Brinsley Tyrrell, Pandemic Punchbowl and Goblets, 2022, fired ceramic glaze
HILDUR JONSSON + BRINSLEY TYRRELL
May 7th – June 4th, 2022
Abattoir is thrilled to present new work by two much loved Cleveland masters in their fields. This exhibition gives Abattoir a chance to bring together two artists who have a long collegial association.
Hildur Jónsson makes woven paintings with dyed silk thread, each based on the landscape of her native Iceland, where she travels twice yearly for extended periods of time. Her paintings, which span small framed works to mural-size wall hangings, stem from her observation and recording of natural phenomena in all seasons. Jonsson takes photographs and makes preliminary studies of the Icelandic landscape, one of the most unique natural environments, with geysers, waterfalls, hot springs and active volcanoes. She extracts and abstracts those primal shapes to structure her woven compositions.
This is the artist’s second show with the gallery, and reflects a new direction in the work. Whereas Jónsson has concentrated in the past on capturing features of the Icelandic landscape in natural light, in this new work, she focuses on elements of the night sky. Nebulas, gamma rays and other references to celestial light and color are represented in this show as glowing concentric ovals depicted against a deep black that could be understood as either micro- or macro- cosmic configurations. In addition, the images of earthbound forms are replete with equally dramatic color in works focused on erupting volcanos and the electric hues of the setting Icelandic sun. In this new phase of activity, Jónsson’s exhibition is a continued exploration of the natural world with her own mystical twist. Jónsson is represented by Abattoir in Cleveland and Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York, who will present additional new work by her in the Armory Show in September.
Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1963. She holds a BFA and an MFA from Kent State University in textile art. Her work is collected and exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. Among her significant exhibitions was the solo show at the Tang Museum, Skidmore College, and other exhibitions at the Reykjavik Art Museum, and moCa Cleveland. Her work is represented in several museum and private collections, including the Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, London), Dealer Tire, the Hilton Hotel, Cleveland. She was recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and several Ohio Arts Council grants for artistic excellence. She resides in Cleveland Heights.
Brinsley Tyrrell is a renowned sculptor and ceramic artist, originally from England. He received his art degree at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, University of London. Long affiliated with Kent State University where he became head of the Sculpture department in 1972, he is now retired, and continues to make work in a series of wood fired kilns on his property in Ravenna, Ohio. He received the Cleveland Arts Prize in 1992 and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Arts in 2011. This is his first gallery exhibition in several years.
During the pandemic, after being infected himself, he began sculpting his newest series, The Pandemic Pieces. In these vessels, the surfaces are richly adorned with patterns, color and structures related to the virus forms and undersea creatures. The effect recalls creatures from Tim Burton films, albeit coated in subtle rich glazes – pale greens, blues and violets with an underlying oxide red.
Tyrrell thinks of himself primarily as a sculptor who works with clay, wax, plaster, bronze, and wood. In addition, he has created many public art works in Cleveland and the surrounding area-- wrought iron sculptures, fences and gates. He also makes fantastic landscape based, multi-hued “Enamels”. Begun in 2007, the painting – like series, is made with glass enamel applied to metal and fired in a large-scale kiln. One of these commissions is in 117th Street RTA station in Cleveland.
The last day to view The Silver Woman: Becoming Afro-Latina by Nydia Blas is December 16th.
Abattoir will then be closed for our winter holiday until February 18th when we return with the group exhibition On Intimacy.