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Painting, Prints

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Mixed Media


Amanda Klimek’s ceramic sculpture is highly original and experimental. Her fascination with the natural sciences is immediately apparent. The organic forms of her ceramic sculptures resemble conch shells or skulls split open, avian creatures bursting from eggs, roiling waves, all writhing with life. 

Naked, untreated clay sits in harmony with riotous color application. She has been known to make her own clay in order to achieve the right balance of strength and translucency. But at the heart of it all she is very much a painter, as much of the experimentation in form and color push how light is bent, refracted, and absorbed—the opposite of traditional “glazed” clay.

When she adds in metals for a reflective mirror-glaze, you see an illusory effect like looking at the surface of water. A sticky enamel allows the light to hit a bit below the surface, making it feel soft and organic but also giving a delicious candy-coat shine. A light coat of wax softens the form and gives it a skin-like glow with hardly any shine. Bare clay scatters the light softly as well, but in a dryer way that is more at the surface than with wax.

Her work recalls and advances the legacy of artists who have boldly combined painting and sculpture: Ron Nagle’s intimate explorations of form and color, Neil William’s ceramic teacups, Elizabeth Murray’s shaped canvases, and Frank Stella’s 1980s Circuit series.

Amanda is an active and generous participant in the San Francisco Bay Area contemporary art community, and has shown her work in over a dozen group shows. Her work has been recognized by influential artists, curators, and writers including Chester Arnold, Jack Fisher, Ernest Jolly, and Maria Porges. Marianna Stark Gallery is proud to present Amanda’s first solo exhibition.

Amanda received her BFA, summa cum laude, from Pratt Institute, and her MFA from San Francisco Art Institute. She lives and works in the Bayview District of San Francisco.