Ani Kasten

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"Investigating the materiality of the clay is the foundation and focal point for all of my vessels, sculptures and assemblages. I create wheel-thrown and hand-built forms in families, and these sculptural groupings explore the meeting point between natural and man-made worlds. 

The forms integrate these sometimes opposite sensibilities into a composed landscape, such as a stand of bamboo-like, truncated cylinders, perforated with small windows to look like corroded skyscrapers, or a simple, pure form such as a smooth sphere, marked on its surface with an off-center, wandering imprint, like bird tracks in the sand. The pieces are often truncated, off-center, weathered and perforated, combining natural movement and an apparent state of organic deterioration that invokes the cycle of life, death, decay. The pieces are like remnants, a landscape of objects that remain after some kind of significant change, grave markers, or organic matter that has survived a great fire.”        Ani Kasten

 

Ani Kasten has been working in the ceramic medium since 2000, beginning with an apprenticeship with British ceramist Rupert Spira. After a year in England, Kasten traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal where she spent four years as head of a project for developing stoneware technology for a community of artisan potters in the village of Thimi. Her training in England and the exotic working environment in Nepal have infused Kastens sculpture and vessels with a combined aesthetic, drawing on minimalist British studio ceramics, as well as ancient, weathered, hand- made objects born from traditional cultures throughout Asia. After leaving Nepal, Kasten began working in Oakland, California where the fresh natural beauty of the California coastline juxtaposed with extreme urban deterioration began to inform the language of her work. From 2007 through 2009, Ani was an Artist in Residence at Red Dirt Studio in Mt. Rainier, MD, where she further developed her distinct combination of sculpture and vessel work, showing her ceramics nationally at galleries and craft shows. Since 2007, Kasten has been working in the Gateway Arts District of Prince Georges County Maryland, and in 2012 purchased a storefront building in Mount Rainier, MD, where she has established her current workspace. She has continued to exhibit her work nationally and internationally in galleries and fine craft exhibitions. She also creates work for designers and collectors on commission from her studio.


CV

Selected Exhibitions

 2014

  • St. Croix River Vallery Pottery Tour, Shafer, MN
  • Lacoste Gallery, Solo Exhibition, Concord, MA
  • Crimson Laurel Gallery, Solo Exhibition, Bakersville NC
  • Blue Spiral Gallery; Group Exhibition; Asheville, NC

2013

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show; Philadelphia, PA
  • The Clay Studio, Gifted; Philadelphia, PA
  • Northern Clay Center; American Pottery Festival, Minneapolis, MN
  • St. Croix River Vallery Pottery Tour; Shafer, MN
  • Crimson Laurel Gallery; Containment; Bakersville, NC
  • Snyderman Works Gallery; Solo Exhibition; Philadelphia, PA
  • AKAR; Yunomi Invitational; Iowa City, IO

 

2012

  • Lacoste Gallery, Frequencies, Solo Exhibition; Concord, MA (November)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show; Philadelphia, PA
  • Tomio Koyama Gallery, Function/Dysfunction; Three-person Exhibition; Kyoto, Japan
  • The Clay Studio, Offerings, Solo Exhibition; Philadelphia, PA
  • Blue Spiral Gallery; Solo Exhibition; Asheville, NC

2011

  • Snyderman-Works Gallery, Three Shades of White, Philadelphia, PA
  • Lacoste Gallery, SOFA New York, New York, NY
  • Crimson Laurel Gallery, Containment, Bakersville, NC
  • Lacoste Gallery, The Elusive Tea Bowl, Concord, MA
  • Blue Spiral Gallery, Emerging Clay, Asheville, NC (January)

2010

  • Philadelphia Museum Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA
  • Lacoste Gallery, SOFA Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Gallery 555, Group Exhibition, Washington D.C.
  • The Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, D.C.
  • Lacoste Gallery, Solo at SOFA, New York, NY
  • Lacoste Gallery, Fault Lines, Solo Exhibition, Concord, MA
  • Wood Turning Center, Magical Realism/ Material Illusions, Phildelphia, PA 

2009

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA
  • Lacoste Gallery, SOFA Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Baltimore Clayworks, More than Skin Deep, Group Exhibition, Baltimore, MD
  • Kobo At Higo, Exhibition with Lilith Rockett, Seattle, WA
  • Gallery Up, Tea Bowl Invitational, Rock Hill, SC
  • The Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, D.C.
  • Lacoste Gallery, SOFA New York, New York, NY
  • The Katzen Center @ American University Museum, Table Sculpture, Washington, D.C.
  • American Craft Council Baltimore Show, Baltimore, MD

