Kristin McKirdy


Ceramic, design

Kristin McKirdy

Past: May 17 → June 23, 2018

While celebrated in 2009 as an “outstanding talent” by the prize for L’Intelligence de la main awarded by the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller, and in 2012 by Sèvres-Cité de la Céramique, which held a retrospective of her work after a four-year residency, the American artist Kristin McKirdy is still an experimenter. After her 2006 show at the Galerie Mouvements Modernes, run at the time by Pierre Staudenmeyer, she has been constantly coming up with new work, and surprising us.

She recently became involved with jewellery for the couturier Kris Van Assche. Her limited-edition “talisman sculptures” enriched the 2016 Homme collection for the house of Dior. Today, she is grappling with the architectural dimension of space in her third solo show at the Galerie Jousse Entreprise (from Friday 18 May to Saturday 23 June). As a major figure in contemporary ceramics whose work recently found its way into the collections of the Museum of Arts and Design [MAD] with a wall sculpture and the “Coffre-Nuage” (Cloud-Chest) from Sèvres, Kristin McKirdy is also showing new installations and sculptures, in addition to a mural work, as well as novel forms and textures, and light objects.

Since her discovery of ceramics at the age of fifteen, Kristin McKirdy has never stopped working. After studying in France (Paris IV, Sorbonne University) and North America (UCLA, under the supervision of Adrian Saxe), she quickly detached herself from the utilitarian dimension of ceramics and headed towards a personal form of sculptural expression. It was in that period that she chose earthenware (faience) over stoneware, which, like porcelain, is more exposed to the risk of deformation. Her art has been fashioned by putting rigour and technical mastery at the service of a sensibility encompassing the spiritual dimension of ceramics, which is a universal and timeless medium. Her work is inspired by everyday life and nurtured by a vast historical culture—with a soft spot for primitive cultures and the Neolithic period—and is based on the idea of the receptacle as an immemorial witness to human activity and a metaphor of the human body.

In this new show, Kristin McKirdy’s vocabulary, which is built on a quest for contrasts, has been enriched. The organic forms, the contrasts between textured black and white surfaces and coloured glazes, between rough and smooth, matt and shiny, are very present. Geometric elements and new surface treatments also make their appearance. In the three installations, cylinders and cubes assert their presence, and “shells” become cones. Three large stately “hourglasses” present their strict silhouettes, while biconical forms rest on the ground. Some have a “scored” skin, while others are covered with volumic spirals. But the main innovations lie elsewhere. For the first time, the artist includes light in some of her sculptures. She is also presenting an architectural piece some six feet in height by ten wide. This is an open-work piece formed by the repetition of two opposing figures, a shiny coloured ball and a soft articulated form, which develops a matt “scratched”, predominantly white surface. As for the titles, as is often the case the works have none. This recurrent absence is intentional, leaving the field free for the onlooker’s imagination.

Take a look!

  • Opening Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 5 PM
06 St Germain Zoom in 06 St Germain Zoom out

18, rue de Seine

75006 Paris

T. 01 53 82 13 60


Opening hours

Monday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM

The artist