A quiet energy courses through Katherine Glenday’s vessels—luminescent pieces of thin white porcelain adorned with loose brushstrokes evocative of Franz Kline or Robert Motherwell. An action painter in her own right, Glenday invokes chance in the creation of each of her self-coined “canvases in the round”—vases she shapes by transforming wet slip into molds or throwing clay on the wheel. “There is an element of ‘letting go’ that is addictive,” Glenday says of her process. “It’s always part control and part surrender. This dance is where there is room for unexpected and deeply satisfying results.”
Like much of the artist’s previous work, her latest collection, Dust Storm and Sea Grass—which will inaugurate Atelier Courbet’s new Chelsea location at 134 Tenth Avenue on July 26—underscores Glenday’s longtime relationship with the landscape of her South African homeland. Oxides such as cobalt and copper are used as natural pigments applied as “paints,” while red iron oxide, gleaned from mud in the mountains outside Cape Town, is left to settle in the translucent clay walls by their own improvisation. The result is a powerful study in positive and negative space, stillness and movement, intention and acquiescence—the next act in her own ongoing dance.