tamed chaos of his kiln. With every firing, selected and spontaneous elements of temperature, placement, and wood ash marry traditional techniques and novel experiments with the vitrification of earth and water anew. The result is related families of works with individually inimitable textures.

Zablocki’s sculptures appear as if they have eroded over centuries. The artist sees immense beauty in the relationship between growth and decay and takes a painterly approach to impart the organic energy of this process upon his works. On rough surfaces that recall Brutalist and Gesturally Abstract aesthetics, his visible fingerprints and imperceptible interventions capture the ephemeral quality of all material.

Zablocki is a crucible of his influences. Inspired by his own family of makers and artists, he has traveled across the United States to study with master woodworkers and furniture designers and abroad to South Korea to apprentice under sculptor Hun Chung Lee. He cites these memories, relationships, and environments, as well as a variety of material practices like architecture and fashion, as the personal relics that define his works.

The artist's largest sculptures to-date will be on display, with some works measuring over 50 inches in height. A key exploration of Zablocki's practice looks at the aesthetic and functional similarities of ceramic furniture and sculpture, and Modern Relics will showcase the full breadth of his investigation through sculptural vases, tables, stools, benches, and wall tiles. The exhibition will also present both signature and never-before-seen techniques within Zablocki's practice. The artist has perfected the illusion of drip glaze—as seen on his smooth-surfaced works—through his use of wood ash, while his new tufted works will unveil a unique approach to controlling texture and form.



Hazen Mayo
+1 612 807 8961
[email protected]

Sarah Natkins
+1 917 715 3172
[email protected]