‘FORMES’

[FROM THE FRENCH / fɔʀm /]

SHAPE | FORM 

ART FORMES inspires awareness and appreciation of sculptural forme within contemporary South African art. Celebrating a richer written form to accompany it – becoming in itself, Art Form.

ART FORMES documents and celebrates the history, concept and poetic nuance of art as forme – our first foray into the landscape begins where it very likely began, with clay.

ART FORMES IS CURRENTLY CURATING:

BOOK ONE

FORMES OF CLAY

Our first printed publication FORMES OF CLAY marks the beginnings of our inquiry into the South African landscape of sculptural forme. We have been documenting the poetic, conceptual and sculptural nuances of contemporary clay. FORMES OF CLAY showcases the multiplicity of this material through a curated selection of South African artists. 

COMING SOON

Ben Orkin

BOOK ONE

FORMES OF CLAY

FORMES OF CLAY is our first inquiry into the South African landscape of objets d’art. We have been documenting the poetic and sculptural nuances of clay. FORMES OF CLAY showcases the multiplicity of this material through a curated selection of 40 contemporary South African artists. ART FORMES inspires awareness and appreciation for previously neglected mediums in South Africa through its deep literary and photographic lens.

COMING SOON

ARTIST ROOMS

Human beings have reached for clay to give flesh to their dreams or to extend the body. The most rudimentary gestures of world-making begin with a fistful of clay. Clay formes wax and wane; they are capable of great frailty and recovery…’

FEATURED ARTIST

Ben Orkin

Ben

ORKIN

b.1998

CLAY FORMES

What is Ben Orkin’s relationship with clay? In the encounters between artists and clay, we ask ourselves what the relationship might be that exists between them. The often sacred connection between earth and hand, the connection between body and mind — and the medium that bears witness to that. Or is the fruit of that connection? Or does it stand at the exact point of tension between two things. Orkin builds clay forms that fit beside or on top of other forms like words that fit into a sentence. Is this (this being modularity or the compiling of separate elements) not the basis upon which all language is built? The isolated forms that make letters that make words that then fit together for expressing oneself. In many ways, Orkin’s practice has been his learning to express himself. 

The earlier works stand as utterances of what he didn’t yet know he wanted to say. Voluminous letters of a forming alphabet. The artist’s most recent works showcase a lexicon that is increasingly developed and complex. 

Ben Orkin

ESSAYS BY ART FORMES

ART FORMES writes, publishes and curates. Above all else, we are a community — of writers, artists and photographers — inspired to hold the medium of clay in our thoughts or hands.

Become part of the ART FORMES community and receive our newsletters that delight in the poetics of forme. Be the first to hear about our upcoming events in Cape Town and the latest unfurlings around our first book FORMES OF CLAY. 

Book pre-sales opening soon.

Become part of the ART FORMES community and receive our newsletters that delight in the poetics of forme. Be the first to hear about our upcoming events in Cape Town and the latest unfurlings around our first book FORMES OF CLAY. 

Book pre-sales opening soon.

 FORMES OF CLAY

We are currently getting ready for print with FORMES OF CLAY – intent on mapping the multiplicity of this medium through a deep photographic and literary lens.

‘Clay. It is a cold redness – like flesh – or a dry whiteness – like bone. Endless clay appendages have been moulded by human hands. It is a shadow, lying underfoot. It is home overhead.’

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