“In a body of work there is a common thread of expression and exploration that binds it together. My sculpture addresses our pursuit of Truth.” Nancy Kubale
Unhappy. Dark. Foreboding.
These are the qualities one sees, or so it would seem, when encountering a Nancy Kubale ceramic figure for the first time. The artist, however, has a different point of view: “I’ve always said they’re not just another pretty face,” says Kubale. “I want people to take a second look and try to figure out what’s going on; they wouldn’t do that if I didn’t challenge them visually.”
In her body of work there is a common thread of expression and exploration that binds it together. “Within the structure of the human form lies the possibility to recognize ourselves and the opportunity to contemplate the complexities and contradictions of the world we live in.”
Kubale’s ceramic and mixed media figures begin with hand-building techniques in stoneware clay. She layers the surface with terra sigillata, slips, stains, oxides, glazes, underglazes and decals – firing each piece three to five times. Often the work is in pieces after the final firing and is then assembled with wood, metal, fiber and found objects.
“I often use text,” says Kubale, “to indicate the concept that initiated the work, and for the way language frames the perception of our existence.” Most pieces have a poem written on the back, and “the poem almost always comes first.”
Kubale also includes in her work visual metaphors such as ladders, nails, tags and windows that she says “express aspiration, experience and epiphany – things that assemble and define a life.” A self-professed “people watcher,” observing and questioning are central to Kubale’s art. “I’m intrigued by who we are and how we live…is there a right way to live? What gives us meaning? What gives happiness?”
The ceramic figures of Nancy Kubale are anything but traditional. And what one sees when encountering her work for the first time may not tell the whole story.
All of Nancy Kubale’s sculptures are one-of-a-kind. She only sells them at fine craft shows or via galleries. Meet the artist and see her latest work at Palm Beach Contemporary, March 10-12 at the Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds. It’s the last big art show of the season, so don’t miss it!
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: PALM BEACH CONTEMPORARY: ART, DESIGN & FASHION
WHEN: March 10, 11 & 12
HOURS: Friday & Saturday 10am-6pm | Sunday 11am-5pm
WHERE: South Florida Expo Center | 9067 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach (one mile west of the turnpike)
TICKETS: $15 | seniors (65+) $12 | 14 and under FREE