Sexual Politics: Gender, Sexuality, and Queerness in Contemporary Ceramics

Mar 13 to Apr 26

This exhibition brought together objects that navigate complicated expressions of sexuality, gender identity, and queerness in contemporary ceramics. Six artists, at various stages in their careers, skillfully give voice to themes of sexual politics, from quiet suggestions to overt articulations, through a full variety of ceramic expressions—functional vessels, wall tiles, and sculptural forms. In the past four decades, our society has seen dramatic shifts in the visibility and social acceptance of sexual and gender identities and expressions once dismissed simply as deviant. Through humor, irony, and tension, Sexual Politics aims to acknowledge these changes, pause in the moment, and problematize the future. Curated by Kelly Connole, Sexual Politics features the work of Jeremy Brooks (Carbondale, IL), Mark Burns (Las Vegas, NV), Ron Geibel (Port Chester, NY), Kathy King (Boston, MA), Christina West (Marietta, GA), and Dustin Yager (Minneapolis, MN).

View the Catalog


Related Educational Events

Kathy King presented a free workshop during the closing weekend of the show. King’s graphic pots and sculpture will be the subject of her artist talk and hands-on workshop.  Saturday, April 25, 12 – 5 pm. Reservations are not required, but space is limited. 

Ron Geibel joined us as a resident artist from January 2 – 18, in preparation for the exhibition. Mark Burns joined us for the opening reception on March 13 and gave an artist talk on Thursday, March 12, at 6 pm in NCC’s library. This event was freee and open to the public.

Related Resources

Jeremy Brooks's website:
Emerging Artists, a list of artists to watch by Ceramics Monthly.
Ron Geibel's website:
Kathy King's website:
Christina West's website:
ReFiguring Connections, an interview with Christina West.
Bits and Pieces, an essay by Christina West.
Audio Download, a lecture by Christina West.
Where the Wild Things Are, an essay by Peter Barr on West's ceramics.
Shadows and Fog, an essay by Lucy Yau on West's ceramics.
Ceramics and the Human Figure, a book available at the NCC library.
Dustin Yager's website:


Related Resources Available in NCC's Library:


Confrontational Ceramics by Judith S. Schwartz, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. NK4252.S63 S39 2008
The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, Merrell Publishers Ltd., 2007. NK4605.C45 2007 NCC
Grayson Perry by Jacky Klein, Thames & Hudson, 2009. NK4210.K60 2009 NCC
Sex Pots: Eroticism in Ceramics by Paul Mathieu, Rutgers University Press, 2003. NK4252.E76 M37 2003
Women and Ceramics: Gendered Vessels by Moira Vincentelli, Manchester University Press, 2000. NK3785.V56 2000

Book Chapters

Contemporary Narratives: Political and Social Commentary,” in The Ceramic Narrative by Matthias Ostermann, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. NK4235.08 2006
“Daniel Kruger” in Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection, Yale University Press, 2012. NK3930.C59 2012/
“Leopold Foulem” in Postmodern Ceramics by Mark Del Vecchio, Thames & Hudson, 2001. NK3930.D45 2001
“The Queen of Decoupage: Grayson Perry’s Guerrilla Ceramics,” in Shards: Garth Clark on Ceramic Art, edited by John Pagliaro. Ceramic Arts Foundation and Distributed Art Publications, 2003. NK3920.C50 2003 NCC
“Sex, Vices & Ceramic Lovers” in Ceramics: Ethics & Scandal by Rosalie Wise Sharp, RWD Books, 2002. NK3745.C3S53 2002

Magazine Articles
“Complexity and Challenge in the Work of Mark Burns” by Thomas Folk in Ceramics Art and Perception 31 (1998): 15 –18.
“HERstory” by Andrea Marquis in Ceramics Monthly 61:8 (2013): 44 – 47.
World Ceramics: Transforming Women’s Traditions, Northern Clay Center and Carleton College Art Gallery, 2008.