Curated by de Pury de Pury

September 18–October 23, 2014

Venus Over Manhattan is pleased to present FIRE!, an exhibition of contemporary ceramics curated by de Pury de Pury. Displayed upon custom shelves designed by de Pury de Pury, the show features new and recent works by artists Flavie Audi, Jean Baptiste Bernadet, Cameron Jamie, Friedrich Kunath, Shio Kusaka, Young-Jae Lee, Andrew Lord, John Mason, Dan McCarthy, Mårten Medbo, Ritsue Mishima, Sterling Ruby, Thomas Schütte, Josh Smith, Rosemarie Trockel and Ai Weiwei.

FIRE! will be on view from September 18th through October 23rd, 2014 and is the first independent curatorial project from de Pury de Pury, a company headed by Simon De Pury and his wife Dr. Michaela de Pury.

The seventeen artists chosen for FIRE! represent a mix of veteran ceramicists, established sculptors, and emerging multidisciplinary artists. Each actively engages with the materiality of clay, glass and resin, and the process of the kiln, working with a wide range of techniques and incorporating distinct conceptual aims. Together, the works present a dynamic and diverse picture of how artists are working in ceramics today. Flavie Audi’s ethereal glass forms; Cameron Jamie’s gestural, amorphous mounds; Friedrich Kunath’s playful and seductive colorful seals; Shio Kusaka refined yet expressive pottery; Young-Jae Lee’s elegantly minimal urns; Andrew Lord’s roughly hewn and haunting sculptures; John Mason’s symmetrical, totemic sculptures; Dan McCarthy’s playful painted “Face Pots”; Mårten Medbo’s idiosyncratic and outlandish forms; Ritsue Mishima’s luminous clear glass vessels; Sterling Ruby’s tactile, crudely modeled sandal; Thomas Schütte’s utilitarian vase models; Josh Smith’s rough and irreverent small figures; Rosemarie Trockel’s abstracted and magnanimous colorful molds; Ai Wei Wei’s transformed ceramic ready-mades. The exhibition underlines ceramics place as an invaluable and inimitable medium in contemporary art, exposing the craft as transformative and intimately human, at once humble and uniquely expressive.


With their curation of FIRE!, de Pury de Pury continue their longstanding commitment to elevating the perception and value of ceramics and design. Phillips de Pury & Company, where Simon de Pury served as Chairman and Chief Auctioneer until his departure in January 2013, was the first to mix contemporary art with design. By integrating works by top contemporary designers and ceramicists into the contemporary art sales, de Pury begin to break down many of the boundaries between the so called fine arts and applied arts.

Over the last 10 years the overlap between collectors of contemporary art and those of design has vastly increased, design fairs have been scheduled to coincide with main contemporary art fairs, ceramics works have sold for record prices at auction, and major galleries have begun to represent top designers and ceramic artists.

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Simon de Pury is one of the leading figures in the art market. From 2000 to 2012 he was Chairman and Chief Auctioneer of Phillips de Pury & Company. Earlier in his career he was Chairman Europe and Chief Auctioneer Worldwide at Sotheby’s. He was also curator of the Thyssen–Bornemisza Collection that today is housed in it’s own museum in Madrid. Simon has been instrumental in championing the careers of many contemporary artists, photographers and designers. He has auctioned and secured a substantial number of the most legendary art collections for auctions and private treaty. At the beginning of 2013Simon founded together with his wife Michaela, de Pury de Pury, a company specializing in private transactions of Impressionist, Modern, Post War and Contemporary Art.

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