SoLow Cellars: Selections from the Collection of John and Andrea Gill
Exhibition sponsored by D. Philip Baker and David R. Bender
February 24 - July 29, 2021
SoLow Cellars: Selections - Collection of John and Andrea Gill is a group of 53 works curated from the larger collection by John Gill. Over time, John and Andrea Gill have established a collection of over 2,000 pieces many of which are surprising, often unorthodox works of ceramic art. Each object reveals John and Andrea's love for the ceramic medium. Clay, glaze and fire are celebrated. There is clear appreciation for the classics as well as an openness to the uncommon in common utilitarian solutions born of necessity. An old and elegant Chinese porcelain ewer and a 19th century acid dipping basket made of earthenware stand alongside liberal arts pots and unique, individualistic ceramic art statements. Concerning the installation of the exhibition John points out the Betty Woodman and the Tony Hepburn pieces saying: "I love the way they dance together." Even blue and white porcelain shards have found a treasured place in the exhibition not as fragments of history, but as ideas to contemplate and gain inspiration from. Ideas is a key word here. There is no theme as it were -no period or technique specificity such as American Art Pottery or Salt Glazed Ceramics. Each work holds a unique idea within its nature as an object. Each object is a teaching offering insight into the timeless question: what is art?
John once said about the collection: "A lot of things are wrong."
A translation of this somewhat astonishing remark has come to mean that many traditional assumptions about quality in ceramic art are taken to task. There are no gratuitous demonstrations of craft, but there is much humor, intelligence, risk, and savvy in this impressive exhibition.