Life & Still: Anat Shiftan
September 23 – December 30, 2022
Israel-born artist Anat Shiftan expands our conceptions of ceramics in this large-scale exhibition which features a wall installation that spans over twenty feet, as well as recently created pedestal-based works. In the creation of the 41 works, which contain over 200 components, Shiftan has employed an array of production methods including slip casting, wheel throwing, hand building and industrial artifacts
In the Phylla in Blue wall installation, composed of 72 individual porcelain units, the repetition of delicate curled forms produces a subtle undulating movement. While the tranquil pale celadon blue-glazed forms evoke the notion of underwater flora, for the artist “nature is an invented image that exists only as an idea.” Shiftan states that “color is a strong presence or absence in my work,” and this is demonstrated by compositions employing color in contrast with others glazed in solid white. In Still Life in White, the artist highlights the history of travel and trade in pieces that draw connection to Greek, Chinese and European heritages.
Shiftan’s large-scale work, Wallpaper in Green and Pink, seen for the first time in the Zillman exhibition, was created in response to her readings on the objectives of wallpaper designs by the influential 19th century designer William Morris. Similar to the aims of the designer, Shiftan states that, “My installation is a dimensional iteration of Morris’ statement on bringing nature back into our space” and to “regain the connection with nature.” In hues of chartreuse green and pink tones, Wallpaper in Green and Pink consists of over 95 individually-sculpted components that activate an expanse of gallery walls. The curved, extruded tubes terminate in an array of hand-built flower petals in both semi-gloss and dark maroon lava glaze.
Anat Shiftan is Professor of Art at SUNY New Paltz, NY, where she is the head of the ceramics program. She has exhibited extensively in both the U.S. and Israel and is represented by Hostler Burrows, NYC and LA.
Left: Anat Shiftan (American, Israeli born 1955). Flora in White, 2016. Ceramic. Courtesy of the artist and Hostler Burrows NY/LA.
Right: Anat Shiftan (American, Israeli born 1955). Flora, Forest and Orchard in Yellow and Green, 2022. Ceramic. Courtesy of the artist and Hostler Burrows NY/LA.