Sasha Koozel Reibstein’s ceramic sculpture gives form to the mysterious and often chaotic processes of creation. Reibstein recognizes the parallels between the intense collisions of heat, energy, and pressure that ultimately form galaxies, living organisms, as well as ceramic objects, and illuminates the transformative potential of such extraordinary occurrences. For her exhibition at ICA San Diego, Reibstien will present her largest works to date, the results of residences at San Diego State University and Cal State University Long Beach completed earlier this year. “The End is Near the Beginning,” which takes its title from the largest work in the show, will be Reibstein’s first solo museum exhibition in San Diego.
Reibstein’s ceramic sculptures are fundamentally rooted in transformation—of the body, mind, universe, and clay itself. They are the products of expertly negotiated dichotomies: earth and space; light and darkness; life and loss; body and mind; control and chaos. “The End is Near the Beginning,” offers a meditation on the ICA’s ongoing exploration of consumption, inviting us to consider the multiple definitions of the word. “To consume” can mean both to nourish and destroy; we can consume–or be consumed–emotionally or physically. The ceramic process itself is one of transformation via consumption by fire, a process that resonates with a central theme of this exhibition: the intimate connection between life and death, and the generative potential that accompanies destruction. Though grounded in mortality, in Reibstein’s work, the cyclical nature of life offers opportunities for growth, renewal, and deep connection across time.
The portal as a transformative tool and a vehicle for psychic teleportation continues to be a prominent motif in Reibstein’s practice. In this exhibition, each sculpture contains one or more portals in combination with drip formations that together represent metamorphosis, self-expansion, as well as the limits of our own existence. The five looped portals in title work, “The End is Near the Beginning,” make it nearly impossible to decipher any discrete portal from another. Journeying through the work’s exquisite passages reminds viewers that every ending is also a chance for regeneration.
The largest works in the exhibition are intentionally physically overwhelming; they suggest immersion, the possibility of being consumed by the sculpture itself. “At their core, these works are about our mortal forms and the psychic challenge of living within them,” says Reibstein. “I used my own body to calibrate their scale, challenging both the limits of the material and my own physicality. I want the viewer to be able to imagine themselves passing through their portals, visualizing their future or past, balancing a bountiful hope and meditation, with reflective loss and healing.”
Sasha Koozel Reibstein was born in Boston, MA and raised in Philadelphia, PA, a city whose culture and gritty urban landscape had a significant impact on her aesthetic. She currently resides in San Diego, CA where she is a professor of ceramics at Palomar College. Reibstein has traveled extensively, working and exhibiting in Germany, Denmark, Hungary and China. Her work has been included in over 80 national and international exhibitions including at The Zentrum fur Keramik, Berlin, Germany; Guldagergaard, Skaelskor, Denmark; ArtSpace 1 Beijing, China; Quint Gallery in La Jolla, CA; The Morris Graves Museum, Eureka, CA; The Attelboro Museum, Attelboro, MA; The American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, CA;
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Sunday, Sept 24 – Taylor Chapin: Tell Me About Yourself
Sunday, Oct 1 – Sasha Koozel Reibstein: The End is Near the Beginning
Sunday, Oct 8 – Sasha Koozel Reibstein: The End is Near the Beginning
Sunday, Oct 15 – Taylor Chapin: Tell Me About Yourself
Sunday Oct 22 – Danielle Dean – Bazar
Sunday Oct 29 – Danielle Dean – Bazar
Explore Sasha’s career, the incredible ceramics culture that is blooming in San Diego, as well as the interconnectedness of her process, materiality, and daily life in this latest ICA Podcast Episode.