Kevin McNamee-Tweed: ‘Tableaux Vivant’
More Than Meets the Eye
by Jody Zellen | August 16, 2020
Charming is one of the first words that comes to mind when looking at Kevin McNamee-Tweed‘s seventeen glazed ceramic tableaux. Yet upon further consideration, charming might not best describe these works as there is more than meets the eye. The pieces, all less than twenty-inches tall, are jam-packed with drawn replicas of framed artworks, everyday objects, anomalies, doodles, texts, as well as personal and art historical references. McNamee-Tweed hand crafts ceramic panels into irregularly shaped or round-edged rectangles and then uses the clay as a drawing surface.
Each piece in the exhibition, Tableaux Vivant, features an interior space depicting a fragment of a wall that is hung salon style with a wide array of objects, as well as a table-top or floor (like one might see in an antique shop) cluttered with things. While flat, these still lifes also have dimensionality due to McNamee-Tweed’s skillful rendering, shading and glazing of the clay. The drawn line is at once exact and simplistic as if a coloring book illustration. Yet because the works are executed as ceramic, they transcend traditional drawings.