Matthias Merkel Hess

Matthias Merkel Hess
Blitz 2 Gallon Gas Can
Glazed porcelain, 2013
6 x 7 x 10 inches
Courtesy of the artist and ACME.
Value: $1,500
Starting bid: $750
Minimum bid increment: $100

About the artist
Sculptor, potter, maker, manufacturer, and merchandiser, Matthias Merkel Hess uses his work to disrupt traditional boundaries, adopt multiple causes, and function in the art world as a sort of trickster. His best-known work replicates plastic vessels such as milk crates and trash cans in glazed ceramic, turning mass-produced items into semi-precious objects that resonate with the history of pottery. He also produces a line of artisanal, wheel-thrown pottery under the name MerkelWare. Born and raised in Iowa, Hess studied at the University of Kansas and received a MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010.

About the work
The Blitz 2 Gallon Gas Can is part of the artist’s larger series of “bucketry,” which consists of ceramic copies of plastic vessels such as gas cans, milk crates, and trash cans, humorously drawing attention to the utilitarian objects that surround us in our everyday lives.

Selected collections

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS
  • Hallmark Art Collection, Kansas City

Selected exhibitions

  • Corporeal Impulse, Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles, 2014
  • Faux Real, Laguna Art Museum, 2013
  • SUM, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS, 2012

 >> Click here for artist’s website

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