2008

  • Vessel, Imprint, Berkeley, CA
  • Diane Birdsall Gallery, Winter Landscape, Solo Exhibition, Old Lyme, CT
  • Project 4 Gallery and Hickok Cole Architects, Art Night, Washington, D.C.
  • Lacoste Gallery, Vessel and Sculpture, Concord, MA
  • Kobo At Higo, Solo Exhibition, Seattle, WA
  • Coincide: Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture @Artomatic, Washington, D.C.
  • Project 4 Gallery at the Herman Miller National Design Center,
  •  Art + Space, Washington, D.C.,
  • Project 4 Gallery, 2, Washington, D.C.
  • Red Dirt Studio at NCECA, The Myth of Permanence, Pittsburgh, PA

2007

  • Project 4 Gallery and the Jenco Group, Abode, Washington, D.C.
  • Red Dirt Studio, New Territories, Solo Exhibition, Mt. Rainier, MD
  • Cross MacKenzie Ceramic Arts, Bowled Over, Washington, D.C.

 

 

Education

2002

  • Ceramics Apprenticeship with Santa Kumar Prajapati,
  • Master Potter, Thimi Ceramics, Thimi, NEPAL

2001

  • Ceramics Apprenticeship with Rupert Spira, Master Potter,
  • Church Farm Pottery, Shropshire, ENGLAND

2000 

  • B.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

 

Grant Awards and Residencies

2010

  • Montgomery County Individual Artist Grant
  • Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington D.C., Exhibitors Choice Award

2009

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Best in Contemporary Clay
  • Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington D.C., Exhibitors Choice Award
  • American Craft Council Show, Baltimore, Award of Excellence in Ceramics
  • Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant

20072009

  • Artist-in-Residence, Red Dirt Studio, Mt. Rainier, MD

20042006

  • Ramsay Merriam Grant*

20022006

  • Ramsay Merriam Grant for the Preservation of Indigenous Craft
  • Traditions, Ramsay Merriam Fund, Washington, D.C.*

 

* I was awarded a grant from the Ramsay Merriam Fund for the purpose of introducing stoneware technology to Nepalese potters. My Nepalese colleagues and I set up the first stoneware facility in the country in the village of Thimi and formulated new high-fire clay and glazes using local materials. I also created a range of tableware designs for the Thimi potters to produce for the export market. Due to the success of the project, the Ramsay Merriam Fund decided to award an additional grant for continuing my work in Nepal. With the second grant, we established a training facility where more potters from the village can have the opportunity to learn about the new methods and techniques for ceramics production. We have also designed an online resource for people worldwide to learn about the ceramic making traditions and culture of Nepal.

  

Selected Press

2012

  • Ceramics Monthly, Ani Kasten: Offerings at the Clay Studio; September 2012
  • Ceramics Monthly: Thimi Nepal: Village Ceramic Traditions in Flux; May 2012

2011 

  • Nepal: Nostalgia and Modernity; edited by Deepak Shimkhada; Marg Publications
  • Ceramics: Art and Perception, Fault Lines at Lacoste Gallery; Fall 2011
  • Home and Design, 'Urban Chic', March/April 2011

2009

  • Home Fort Lauderdale, The Maximalist and the Minimalist, September 2009
  • Home and Design, An Artists Enclave, May/June 2009
  • Metropolitan Home, A Fresh Start, January 2009

2008

  • Ceramic Review, New Territories, May/June 2008

2007

  • House and Garden, U.K., PeopleLifestyle, October 2007
  • Architectural Digest, Designers Own Homes: Suzanne Lovell, September 2007          
  • Shelter, Connoisseurs Delight, May¬–June 2007

2005

  • Architectural Digest, The Craftsmans Eye, November 2005
  • Martha Stewart Living, A Well-Crafted Gathering, September 2005

 

 Private and Public Collections

  • Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • State Department of the United States, Sana'a Collection, Sana'a, Yemen
  • David and Clemmer Montague
  • Steven Keeble and Karen Depew
  • Albert and Tina LeCoff
  • The Wood Turning Center
  • Leonard and Susan Nimoy