The 15th edition of the New York Ceramics Fair “The Bacchanalistas: Passions + Pleasures,” (Jan 22-26) curated by Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Contemporary, will present an overview of contemporary ceramics by living artists whose art draws inspiration from ceramic history—as well as thought provoking discussions with designers Mario Buatta, Alexa Hampton, Kitty Hawks and David Scott.
Themes of passion, eroticism, sexuality, abundance and excess of food and wine will be shown through figural sculpture, animated painted vessels and still life from the 16th century through today. Participating dealers will juxtapose historic objects with the contemporary artists.
"Bacchanalia, the Roman festival of Bacchus, the Greco-Roman god of wine, freedom, intoxication and ecstasy were attended by a secret society and became legendary," said Ferrin. “Ancient ceramic objects were in use during these parties and then later created to commemorate such events. Today a generation of artists draws their inspiration from those objects and create their own for celebratory experiences."
The fair has designated Friday, January 24, as its designer day featuring Hampton, Hawks and Scott on a panel called Porcelain Perfect: How Top Decorators Accessorize with Ceramics, and Buatta will also be on hand for a book signing.
The schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, January 22
12:00 p.m.—Tortoise Shell Ware Made in This Town: A Re-examination of the Benjamin Leigh and John Allman Partnership in Boston with Angelika Kuettner, associate registrar for imaging and assistant curator of ceramics, Colonial Williamsburg.
2:00 p.m.—English and Continental Glassware in Early America with Leslie B. Grigsby, Winterthur's curator of ceramics and glass.
4:00 p.m.—Perfected in New York City: Jean-Pierre Colné and the Origins of Mechanized Glass Cutting with Ian Simmonds, antiques dealer and researcher.
Friday, January 24
12:00 p.m.—Porcelain Perfect: How Top Decorators Accessorize with Ceramics.
Prominent interior decorators Alexa Hampton, David Scott and Kitty Hawks will discuss the importance of ceramics in decorating. Sponsored in cooperation with The New York School of Interior Design, the discussion will be moderated by Judith Gura, author, NYSID member and area coordinator.
2:00 p.m.—If You Can't Hide It, Decorate It. Mario Buatta will sign copies of his new book, Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Style and Decoration, published by Rizzoli.
Saturday, January 25
12:00 p.m.—Making Pottery Tell Its Own Story: Royal Worcester's Vases with Scenes of Chinese Porcelain Production, with Ron Fuchs II, curator of the Reeves Collections at Washington and Lee University.
2:00 p.m.—Angels and Demons: The Pleasures of Pottery and Porcelain with Robert Hunter, the editor of Ceramics in America.
4:00 p.m.—The Bacchanalistas: Passions + Pleasure with Ferrin.
The New York Ceramics Fair, which takes place in the Grand Ballroom of the Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues), opens with a private preview on Tuesday evening, from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $90 each.
The show opens to the public on Wednesday, January 22. Hours are 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket price with catalogue is $20 per person, and can be used throughout the duration of the fair. All lectures are free with show admission, and are sponsored by the Chipstone Foundation.