Working primarily with clay, Jesse Wine interrogates the performativity of the everyday and the sculptural medium. His ceramic sculptures range from small-scale objects, some recognisable and others not, to larger-than-life amalgam of human body parts and abstract forms.Read More
Jesse Wine's works from the early and mid-2010s tend to be smaller in scale than his more recent sculptures. Many depict familiar objects, such as the 2014 works Slow motion for me—a bowl of food with a spoon—and Glazed ceramics, a wine bottle and two glasses evocative of Giorgio Morandi's still lifes. A sense of humour also underlies Wine's sculptures: in Mr Good Ideas I (2015), a purple pear-shaped head, green leaves sprout from the nostrils.
Textures and colour palettes often vary across Jesse Wine's sculptures. Important Cultural Asset I & II (2015), which consists of two rock-like forms suspended from the ceiling, shows a polyphony of colours made by mixing different glazes and oxides together. In Let Me Entertain You, commissioned for the 2015 Frieze Sculpture Park, a tower of ceramic heads and cylindrical shapes evoke dried citrus fruits through their brown colour palette and rough surfaces that retain the traces of the artist's hand.
In addition to Morandi, Wine references works by 20th-century artists including Giorgio de Chirico, Constantin Brancusi, Barbara Hepworth, and Henry Moore to create art historical dialogues across time. Among sculptors who also worked with ceramics, he has cited Ken Price and Peter Voulkos as inspiring figures.
Jesse Wine moved to New York in 2016. In his 2021 interview with Ocula Advisory, the artist said that his new environment challenged and pushed his practice, in part leading to the increased scale of his work. Wine also revisited earlier British artists again in works such as Locals Vocals (2017). The orange larger-than-life sculpture, depicting a leaning figure with mug cups on its belly, references Moore's iconic reclining figures. Installed at the Battersea Power Station, it also drew connections with the sculptor's Three Standing Figures (1947) at the nearby Sculpture Park.
More recently, Jesse Wine combines abstract shapes with human limbs that are often fragmented or isolated from the body. In his solo exhibition Imperfect List at Sculpture Center, New York, in 2020, two hourglass-shaped ceramics stood at the entrance. Each had a hand near them—one pinching the sculpture's side and the other facing the ceiling from the floor.
Wine's use of human limbs continued in Carve a hole in the rain for yer, his first solo exhibition with The Modern Institute in Glasgow in 2021. For the artist, as he told Ocula Advisory, the limb is 'a universal starting place', in that the physical body continues to be central to humankind.
Jesse Wine holds a BA from Camberwell College of Arts (2007) and an MA from the Royal College of Art (2010), London.
The Land We Live In – The Land We Left Behind, Hauser & Wirth, Somerset (2018); Looking North, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2017); Luster – Clay in Sculpture Today, Fundament Foundation, Tilburg, The Netherlands (2016); Tomorrow: London, South London Gallery (2014).
Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2021