Contemporary Chinese Ceramics at FitzGerald Fine Arts

NEW YORK—As Asian art week draws a concentration of Asian art aficionados to galleries, auctions, and fairs on Upper East Side, Asian art galleries not officially associated with the events will also join in on the action. FitzGerald Fine Arts of SoHo is one of them. 

FitzGerald Fine Arts will bring a selection of mostly ceramic works to Arader Galleries on the Upper East Side. 

The show will center on a foursome of contemporary artists working at China’s most famous historic kiln, Jingdezhen—Zhu Di, Gao Danfu, Zhang Guojun, and the gallery’s own Jared FitzGerald. The group works as a collective, experimenting with and pushing the limitations of classic Chinese ceramic shapes and glazes. 

Zhu’s high fire glazes on ceramic panels create energetic and compelling visual effects that are both abstract and representational, much like Song Dynasty ink landscapes. 

FitzGerald’s large format vases and jars are covered in his idiosyncratic pseudo-Chinese script, if it can be called that.

Gao, using blue glaze, creates ethereal worlds and floating islands on the lustrous bodies of white porcelain vessels.

These four artists represent a mix of contemporary responses to classical Chinese art, and different audiences’ reactions to each are fascinating to observe, said FitzGerald director B.K. Walker.

At risk of overgeneralizing, Walker said: “The Chinese go for work that less overtly references the past—[they prefer] the more abstract, and works that don’t necessarily instantly have a historic connection. … For a more European/American/Latin American client, the pieces that do have more obvious connection to legacy motifs, they are more attracted to.”

It remains to be seen, Walker added, what the diverse mix of collectors and admirers in New York City will gravitate toward.