Heinemann’s Clay Continuum

By Heidi McKenzie

Steve Heinemann
Husk
ceramic
1996
25 X 35 X 74
Photo by Taimaz Moslemian

Heinemann places himself in the post-war era of artists who moved beyond subtraction from marble, stone, or wood as a way of reckoning form and turned to alternative methods of construction that inherently allow for consideration of volume and interior space. Ultimately humankind began fashioning containers out of clay, and unlike sculptors who work in subtractive media, Heinemann is compelled by clay’s potency to reveal contained space: “that’s always attracted me about pots: it’s not difficult to take that [the mysterious quality of clay and volume] and extend it into things that are not pots.” It’s not surprising that Heinemann views his work as operating on a continuum. On certain parts of that continuum there are identifiably familiar things such as a bowl, but farther along on that continuum are “the dynamics of containment that the bowl offers you, they that can be stretched and extended into things that are not bowls, but still incorporating similar aspects of volume and containment of space.”

Read the full article in the Fall/Winter 2018-19 issue of Studio Magazine.

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