February 2, 2018 – March 24, 2018
CARY ESSER : Second Surface
MARCUS CAIN : Alignments


CARY ESSER: Second Surface

A master of ceramics, Cary Esser, explores the aesthetic and technical edge of possibility within the medium in her new series of wall reliefs, The Second Surface. Esser’s inspiration for this series comes from two sources, the experience of visiting the ancient caves of Cappadocia, Turkey and of seeing historic examples of the Native American Parflech, softened rectangles of folded hide that form carrying cases. Motivated by the history, a sense of enclosure and mystery, and the experience of light and shadow, Esser has created her own Parflech series of envelope-like forms that are both strong yet vulnerable.

Esser’s Parflechs are defined by uniform skins of texture ranging from a sleek, black, sheen to a soft, dry, white crackle and everything in between. The form seems held by the surface, often as delicate as a breath, fragile yet resilient. The combination of the two is inseparable, poetic and powerful as they conspire to reveal or conceal an interior that can be glimpsed but never fully known.

Esser is the Chair of Ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute. Her work is in the collections of Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO; Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT; John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI, and numerous others.

Migrant Mother II


MARCUS CAIN: Alignments

Marcus Cain’s new series of paintings, Alignments, are inspired as reply to the constant stream of information experienced in our hyperactive world. Cain is interested in, what he calls, “ a territory between looking and seeing” and these paintings hasten to reflect and respond to our common experience of action and reaction.

Employing the humblest of tools, Cain stamps the surface of his canvas with pieces of wood dipped in color. The repeated marks accumulate and reveal, or conceal, intervals of pattern that cluster together, and then break apart. Woven color divides space and suggests shadow and light, the movement, gravity and atmosphere of our world. Cain says of these paintings, “Collectively these works are meditations on personal and universal mythologies, acts of transformation and discovery and loss in the natural and man-made world.”

Marcus Cain holds a B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute where he is Alumni Director. His work is in the permanent collections of the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS, and numerous others.

Migrant Mother II