Cavalier and Clay 

By Bill Powers

This month, Simon de Pury returns with his first gallery show since stepping down as the chairman and chief auctioneer of Phillips de Pury & Company in late 2012. The group exhibition at Venus Over Manhattan is titled “Fire!” an exclamatory nod to the included sculptures, all of which have either been glass-blown or kiln-baked. Among the 15 international artists, there are two standouts from the most recent Whitney Biennial (John Mason and Sterling Ruby), as well as Dan McCarthy, Marten Medbo and Rosemarie Trockel.

It's interesting to note that in the middle of a technological revolution, there is this strong resurgence of ceramics and glass, but also textiles,” says de Pury, who curated the show along with his wife, Michaela. “The overlap between collectors of contemporary art and those of contemporary design has vastly increased in the past 10 years.” A Coca-Cola vase by the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei features the soda company's logo painted onto a pot from the Neolithic Age as if to further drive home the notion that what's old may one day be new again.

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