5/6/10 5:47 PM
Many of the figures in Melissa York’s carefully worked ceramic sculptures seem to have arisen right out of Mother Earth, as if birthed directly from the clay out of which she forms them. Those that don’t seem instead to have grown on their own from the trunks of trees, ridged with the delicate crust of bark. Turquoise glazes that suggest oxidization lend a subtle quality of natural aging to these works, while the intense slant and gaze of many figures’ eyes gives them a wise feline aspect. With few exceptions these sculptures are female, and though the feminization of nature is by now somewhat clichéd, that familiarity renders its presentation no less moving when accomplished with grace and thoughtfulness, as York does throughout her oeuvre.