Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Steven Montgomery

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Name  Steven Montgomery

Steven Montgomery Biography Steven Montgomery

Steven montgomery senior highlights 8

Steven Montgomery (born 1954 in Detroit) is an American artist most often associated with large scale ceramic sculpture suggesting industrial objects or mechanical detritus. He received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan and a Master of Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Steven Montgomery Steven Montgomery Archives Artaxisorg

He has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (1990, 2006, 2009), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2004), and awards for ceramic sculpture at international exhibitions in Korea and Taiwan (2003, 2004). He is the first ceramic sculptor to receive a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2012) and is currently working as an artist in residence at the National Air And Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and numerous other public and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. He has had major solo exhibitions at both the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York (1998) and at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art in Sedalia, Missouri (2006).

He has lived and worked in New York City since 1980 and is represented by OK Harris Gallery in New York and Jerome Zodo Contemporary in Milan.

Critical reviews

Arthur C. Danto:

“Steven Montgomery belongs in the category of “visionary ceramist”....the visionary ceramist exploits clay for its remarkable plasticity, but the aesthetics of the visionary work is ancillary to the vision it conveys, in which the properties of clay may not figure at all....He is often described as a master of trompe l’oeil – an optical deceit that induces a false perceptual belief. The deception consists in believing that we are seeing a reality when we are seeing an imitation that dupes the eye.”

Donald Kuspit:

“The artist's brilliant trompe l'oeil technique helps us forget that his machines are made of clay, even though he exposes their "guts." The clay erupts – sometimes insidiously and inconspicuously, sometimes with abrupt, explosive force – through the Procrustean façade of the machine construction. This occurs in work after work: Divergent-C, Static Fuel #3, and the astonishing, majestic, tour de force, Re-Entrance, among others.”

Robert C. Morgan:

“How he conceives the work in terms of a resonant statement on the human condition is the essential raison d'être by which the work proceeds to move us and provoke us to consider where we are as a civilization and a culture in this rapid-fire era of perpetual transition.... The physicality of the [sculpture] is observable only through an ambulatory relationship to details and to the transitions between the parts. This effect is even more pronounced in the large-scale work, Static Fuel (1998) and Divergent-C (1997).”

Jane Adlin, Metropolitan Museum of Art:

"They fool you," she said. "When I saw them for the first time, I thought maybe the carburetor-like work was mixed media: the screw heads looked so real." …. She compared Mr. Montgomery's work to that of some contemporary Chinese ceramists in the way they, as she put it, "capture realism." "But I think he stands out as distinctive," she said.

Jonathan Goodman:

“The sculpture's fake corrosion serves as a not-so-subtle metaphor for the decomposition not only of buildings but also of society in the beginning of the 21st century. As Montgomery comments in an artist's statement, 'It is my intention to use machines and their various components to describe impermanence, vulnerability, damage, the transformative property of material and the illusion of industrial strength.' The viewer understands that the artist is constructing an allegory of postindustrial decline, an 'immediate environment and a direct observation of a contemporary pulse,' Re-Entrance #2 not only speaks to clay's remarkable ability to imitate other materials, but also reinforces our sad recognition that the built world around us is ultimately vulnerable.... To the artist's credit, he does not complicate the delivery of his point with sentiment, preferring simply to give us his vision as it is.”


Steven Montgomery Wikipedia