OBJECTS AND PLACE
April 4 – May 19, 2018
Reception | Friday, April 6, 5-8 pm
Gallery Talk | Friday, April 27, 6 pm
Since 1907 The Scarab Club has been one of the pivotal Detroit art hubs, a beautiful and complicated historic place. This space (place) was a crossroads for both renowned and unnamed artists, collectors, and club members who together built an institution with a history reflecting the most vibrant artistic and social norms of the day, along with a disciple-like membership and legendary festivities that left the former club house level a tobacco stained resonance. For decades furniture, paintings, fixtures, murals, and rugs have remained while artistic and social trends have shifted. The Scarab Club is a place wedged in a private/public predicament with an honorable and challenging past which now finds its members, board, and patrons at its next historic pivot point.
This exhibition, Curated by Addie Langford, Objects and Place, looks at the ability of configured objects to hint at audience, suggest use, and implicate a politics of space. Artists Marie Herwald Hermann, Laith Karmo, and Addie Langford pair clay and mixed media to consider how the objects and space of the Scarab Club have shaped and continue to shape the sense of what this space housed, supported, sheltered, formed, and transformed in creating and maintaining place.
Marie Herwald Hermann, from Copenhagen, Denmark works in Detroit. She worked as a studio manager for the British artist Edmund de Waal and received a Master of Fine Arts in 2009 from the Royal College of Art in London. Solo exhibitions include most recently a solo exhibition and featured artist at NADA Miami at the Reyes Projects, Stillness in the Glorious Wilderness at Matin Gallery in Los Angeles and The Only Thing I Can Think About is Yellow at Egg in London, among many others. Represented in collections including the Sèvres Museum in France and the Jingdezhen Ceramics Museum in China Marie was awarded a Danish Arts Foundation grant in 2009 and the Annie and Otto Johs Detlef’s Award for young, experimental ceramic artists in 2010. She is also a curator and co-director of Sixpm Project Space and a faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Laith Karmo moves through the world with a profound sense of wonder and a desire to make sense of it. He has questions and from a young age art became a means to examine those questions and give his ideas space to stretch. Between high school and college, a teacher lent him a wheel and a block of clay. The clay, he found, held answers to some of his most burning questions. A dialogue began between the two. Connections were made, stories intersected and Karmo quickly realized he was part of something bigger. By manipulating this material into something new, he was participating in one of the oldest traditions known to man, and within this medium, he found his place. Each piece Karmo creates is a direct reflection of where he is at a given moment in time — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Laith Karmo earned a BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan and an MFA in Ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He’s participated in several national group shows and has had solo exhibitions at Paul Kotula Projects and The Butchers Daughter in Metro Detroit. He was awarded a Kresge Artist Fellowship in 2011 and maintains a studio in Pontiac, Michigan. Karmo has taught ceramics at Wayne State University, Oakland Community College and College for Creative Studies.
Addie Langford (exhibition curator) lives and works in Detroit. Her practice draws on her varied background in painting, ceramics, drawing, fabrics, and structural influences from architecture and craft. Traditions in Southern Appalachian craft from quilts to barn structures, weaving, and vessels emerge and recede as forms or fragmentary histories in the work and are in dialogue with movements such as Supports/Surfaces and Korean Dansaekhwa, or artists such as François Rouan, Simon Hantaï, and McArthur Binion. Her work is included in numerous Detroit Collections. Recent exhibitions Include, 21st Century Painting and Abstract Sculpture at Rush Art Gallery in New York and solo exhibition A Timeless Elsewhere, at Simone DeSousa Gallery in Detroit, 2016.
She completed her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art in ceramics after a BFA in architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2006-07 she was a Fulbright Fellow in Madrid, Spain, researched tapestry in relation to contemporary collage and exhibited a body of mixed media drawings, Slow Knots, in 2007 in Madrid.
Image: Laith Karmo, Hunter Bowl, Ceramic and oak, 18x15x11, 2017