Sally Saul: People & Vases @ Venus Over Manhattan, NYC

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Venus Over Manhattan, NYC // June 27, 2023 – August 04, 2023

Venus Over Manhattan is pleased to present Sally Saul: People and Vases, an exhibition of new work by the Hudson Valley based artist. Comprising a selection of exuberant ceramics imbued with the artist’s signature blend of whimsy and sensitivity, this show marks Saul’s first exhibition with the gallery since it announced representation of the artist in 2022. These ceramic sculptures—vessels, human figures, flora, and fauna—illustrate the continued development of Saul’s singular, decades-long ceramic practice. Presently Saul’s work can be seen on view in “Funk You Too! Humor and Irreverence in Ceramic Sculpture” at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York as well as highlighted in two recent books, Clay Pop, published by Rizzoli this March and Funk You Too! the catalog published by MAD in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition. 

Saul’s artworks evoke a poignant sentiment, whether it be an uneasy-looking female bust or a sculpture of a spider the size of a child’s hand. With their textural nature, intimate scale, and colorful palette, her ceramics possess an endearing and lively quality. They seem to exude a potential kinetic force, as if her small birds could take flight or chipmunks could suddenly scurry off their pedestals. While Sally Saul’s artistic practice alludes to Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism, it also manifests as a forthright and idiosyncratic approach that resonates with the traditions of Folk Art.

During the 1970s, while pursuing her master’s degree at San Francisco State University, Saul was exposed to the vibrant arts scene of the Bay Area. This experience fueled her passion for artmaking. However, it was her relocation to Austin, Texas, in 1981 that proved transformative when she enrolled in her first ceramics program. Drawing inspiration from everyday life, Saul’s sculptures strike a delicate balance between playfulness and subversiveness.

With a penchant for depicting the mundane and the bucolic, Saul’s artwork exudes a deep sense of spirit and celebrates the intricate vivacity of earthly existence. Whether it’s a small, affectionate sculpture of her husband in his pajamas or a resolute bird perched on a tree stump, her works exude a spirited presence that encapsulates the complexities of life.

Sally Saul: People and Vases will be on view at 39 Great Jones Street through Friday, August 4, 2023.

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