Zan WIlcox, "Cirque 2," 2013
Zane Wilcox, Cirque 2, 2013, reductionfired stoneware, 9” x 12” x 9”
Zane Wilcox thinks of his work more as sculpture than ceramics. Looking at his stripped down, almost industrial clay pieces with their flat planes and sharp edges, it’s easy to see why.
“What I’m interested in is really distilling elements of visual perception to amp up those aspects, like form and space,” he says. “A vessel is valuable to me in terms of its spatial aspect. Light and shadow are very important in my work. I’m really trying to distil those elements and bring them to the forefront, rather than any kind of messaging or communication.”
Simplicity is one of his big strategies. “I try to pare away information,” says Wilcox, who spent his early life on a farm near Stalwart, Sask., and went on to earn an MFA from the University of Regina. He is influenced by Minimalism, but also draws distinctions. “Certainly, I’m taking some of the vocabulary of the Minimalists, but I’m after a much richer, less perfect, materiality – something that’s a little more grounded in the reality of our world.”
Wilcox, who has worked with clay for more than a decade, is one of five nominees this year for the RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. His upcoming show, Stripes and Grids, at Regina’s Mata Gallery, includes pieces that explore surface and pattern as organizing principles. In some, surface and form work together cohesively. But in others he creates an illusory object where shape and surface are at odds.
Zane Wilcox is represented by the Mata Gallery in Regina. His show, Stripes and Grids, runs from Sept. 16 to Oct. 17. His work sells for $300 to $2,000.