In the classic children’s tale “The Little Prince,” the lonely title character lives by himself on a far away planet with only a sheep and a flower, which he tends with great regularity and care. Laura Newman has made that flower, or something like it, out of ceramic, metal and glass. It rises up on teeming squiggles of clay, blossoms in broken petals held together by steel, surrounds a pistil of pale aqua glass. Newman’s flower is alien and fragile, in need of sensitivity and appreciation. If it were indeed the singular flora of the Little Prince’s planet, he would surely look after it—but that narrative is my own conceit, not Newman’s. What Newman has created is a ceramic sculpture meant to hold together as it breaks, a thing of beauty and ugliness at once. Those contradictions are worthwhile, but it may take a character as rare as the Little Prince to appreciate them.
—Lori Waxman 3/25/16 12:50 PM