The groundbreaking Installation (906 - 955) White to Black at Peters Projects which was on display June 2 – August 26, 2017 is by North Carolina’s Daniel Johnston, both the leading exponent of that State’s traditional pottery and its most avant-garde artist. The installation consists of 50 large jars lining a custom-built corridor extending from the front to the back entrance of the gallery, transforming the gallery space itself. An opening reception with the artist will be held on Friday, June 2, 5-7 pm.
One half of the corridor will be constructed of charred black wooden slats. As this corridor curves toward the center of the installation, the row of vessels appear beginning with a stark white jar, and each consecutive jar becomes darker as one walks through the structure.
At the very center of the space, the corridor changes directions and the exterior wall will become the interior wall. In contrast to the burnt wooden slats, this reverse side of the same wooden wall is whitewashed and the surface of the jars continue to shift from light to dark, ending in a white space with a “solid” black jar.
Walking through this installation is transformative; 50 jars rest on a continuous curving bench 3' from the ground, placing them intimately close and slightly above eye level. The light flickers through vertical spacing between the wooden slats, landing high on the shoulders of the massive vessels.
Daniel Johnston’s earliest influences stem from working in a high volume North Carolina production studio at the age of 16, where thousands of pieces were produced with a high level of accuracy, culminating in making over 60,000 pots in a two-year period.
Following this production training Johnson explains, “I apprenticed for Mark Hewitt, where I continued my formal education and began to develop my pursuit of an attuned aesthetic sensibility. In considering the characteristics which made the original pots of the North Carolina lineage so unquestionably powerful, I decided to go back to the early origins of this tradition so I could interpret the root aesthetics myself rather than accept the dilution that had happened over time.”