‘Regarding the Function of Objects: Recent Sculpture by Cecile Johnson Soliz’, Introduction by Juliet Carey 1999
‘Cecile Johnson Soliz’s sculptures are as familiar as they are strange. Their impact derives partly from the subtle beauty of their outlines, partly from the pallor and luminosity of their ceramic surfaces and partly from their extraordinary sense of presence. The sculptures are based on everyday objects and, with their rhythms of shapes and intervening spaces, have an austerity and integrity reminiscent of still lifes by Chardin and Morandi. Like unpainted marble or bisquit porcelain, the lack of colour and uniform texture in each work is infinitely suggestive. Each sculpture is at once ‘the thing itself’ and a representation of absent objects.
Cecile Johnson Soliz’s work confronts the conventional divisions between ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art, between art and craft traditions and between the unique and the mass-produced. The forms of her lustrous and monumental sculptures are based on familiar and functional objects found in marketplaces, museums and peoples homes, some viewed first hand and others gleaned from photographs and illustrations. Vases, pitchers and beakers, separated by geography and time, are stripped of their specificity. Finished works of art, but incomplete in comparison with their functional counterparts, these sculptures tantalize the viewer with clues about their creation, materials and function. She draws on cultures as diverse of those of Ghana and Bolivia and has recently been inspired by objects in the collections of the National Museum and Galleries of Wales, from twentieth century ceramics to fragments of Bronze Age beakers.’