Apples in Porcelain

 

Drap d’or gueneme, Jessica Rath, high-fire glazed porcelain, 2012.

Drap d’or gueneme, Jessica Rath, high-fire glazed porcelain, 2012.

In 2009 and again in 2011, artist Jessica Rath visited the Cornell/USDA Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva New York, one of the most important centers of apple cultivation in North America. The result is a startling exhibition of porcelain pieces inspired by what she saw there.  Over at Edible Geography, you will find this wonderful interview Nicola Twilley conducted with Rath about the idea for her exhibition, the process, and the results.  As Twilley explains:

“Rath’s original goal was to create slip cast porcelain sculptures that embodied the incredible — and now endangered — range of the apple’s aesthetic potential; revealing the charms and qualities it has developed through co-evolution with humans as a reflection of our own desires and will. During her visit, however, Rath also became fascinated by the conjoined twin of Forsline’s apple archive: Brown’s speculative sisters and successful, selected clones, which she photographed as bare-branched trees against a white backdrop.”

Entitled take me to the apple breeder, the show is closing at the Pasadena Museum of California Art this weekend. Let’s hope it tours to other locations.  Twilley’s edited interview is available on Edible Geography and cross-posted on Venue, and is well worth reading.  I have included of few of Rath’s Geneva station photographs, and the porcelain pieces inspired by them below.

PI 588933.12 (unnamed cluster); photographed on the tree by Jessica Rath during her 2009 visit.

PI 588933.12 (unnamed cluster); photographed on the tree by Jessica Rath during her 2009 visit.

PI 588933.12 (Unnamed cluster), Jessica Rath, high-fire glazed porcelain and bronze, 2012.

PI 588933.12 (Unnamed cluster), Jessica Rath, high-fire glazed porcelain and bronze, 2012.

PI 594107.j5 (unnnamed—whiteness), photographed on the tree by Jessica Rath during her 2009 visit.

PI 594107.j5 (unnnamed—whiteness), photographed on the tree by Jessica Rath during her 2009 visit.

Whiteness, Jessica Rath, high-fire glazed porcelain, 2012.

Whiteness, Jessica Rath, high-fire glazed porcelain, 2012.

A Yellow Bellflower photographed on the tree by Jessica Rath during her 2009 visit. The Yellow Bellflower is thought to have originated in Burlington, New Jersey, and is still grown as an heirloom variety today. It is described as a “large, handsome, winter apple” that is equally delicious when used for cidering, baking, or eating out of hand.

A Yellow Bellflower photographed on the tree by Jessica Rath during her 2009 visit. The Yellow Bellflower is thought to have originated in Burlington, New Jersey, and is still grown as an heirloom variety today. It is described as a “large, handsome, winter apple” that is equally delicious when used for cidering, baking, or eating out of hand.

 

Yellow Bellflower, Jessica Rath, high-fire glazed porcelain, 2012. Rath explained that she focused on the Bellflower’s “fantastic curves and lilts. It was very muscular — even beefy — to the point where it felt almost as though it shouldn’t be called an apple, but rather some other fruit instead.”

Yellow Bellflower, Jessica Rath, high-fire glazed porcelain, 2012. Rath explained that she focused on the Bellflower’s “fantastic curves and lilts. It was very muscular — even beefy — to the point where it felt almost as though it shouldn’t be called an apple, but rather some other fruit instead.”

 

 

 

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