For Frieze Los Angeles, Anat Ebgi is pleased to announce a solo presentation by Filipino American artist Jane Margarette. The installation consists entirely of ceramic sculptures, which continue the artist’s explorations of strength, protection, sensuality, and captivity.
Inspired by the delicate process of butterfly wing-repair, Margarette’s presentation for the fair centers on a large butterfly work, locked to the wall with four different ‘repaired’ wings. Although in the wild butterflies cannot grow new wings, they can be mended to allow grounded insects a new chance at flight and survival. Situated in a semicircle on the floor around the butterfly, Margarette constructed a ceramic barrier of defense—a mauve colored culvert-like form resembling traffic spikes or museum stanchions filled with bones and teeth. Margarette’s work returns to the butterfly as a powerful symbol of transformation, beauty breaking from baseness, and the precarity of our natural world.
Created by traditional slab construction, the interlocking puzzle-like objects explore architectural motifs such as doors, windows, and gates. There is a surrealist quality present—locks shaped like insects, doors with eyes. Other works such as Physically Milked assert physicality by venturing off the wall into space, where a dainty butterfly hovers above the jaws of a bear trap. Margarette enjoys the unpredictable alchemy of the glazing process, which introduces an element of surprise and imagination. Unlike painting one can’t control exactly how the final work will turn out; final forms emerge from the kiln—a metaphorical cocoon—transformed into glistening objects.
Look but don’t touch. Denied the satisfaction of activating her locks and mechanisms, viewers experience a tragicomic frustration at the hands of Margarette’s taunting. She heightens this provocation, attaching lures and charms to dangling chains—tempting strawberries, keys, flowers, clocks, and lemons entice. Playful with scale, Margarette is not trying to pass these objects off as the real thing, rather as icons glistening in fluid blue and muted pink, they yield their irresistible secrets.
Jane Margarette (b. 1985, San Diego, CA) received her MFA in Ceramics from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA in 2020 and her BFA from California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA in 2016. She has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions at Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, CA and 1969 Gallery, New York, NY. She has also exhibited in group exhibitions including Ruttkowski;68, Paris, France; Sargent’s Daughters, Los Angeles, CA; Galerie Wolfsen, Aalborg, Denmark; Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ; and Moskowitz Bayse, Los Angeles, CA. The artist has taught as a professor of Ceramics at Cal State University, Bakersfield, CA and Cal State University, Long Beach, CA. In 2023 she will have her first European solo exhibition with Ruttkowski;68 in Paris. Margarette lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.