Samuel Hoffman (Ceramics) | Mark A. Meyer (Photography)
December 12 – January 6, 2018

  • Conversation from the Corrine Woodman Gallery: Thursday,  December 14, 12 noon

Samuel Hoffman and Mark A. Meyers show their work in the Corrine Woodman Galleries I & II

Working in very different media Hoffman in porcelain and Meyer in color photography, their work shows a strong contrast. Even their subject matter differs wildly. Hoffman is very interested in celestial phenomena (he had a field day this last August, and represented in the CWG’s solar eclipse show), while Meyer shows a body of work of older cars. What they both depict is their passion, they share a great love for their individual medium as well. It is sometimes that is at the root of all good artwork: passion for making the artwork.

Meyer says: “I studied Art and Photography at the University of Utah. I took 15 years off in the mid ’80s to pursue my other passion, automobiles. I moved to Corvallis in the early ’90s and am recently retired.  I came back to photography in the early 2000s and jumped to digital in 2008.  My motivation for making pictures is the same as when I started at age 9 with an Agfa Solina viewfinder camera: try to capture the excitement that draws me to a subject. A snapshot is enough to remind the photographer of what he saw and why he photographed it. The art comes in trying to create an image that stirs similar feelings/interest in viewers who were not there in the moment.”

The images in the Corrine Woodman show are part of a series since 1994with both digital and film technology. They are images of cars from the “Golden Age” of automotive styling (approx. 1925-1970), a time before emissions, fuel economy and safety concerns impacted how cars look. Meyer tried to recapture the feeling of fascination and joy he felt when viewing the automotive artwork of William Motta, Richard Corson and Hector Luis Bergandi. I find the shapes and details of these cars beautiful.

Hoffman is more interested in artistic exploration than expression; his work is primarily motivated by curiosity about the nature of clay and fire.  His passion for ceramics is influenced by a background in mathematics, chemistry, and astronomy.  Hoffman finds the scientific method of inquiry useful when experimenting with materials and firings.  But also employs risk and chance as allies in his creative process, an artistic balance that lies somewhere between alchemy and science. 

When firing in wood and vapor kilns, subtle changes in the shape of a piece can influence how flames move over the clay and, consequently, how it is colored and textured.

Hoffman says: “ I am particularly excited by the possibilities of combining intentional marks with the serendipitous glaze effects from the fire.  In my recent work, I have been exploring the ceramic vessel as a kind of lens, much like that of a telescope or microscope.  By manipulating the two-dimensional surfaces of a three-dimensional form, I hope to create an illusion of depth, be it celestial or cellular, that goes beyond the piece itself.”

Mark A. Meyer