Jason Jacques Gallery is pleased to present Second Nature, an exhibition of recent work by contemporary ceramic sculptor Aneta Regel—the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States. “With an approach similar to artists of a century ago represented by my gallery, Aneta pushes the boundaries of the ceramic medium, using clay and color to evoke sensuous objects that are layered in transformation,” says gallery principal Jason Jacques.
The exhibition includes more than three dozen of Regel’s current ceramic works, each evoking animalesque, quasi-botanic forms and incorporating a wide range of organic materials. In addition to clay and layers of glaze, Regel also uses volcanic rock, basalt, granite, and feldspars to form the main body of her pieces, resulting in visually complex textures. “Aneta successfully uses material, shape, and color to convey meaning and elicit emotion, with striking compositions in clay that engage the eye through their variegated surfaces and brilliant and subtle hues,” says Jason T. Busch, director of Jason Jacques Gallery.
Born in Poland, 41-year-old Regel now lives and works in London, where she is an inimitable and dynamic part of the ceramics scene and is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. “Working and living in London for 17 years, exploring its vibrant multicultural energy, has changed me,” says Regel. “My work has gradually become an eclectic mixture of elements, the result of a meeting of the past with present reality, of Western and Eastern cultures.”
Much of Regel’s inspiration is drawn from the natural landscapes of her native Poland—forests, riverbeds, and boulders. She captures the forms, energies, and rhythms of these natural features and phenomena. Explains Regel, “My work carries anthropomorphic references and autobiographical narratives. The human body and objects found in nature fascinate me.” Posed within the provocative rift between abstraction and figuration, Regel’s ceramic works take on the moods and aspects of living figures as they stand, lean, and recline.
Regel’s treatment of and approach to her medium bears a humble air of self-reference in that the clay is paired with stone, left unglazed, and is used to hint at its origin, nature. “Multiple layers of the same elements in different states are repeatedly dried and refired, telling a story of constant metamorphosis, of conflict and change,” says Regel. “The layers emphasize the materials’ capacity to be modified, which perhaps equates to not only our own ontology but also to the way we interact with objects and one another.”