Israeli Desert Plants Series: Dwarf Chicory By Karin Zur

Israeli Desert Plants Series: Dwarf Chicory By Karin Zur

  • $1,053.00
  • Availability: 1

This work of pottery evokes the desert’s minimalist color palate while bringing to light the breathtakingly intricate structures of its succulent plants. Care is taken in outlining every delicate edge, tracing every distinct pattern, without losing the logical construct of the whole. The work is a study of nature, but it is simultaneously a study in the quality of the clay itself: the plant lends itself beautifully to the clay, allowing the artist to convey the fleshy substance of the water-retaining leaves.

Materials: Porcelain, glazure.
Dimensions: 18.5/18.5/5.9 in
Weight: 3 kg without plexiglass; 5 kg with plexiglass

Packed into Israel’s small area are snow-covered mountains, parched deserts, fertile fields, lush woodlands and long stretches of sand dunes, which range in climate from semi-arid to temperate to subtropical. Thanks to these unique features, Israel’s plant life is rich and diversified. The country is the northernmost limit for the presence of some species, such as the papyrus reed, and the southernmost limit for others, such as the coral peony. This bounty is the inspiration for Zur’s Desert Flora investigations, in which she recreates local plants in clay.

“My work is inspired by deep observation of Israel’s rich natural landscape. I attempt to reconstruct the most basic elements of the plants, and to understand how they connect to each other; dissecting them not into the traditional distinctions of trunk, stem, leaves and flowers, but rather into a world in which elements, replicating themselves, are always conceived of as whole in and of themselves, while simultaneously growing and metamorphosing. The closer we observe, the more details we are able to discern—but the form itself does not change.”

Zur finds herself most drawn to Israel’s succulent plants, found in the country’s arid landscapes of the south, which lend themselves beautifully to the clay, allowing the artist to convey the fleshy substance of the water-retaining leaves. While these types of desert plants are often overlooked in comparison to more highly-regarded colorful flowers, Tzur allows her gaze to linger on them, transforming them into works of beauty. The pieces evoke the desert's minimalist color palate, while bringing to light the breathtakingly intricate structures that can be discerned if one takes the time to stop and observe. Care is taken in outlining every delicate edge, tracing every pattern, while at the same time the logical construct of the whole is captured. These works are studies of nature, but they are simultaneously studies in the qualities of the clay itself, making room for the hand painstakingly molding the form and tracing the design. The creation of the artist and that of nature become interchangeable, reflecting each other.

Karin Zur

Zur was born in Russia and immigrated to Israel in 1972. After completing her studies in fashion and working in Israel’s leading fashion houses, she began learning the art of ceramics, and opened her own studio in Jaffa’s Flea Market District in 1995. Tzur’s objects are created using a unique mixture of pottery wheel construction and meticulously hand-sculpted and painted details. She derives her inspiration from the natural landscapes of Israel, and seeks to expose the beauty of mundane objects.

Read more about Karin here