'Fired Up!'

This ceramic, glass, and steel art's beauty and wit will knock you on your ass

Coral-inspired glassworks by Glenda Kronke are among the treasures of this glorious show.
Coral-inspired glassworks by Glenda Kronke are among the treasures of this glorious show.

'Fired Up!'

Pump Project, 702 Shady Ln.


Through Sept. 18

Want to see some things that'll knock you out of your skull?

Painters render two-dimensional images of what they perceive or what they imagine they see in their heads. Sculptors

and ceramicists, glassworkers and metalsmiths, on the other (often heat-scarred) hand, wrest the very objects from their brain box and into the world, in as many shapes and shades as materials and industry will allow. The results of objectification will vary, of course, depending on the inciting idea, the skill of the artist, and what's used to manifest the thing.

You want to see the results of objectification that will knock you on your ass with their beauty and wit, with the brilliance of their creation? You want to see "Fired Up!" at Pump Project before what's on display is packed away (or, more likely, added to the private displays of savvy art collectors).

Micah Evans' large sculptures of borosilicate glass are represented by a dimpled octahedron of clear latticework pierced by a short and double-tapered black spear; try to picture that without a face-to-face eyeballing, and you'd fall short of its geometric impact even if William Gibson had described it. Easier: Evans also provides a giant bottle of Lone Star beer, rendered in the same latticelike, fully transparent style, called The National Sculpture of Texas; its bottle cap, also of borosilicate, sits nearby. Or how about a glass branch of realist orchids springing from a stunning art deco holder? It is to swoon.

Edmund Martinez brings his often macabre vernacular to bear on a set of dishes, bowls, and coffee cups decorated with skulls or profanity, the perfect accompaniment to a Shirley Jackson tea party with Constance and Merricat.

Mandy Sue Springer fills one corner of the gallery with an immense wooden beam upon which, as if growing there naturally, blooms a thick and staggered colony of fired-clay fungus that metastasizes from the dark substrate and climbs the bordering walls. There's a pair of headphones next to this gorgeous piece; put them on and be transported to the sculpture's native territory, richly evoked by Danny Glaser's complex soundscape.

Sun McColgin's signature works of angular steel are also part of this exhibition, their solidity providing an anchor to the delicate sailings of glass and porcelain that surround them. Glass: for instance, the stunning trio by Morgan Graff: Sea Glass, Luftballon, and Lemon & Lime, thick and brightly colored curves and sections of spheres of simple silicate beauty. Porcelain: Ryan McKerley's Bowl and Jar: like fine gifts some strangely diplomatic Dalek ambassador might present to a lucky Time Lord. And there's more, yes, also varied, by many others. And, as if what's already gathered isn't sufficient to make you wish you'd won the lottery to afford all of it at once, a few small stained-porcelain pieces by Jared Theis are on loan from D Berman Gallery.

This "Fired Up!" show at Pump Project displays much of what's possible when you mix materials with brains and skill; this "Fired Up!" show provides a dimension of art you'll be pleased to inhabit, however briefly.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Arts Reviews
'The 2012 Drawing Annual'
Don't let Tiny Park Gallery go without experiencing this exhibit of depth and meaning

Wayne Alan Brenner, May 18, 2012

Arts Review
'Memento Mori'
The three artists showing here exhibit so much sentience, mystery, and grace

Wayne Alan Brenner, April 13, 2012

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
Carter Creek Wines are Light, Bright, and Make for a Perfect Night
Carter Creek Wines are Light, Bright, and Make for a Perfect Night
Hill Country winery offers a fine array of tipples for Texans

Jan. 15, 2021

PrintAustin 2021 Reproduces Community Online and Off
PrintAustin 2021 Reproduces Community Online and Off
At this celebration of printmaking it's gather, prints, repeat

Jan. 15, 2021


Fired Up!, Pump Project, Micah Evans, Edmund Martinez, Mandy Sue Springer, Sun McColgin, Ryan McKerley, Jared Theis, D Berman Gallery

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle