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Garth Clark
Mind Mud: Ai Weiwei's Conceptual Ceramics

Ceramics in America 2011

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Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Ai Weiwei, Bubbles, installation view, Watson Island, Miami, 2008. Porcelain. (Courtesy, Bigstock.)

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Ai Weiwei, Field, installation view, Art Basel, Basel, Germany, 2010. Porcelain, 291 5/16" x 291 5/16". (Courtesy, the artist and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.) 

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds, installation view, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London, 2011. Porcelain. (Courtesy, Tate.) 

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    “Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn,” installation view, Arcadia University Art Gallery, Glenside, Pennsylvania, February 24–April 18, 2010. (Courtesy, Arcadia University Art Gallery; photo, Aaron Igler, Greenhouse Media.) 

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995. Triptych of gelatin silver prints, edition of 8, no. 4. Each print 49 5/8" x 39 1/4". (Courtesy, the artist.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Ai Weiwei, Untitled (see fig. 7) and Coca-Cola Vase (see fig. 8), installation view. (Courtesy, the artist and Arcadia University Art Gallery.)

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Ai Weiwei, Untitled, 1993. Clay sculpture dating from the Song dynasty (960–1279) inserted within a Johnnie Walker Red Label bottle. H. of bottle 9 5/8". (Courtesy, Urs Meile Collection.) 

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Ai Weiwei, Coca-Cola Vase, 1997. Vase from Neolithic Age (5000–3000 BCE), painted. H. 11 7/8". (Courtesy, André Stockcamp and Christopher Tsai Collection.)

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Ai Weiwei, Colored Vases, 2006–2008. Nine vases from the Neolithic age (5000–3000 BCE) and household paint. H. 10–14 1/2". (Courtesy, the artist and Arcadia University Art Gallery.)

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Ai Weiwei, (Making of) Colored Vases, 2006–2010. Twelve production stills from single-channel video. (Courtesy, the artist.) 

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Ai Weiwei, Dust to Dust, 2009, installation view. Ground Neolithic pottery (5000–3000 BCE) and glass jar. H. 10 1/4". (Courtesy, the artist and Arcadia University Art Gallery.)

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Ai Weiwei, Souvenir from Beijing, 2002, installation view. Brick from dismantled hutong house, ironwood from dismantled temple from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). L. 13 3/4". (Courtesy, the artist; Leister Foundation, Switzerland; Erlenmeyer Stiftung, Switzerland and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.) 

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Ai Weiwei, Template, installation at “Documenta 12,” Kassel, Germany, 2007. Wooden doors and windows taken from destroyed Ming- and Qing-dynasty houses, wooden base. (Courtesy, the artist; Leister Foundation, Switzerland; Erlenmeyer Stiftung, Switzerland and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.)

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Guan with painted decoration of Daoist Immortal, China, Yuan dynasty, mid-14th century. Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under clear glaze. D. 13". (Courtesy, Christie’s.) On July 12, 2005, this jar sold at auction for £15,688,000; Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Including Export Art, sale cat., Christie’s, London (King Street), lot 88.

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Ai Weiwei and Serge Spitzer, Ghost Gu Descending the Mountain, 2006. Blue-and-white porcelain, 96 vases in each group. H. of each vase 10 5/8". Ai Weiwei's studio, Beijing, 2006. (Courtesy, Ai Weiwei and Arcadia University Art Gallery; photo, Aaron Igler and Matt Suib.)

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Reverse view of Ghost Gu Descending the Mountain, illustrated in fig. 15. 

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Two vases from Ghost Gu, illustrated in figs. 15, 16. (Courtesy, the artist and Arcadia University Art Gallery.)

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Ai Weiwei, Untitled, 2009. Glazed porcelain. H. 30". (Courtesy, the artist and Arcadia University Art Gallery.)

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Interior view of the vase illustrated in fig. 18. 

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Ai Weiwei, Blue and White Moonflask, 1996. Porcelain, cobalt brushwork, glaze. H. 20 7/8". (Courtesy, the artist and Arcadia University Art Gallery.) This replica is in the style of the Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign-period (1736–1795).

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Ai Weiwei, Watermelons, 2006, installation view. Glazed porcelain. H. of each 17 1/2". (Courtesy, the artist and Arcadia University Art Gallery.)

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Ai Weiwei, Wave, 2005. Celadon-glazed porcelain. L. 16".(Courtesy, the artist and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.) 

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Ai Weiwei, Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds), 2009, installation view. Porcelain and ink. Diam. approx. 80", wt. 1 ton. (Courtesy, the artist and Arcadia University Art Gallery.) 

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Visitors walking on Sunflower Seeds, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London, 2010. (Courtesy, Tate.)

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Ai Weiwei, Breaking of Two Blue and White “Dragon” Bowls, performance view, 1996. Porcelain bowls from Kangxi era (1661–1722). (Photo, Ai Weiwei.) 

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Ai Weiwei, Pillars, installation view, Ai Weiwei’s studio, Beijing, 2006. Sixteen glazed porcelain vessels. H. 70–86". (Courtesy, the artist.) 

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Ah Leon, Bridge, installation view, Freer Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1997. Stoneware. L. 60'. (Courtesy, Freer Sackler Galleries.)