Kathy Wismar Presents Functional Art at Kolman & Pryor

Kathy Wismar: Functional Pottery

Kathy Wismar: Functional Pottery

This time of year, the notion that art is something to actually purchase -- rather than just enjoy in a gallery, museum, or public space -- gains a little more traction, especially with holiday pop-up shops and artist sales every place you look. Even a traditional exhibition at a gallery, such as Kathy Wismar's "Intersections and Affirmations" at Kolman & Pryor, just begs to be seen as an assortment of potential gifts. 

What's lovely about ceramic art as a medium is that it's not simply for show, as you can probably imagine using items in your home, even if they are more precious than an IKEA mug. Walking through the galleries, you might find yourself fantasizing about serving hors d'oeuvres on one of Wismar's gorgeous platters. 

It doesn't hurt that such care has been taken in arranging the artist's work meticulously around the gallery, with pieces elegantly placed so that even their arrangement feels like a work of art. 

But "Intersections and Affirmations" isn't just a pottery show. Though the functional pottery stands alone as objects of beauty, there are also some pieces that are complemented with paintings, which are mostly by Wismar as well. With repeating colors, shapes, and patterns, the ceramic pieces and paintings all become part of the same abstract work. For example, her painting Sunrise, an abstract work of orange and red with rectangles of color lining the bottom and side, complements three functional pottery pieces that contain rectangles of orange as a flourish. 

Pedestrians, another painting by Wismar, uses a similar collection of sunset colors in a richly textured abstract piece that also includes splashes of blue and turquoise. It's paired with an assortment of vases and other functional pottery works that echo the colors in the painting. 

In one case, Wismar's functional pottery is paired with Jodi Reeb's mixed-media pieces, which correlate with interesting cross-channels, using a similar though not identical palette. 

The combination of pottery and two-dimensional work feels very much like a set, something that would be in a living room, which isn't a bad thing. Perhaps we need more art that people can imagine taking home as their own. 


"Intersections and Affirmations: New Work by Kathy Wismar"

Through January 3, 2015

Kolman & Pryor

Studio 395, Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis