Clay streams above and veers past, willing me to compromise, to give ground. I roll and pinch the thing into place; I collect and lay offerings at its feet. This architecture melts and leans, hoards objects in its folds. Forms lurch, dare you to approach, space collapses with the brush of a hand.
Linda Sormin explores fragility, upheaval, migration, survival and change through sculpture and site-responsive installations. Her use of found objects, hand-drawn images and raw clay gives form to her family’s diasporic experience, paying homage to her ancestors, while providing a voice for her own story of displacement. Sormin’s sculptures create non-linear narratives, entwining histories and cultural references, revealing layers of personal archaeology.
Sormin deconstructs her training in traditional ceramic methods to defy values such as “wholeness” and “purity”, pushing the limits of her medium, flipping orientations, deying gravity. Fusing together disparate materials, Sormin’s work achieves a tension and flow, creating a perpetual momentum beyond our control.
Born in Thailand, Linda Sormin immigrated to Canada at the age of five. Sormin lives and works in New York City, and is Associate Professor of Studio Art at New York University. She has taught ceramics at Emily Carr University, Rhode Island School of Design, Sheridan College and Alfred University. Sormin’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and has recently been exhibited at Blumenfield Projects in Santa Monica, Scripps College, California, and Messums in Wiltshire, UK. In 2018, her large-scale work, Fierce Passengers, was installed at CUAG (Ottawa, Canada). Notable collections include the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, CLAY Museum of Ceramic Art, Denmark, Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, NY, and the RBC Collection and The Gardiner Museum, Toronto.
Linda Sormin is represented by United Contemporary and Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Linda Sormin's work is currently on view at MASS MoCA, MA, with a large format installation included in a group exhibition entitled Ceramics in the Expanded Field which runs until 2023. Read review of Ceramics in the Expanded Field in Art in America.