Javier DEL CUETO
I have been involved with ceramics since 1978 when I went to study at Manises School in Valencia, Spain. After more than forty years working with clay I am convinced that it is the ideal material to make sculpture, the most versatile, the most complete.
Clay can be modeled like playdough or plaster; it can be carved like stone or wood; it can be assembled, casted or poured like metal, without ever loosing it´s condition. In addition, clay can be throwed in the potter’s wheel like no other material, and this is one of its main qualities. I've always been fascinated by the potter’s wheel, that machine to generate shapes. As the Japanese master Shoji Hamada said: “I created my forms around the emptiness”.
The way in which clay behaves before being turned in the potter´s wheel, makes it a unique and irreplaceable material. Moreover, the changes that clay experiments with the action of fire are always surprising. Being a ductile and malleable material clay becomes one of the hardest and toughest materials over time. If sculpture is the art of transformation, then, What better material to make sculptures than clay?
My ceramic sculpture has undergone a long process of influences and changes, from my earliest works influenced by the Basque sculpture School (Chillida, Oteiza), the presence of pre-Columbian ceramics and the undeniable influence of Japanese ceramics: from Bizen's rustic ceramics to Shoji Hamada himself.
It is in past twenty years that I think I have come to have a voice of my own in the art of ceramics, a voice that is the compendium of all these influences, daily work at the workshop, knowledge and understanding of my material: the fired clay.
The Mexican sculptor Javier del Cueto has been working with ceramics since 1978. He was selected as part of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte of the Fonca/Conaculta, Mexico (2018). He is a member of the International Ceramics Academy since 2017.
His solo exhibitions include the Museo Diego Rivera-Anahuacalli, the Biblioteca de México, the Museo Arqueológico de Valle de Bravo, Edo. de México and Galeria Chys in Murcia, Spain.
He has been invited as a member of the Jury for the Ceramics Biennal at the Museo Franz Mayer, Mexico City, in 2003 and 2009, where his work was exhibited. He has had solo and group exhibitions in Spain, Canada, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Austria, Portugal, United and in several cities of Mexico.
In 2006 he was selected to participate at the International Stone Carving Simposium Minnesota Rocks! in Saint Paul, USA. His sculpture is now part of the city's patrimony.
He was awarded third Prize at the VI Bienal Internacional de Cerámica, Aveiro Portugal, 2005.
From 1995 to 2005 he was a teacher of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas at the Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico City. Since then he works as a free lance artist in his studio.
The Japanese sculptor Masafumi Hosumi invited him for a group exhibition in AO-Adatara Kougen Museum, Nihonmatsu, Fukushima, Japan, and to participate in making a monumental sculpture in 2005.
He was selected for the FONCA/Banff Centre for the Arts, Mexico-Canada Ceramics Exchange Residency in Puebla and Banff, 2000-2001. His sculpture was purchased for the Walter Phillipe Gallery’s permanent collection. He was awarded a grant for an Artist Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada (2000).
He studied at the Escuela de Cerámica de Manises, Valencia, Spain.