Both repetitive and imperfect, the artist’s latest works celebrate the subtle contradiction of the medium

Shio Kusaka’s work “rewards close observation,” writes David Zwirner Gallery, home to the artist’s latest ceramics exhibition. Her vessels celebrate subtle contradiction: repetitive in form and pattern, yet accepting of organic irregularities inseparable from the medium. Kusaka goes for rich glazes, or leaves the natural hue of the clay behind. Her forms are either modern, or harken back to ancient tradition.

The collection, called one light year, is displayed on the floor in the center of David Zwirner’s sprawling exhibition space. The vessels are arranged on thin, copper plates, grouped by color or shape. It’s a striking effect—some pieces are bowl-shaped, others are cylindrical, a few have slim, sloping necks. Their linear arrangement suggests some kind of progression through time and space.

Most of Kusaka’s works are united through pattern. The more contemporary vessels are carved with lines that bring dimension and angle to otherwise gentle forms. The artist notably references ceramics of the Yayoi, Jomon, and Kofun periods of East Asia, which were etched or overlaid with similar geometric forms. Altogether, the show is intuitive and intriguing—a loose study of ceramic art and its history, a celebration of uniqueness and tactility.

Shio Kusaka’s one light year is on display at David Zwirner’s 19th Street location until April 30.