David Hollander

Artist Statement

My sculptures are alive. They begin life as fired ceramic pieces, long thin strands and undulating sheets. These are joined and fired again, establishing structure. Heat in the kiln bends the strands; after firing they are still flexible like springs. The objects are precarious, fragile, parts break, but they continue to grow as more parts are added. Sensitive to their environment, interacting with it, the sculptures grow, live.

In the heat of the kiln long thin pieces of ceramic collapse like cooked noodles, draping themselves over what lies below. I understand this movement as independent action on the part of the material, it interacts with its environment on its own, as do living things.

In my hand, long thin pieces of fired ceramic bend and vibrate; the solid stiff material we understand ceramic to be is instead alive and moving. A moment later it bends too far and snaps, falling in pieces to the ground. This moment of ceramic heartbreak is final, irreversible. One knows looking at these sculptures how close destruction is, a fragile material extended beyond its comfort zone. The bodily feeling of the nearness of destruction is part of the feeling of my work.

My sculptures are about bodies not through representation but through action. They do not look like bodies, but they are bodies, and operate within their own ecology. Feeling is built as a consequence of this physicality. The sculptures are composed of tenuous individual ceramic elements, both new pieces and recycled parts of other broken sculptures. Living with these objects requires an ongoing relationship, and comes with loss, fragility, beauty, and renewal - as do all relationships.

-- David Hollander


David Hollander completed undergraduate work in ceramics and physics at the University of Colorado Boulder and University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He spent the next 15 years in independent studio practice and completed residencies in Seattle, Washington; Bologna, Italy; and Greve-In-Chianti, Italy. He then moved to Detroit, Michigan where he earned an MFA in ceramics at Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work has been exhibited in Seattle, Boulder, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Chicago, and in Australia and Italy. David currently works and lives with his family near Boulder, Colorado.