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Sensory Overload Edition

Unlikely Survivor, 2010/2013 Porcelain, glazes, slip, stoneware accretions, mineral ‘crust’, oxides, lustre 19.49h x 9.84w x 12.60d in. Artwork photographs courtesy of Jason Jacques Gallery

As we slowly resume our gallery and museum going routine, it’s noticeable that our enthusiasm isn’t the same as it was. Yes, we’re happy to see our favorite works, learn new things, and drift through the galleries, soaking in The Experience of Art, but something is missing.

It’s not the lack of crowds; as jarring as it is to see an empty entrance hall in a NYC museum, you quickly get used to walking freely in the space. It’s not the works on the walls and pedestals; they’re just where we left them and are as lovely as ever.

The closest we can get to an answer is that we’ve been in virtual mode for too long. Travelling through the world’s museums and galleries online has flattened our perceptions and feelings, leaving our real-world encounters less than gratifying. Where is that indefinable moment when eyes brighten, hearts beat faster, and a soul rejoices? How can we go back to before?

We needed a sensory overload; exaggerated textures and colors, overwhelming scale in unexpected materials to jolt us out of our doldrums. We found it in the Jason Jacques Gallery’s current show, Gareth Mason 33 Pots: A Decade in Cahoots. This celebration of the longstanding relationship between artist and dealer showcases ceramics of stunning virtuosity that challenge the limits of porcelain clay, technique, and style. In normal times these dynamic works might be over the top, but in today’s climate they seem like an antidote to the increasingly sterile world we are forced to live in. Delivering an invigorating visual and mental experience, this is the art we needed to get back into the real world.