photo: SAIKI Taku

Tectonic Drift

ArtistMartin SMITH
Material/ Techniqueearthenware
Size/ DurationH25.4×φ14.2cm, H9.7×φ25.2cm each (set of 5)
Copyright Notice© Martin SMITH
Year of acquisition/ donation2003
DescriptionBorn in Braintree, UK in 1950. Lives and works in London.

Smith started as a ceramic artist in the mid 1970s making pottery using the technique of Raku ware. From the 1980s, he created works that looked as if they were reconstructed with what he had taken apart. Later the artist started applying gold or platinum leaf on the inner surface of the ceramic, and produced pieces that were characterized by the contrasting roughness of unglazed pottery. The distinguished trait is that there is a minimal approach noticeable in slight differences in the form and inner space expressed simply by eliminating unnecessary elements.

An installation composed of five pairs of pots of different heights. A linear grid was cut over the platinum foil at the bottom of the shorter pieces. A half-spherical object wrapped with foil has been embedded at the bottom of the taller pieces. The five groups of pieces look like a repetition of the same form, but in fact, the angles of inclination are slightly different. The last binary pair stands in bare balance. The well controlled exterior, tension in slight differences in the shapes such as different slants, the reserved yet speculative glow that fills the inside of the pieces, and an aspect of time suggested in the repetition – they all give a fresh impression that it has something in common with minimal music.