A Form of Contemplation
September 9 - October 15, 2022 | 168 Suffolk Street, New York, NY 10002
A Form of Contemplation
September 9 - October 15, 2022
168 Suffolk Street, New York, NY 10002
Derek Weisberg’s solo exhibition, A Form of Contemplation, invites embodied interaction with the artists’ practice. For Weisberg, making art is an act of devotion, vulnerability, and joy. This new body of work invites the viewer to participate and share in rumination.
Nearly all the pieces in this series incorporate exchange and connection through the integration of flower vases, candleholders, and other spaces for small offerings. Weisberg’s acts of devotion have been preserved in the kiln and the viewer is subsequently invited to interact with the work as a kind of practice. By adding fresh flowers, lighting candles, or leaving coins, beads, and other objects, the viewer is asked for ongoing embodied participation. This activity becomes something akin to a meditative process or an act of spiritual engagement.
Weisberg’s practice has developed out of a love of process and material, but also out of an exploration of unanswerable questions, grief, and investigations of meaning. Weisberg’s hand is evident in the porcelain, a material that he loves for its simultaneous strength and delicate quality. It exposes him artistically. His approach allows the material to exert itself and its needs into to the work in an almost collaborative way. It also serves as a critique, if not complete rejection of, dualism. Weisberg’s execution is informed by his physical experience of the material as much as the clay is manipulated through his own inventiveness.
Acts of creation are inherently optimistic; they don’t develop from despair but instead provide a means of moving through it. Grief, destruction, and stagnation are not absent from the creative process; they are previous or subsequent to it. By allowing the cracks and scars of the work to exist alongside the carefully sculpted elements, Weisberg reminds us that there is beauty and hope in the imperfect and commonplace.
In the digital age, where much of art and life is consumed via a screen, the call to a physical presence is paramount to the artists’ commitment to his work and to the audiences’ experience. As para social relationships and technologically mediated experiences creep increasingly into our lives, physical touchstones and in person interactions take on an elevated significance. Being continuously invited to physically engage with the work ensures that the viewers most authentic experience of it cannot be reconciled by a digital impression. Instead, the viewer is asked to be present and mindful. The work acts as a call to contemplation of daily practices and rituals, and the effect they have in our lives.