|Montana-based ceramist David Regan (b. 1964) began working professionally in 1991 and has quickly become well recognized for his distinctive vessels. Regan’s porcelain animal forms, covered in intricate sgraffito drawings, invite close observation. Although they appear to be decorative and sculptural, many of them are actually entirely functional and this is part of their complexity. Addressing themes of human and animal consumption and the natural cycles of life and death through his illustrations, Regan links these ideas to the function of traditional serving containers like soup tureens and casseroles.
Regan has not always worked in this style.During a residency at Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana in the late 1980’s, he was making platters with figurative elements saturated in bright glazes. Struggling to find meaning in his work, he was advised by fellow resident Akio Takamori to “do what you are really good at.” This was a turning point for Regan and he soon set out on a new path. Having been pronounced an excellent draftsman during his undergraduate work at the Rochester Institute of Technology, he began to envision the union of drawing and sculpture in functional pots. Around 1989, he made the decision to place specific limitations on his working process. He would make only wheel-thrown tureens, teapots, and vases, using only black-and-white sgraffito drawings as decoration.He found that sgraffito, the process of incising through an outer glaze to reveal the body of the vessel or underglaze below, allowed him to create extremely detailed drawings that take full advantage of the voluminous forms of his vessels.
Regan has now been working in this fashion for over eleven years. While still dedicated to his sgraffito style, he has begun to create more sculptural forms. Recent forms, while including some teapots and tureens, have also included entirely closed, non-functional sculptures. The objects he creates, regardless of their functionality, remain multi- layered. Through them, he plays with issues of form and perspective on a curved surface, ruminates upon the meanings of cultivated serving traditions, and probes at the dynamics between nature and human society.
1986 Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Nova Scotia, Canada
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York - B.F.A.
1986-88 Residency, Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, Montana
1990 Alfred University, Alfred, New York – M.F.A
Ceramics Research Center at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, North Carolina
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2002 Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
2001 Garth Clark Gallery, New York
1999 Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
1997 Garth Clark Gallery, New York
1996 Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
1995 Garth Clark Gallery, New York
1994 Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles
1993 Garth Clark Gallery, New York
1992 Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles
1991 Visitors, Garth Clark Gallery, New York
Swidler Gallery, Royal Oak, Michigan