Zizipho Poswa in ‘Tony Marsh: Fever Dream Duets’ at albertz benda, Los Angeles
Ceramic sculptor Zizipho Poswa is one of 14 artists featured in Tony Marsh: Fever Dream Duets on view at albertz benda in Los Angeles between 16 November and 21 December 2023.
Contemporary ceramic artist Tony Marsh has long invited artists to join faculty and students in the dynamic art studios of California State University in Long Beach (CSULB) to closely collaborate on intricate ceramic pieces, with Poswa having recently completed a two month-long residency at the Center for Contemporary Ceramics (CCC). This exhibition is a collection of a variety of collaborative sculptural works or “duets” created by 14 artists that were invited to work jointly with Marsh. The mutigenerational range of artists traverse a spectrum of artistic identities, interests, and modes of practice as they relate to the ceramic arts, and the result is a riveting display of artistic perspectives.
“So much of art making for experienced artists is pattern driven. To open the door and interact with another artist is to disrupt pattern, give permission, and work at building bridges to different understandings when one returns to a more solitary practice. It is only experimental when outcomes are not predetermined,” explains Marsh. Similar to an album of duets with one artist involved in the creation throughout, while collaborating with a different artist on each track, this exhibition showcases Marsh’s interest in communication and spans dynamic relationships that variously are personal, creative, collegial, and professional in origin.
Each collaboration requires unique strategies, starting points and an ebb and flow exchange of ideas and possibilities. It is a process that organically finds its way to a point of completion. These collaborations seek a balance so that the artistic DNA of both artists is abundantly present in the completed work. “As an educator I have always wanted to be an amplifier, a facilitator and someone who incites. I have collaborated with many artists in many ways over a long period of time. It is driven by my curiosity, admiration for artists and love of art. It feels natural. I am less interested in reinforcing the established and more interested in the experimental and nudging the field of ceramics forward. Collaboration is a vehicle for that,” shares Marsh.
“Our collaboration is a celebration of both our signature styles, our forms and glaze techniques. We both admire and have so much respect for one another’s work and so we wanted to explore what these elements can look like combined,” explains Poswa. “Tony created different press moulded shapes which I then used to build a single form.” Marsh wilI complete the work through the glazing process. “I love the fact that we are both not afraid to use bright colours in our work – that’s something special we have in common,” continues Poswa. “It’s been a huge honour to work with him and it’s an unforgettable exchange that I will always treasure.”
Other artists collaborating with Marsh include Amy Bessone, Bryan Burk, Roger Herman, Anna Sew Hoy, Akinsanya Kambon, Heidi Lau, Ramekon O’Arwisters, Mai-Thu Perret, Christopher Miles, Jean Pierre Larocque, Jennifer Rochlin, Cauleen Smith and Tam Van Tran.