World-Herald, Oct 15, 2009

MARCH 10, 2010

Published Thursday October 15, 2009

Beautiful, evocative patterns emerge from hands of ceramic artist

By John Pitcher

Sculptor Eric Knoche loves patterns.

He’s been known to check cloud formations for the face of Elvis.

His artwork, on display at Anderson O’Brien Fine Art in west Omaha, arranges wood-fired ceramics into beautifully evocative patterns.

In fact, the first thing you see when entering the gallery is “Aurora,” a collection of ceramic squares and rectangles that Knoche arranged into a giant starburst.

Works such as his “Untitled Expansion No. 1” and “Untitled Expansion No. 2” don’t form a specific shape. But they do seem to radiate out from a central point, like an expanding ceramic universe.

The works are abstract, hence the moniker “Untitled.” Still, the patterns of seemingly expanding ceramic tiles imbue the works with remarkable energy.

Like most ceramists, Knoche makes some functional art — that is, art that can be used around the house.

His two beautiful flower vases fall into that category. These works have a modern, angular design.

“Flower Vase No. 1” is especially striking for its decorations — the hardened pottery seems to have fossilized shells imprinted on the sides. It’s as if the artist turned beautiful fossilized stone into art.

Some of Knoche’s other works are less functional.

His ceramic platters, for instance, lack flat surfaces, making them impractical for everyday use.

Knoche has some favorite shapes. One, in particular, is shaped roughly like a ship’s curved hull.

He put two of them together in a work called “Two Boats.”

He arranged six of them in a work called “Stacked Ribcage in Six Pieces.” They’re stacked to look somewhat like a bow tie.

Knoche encourages the viewer to imagine his ceramics arranged in different patterns.

That’s kind of what he does when he searches for Elvis in the clouds.

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