Chicago

Tom Rose

Walter Kelly Gallery

Tom Rose’s porcelain sculptures are mostly white, giving innocence and enchantment to their small scale. Their smallness concentrates the images, so that their imaginary spaces are intensified. But this “skin” of white masks other, less pristine, things below its surface—odd items such as shells, thread, chickenwire, glass, jacks, cuttlebone.

Rose’s work is largely about its own material. An initial wet substance is pinched, split, creased, bent, rolled, and penetrated to compose platforms, objects on the platforms, and complex substructures. To make little tracks, pieces of glass, wire, or bone are impressed in the clay while soft, and then are anchored and fired with the porcelain. Often the platform supports are glass walls—frosted, charred, and etched into tiny Abstract Expressionist “paintings.” Poles poke through the porcelain, wire shows itself on the inside of white facades, and

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