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Exhibition of new ceramic sculptures by Zachary Leener opens at Klaus Gallery
Zachary Leener, Shekhinah (_____ for JM), 2019. Fired and glazed clay, 18 × 17 ½ × 25 ¾ inches (45.72 × 44.45 × 65.41 cm).

NEW YORK, NY.- Klaus Gallery is presenting an exhibition of new ceramic sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Zachary Leener.

Each of the eight domestically scaled works made for this exhibition feature a duo of sentinel-like ovoid forms bookending mutable configurations between them. The convex exterior structures are glazed in mild tones and precise checkered patterns, and seem to converse with each other while presiding over a set of more raw and tactile constructions within.

Leener’s practice emphasizes a philosophi-spiritual approach to artmaking, a cleansing labor where objects are imbued with answers to the questions the studio asks. The title of this exhibition, which is the title of each of the individual works on view, is “Shekhinah,” a term borrowed from Jewish mystical theology with an elastic array of definitions: a dwelling or setting; a divine presence; a holy fire burning in each home. In the tradition of the Kabbalists, Shekhinah could be a dual-gendered god presence in union with itself, a split aura revealing a single supernal point.

Thus, for our purposes, Leener’s sculptures conjure open-ended cosmological questions through the repetition of these typological motifs. Each work is a single split figure, a pair in intimate negotiation, and a trio of interrelated forms. And each is an attempt to embed the residue of a resolution within its unique form.

In addition to the sculptures on view, Leener is exhibiting a suite of new drawings that derive from his 3-dimensional works, and suggest his more expansive codex of forms. In these ink and colored-pencil pieces, we find the gridded figures of the sculptures transformed and transposed into solitary objects of repose, embedded in cloud-like structures and floating along gently through expanses of endless color.

Zachary Leener (b. 1981) lives and works in Los Angeles. He received an MFA from UC Riverside and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Notable solo and two-person exhibitions include those at the Manetti-Shrem Museum of Art (Davis, CA), Cooper-Cole (Toronto), Tif Sigfrids (Los Angeles) and Lisa Cooley (New York). In addition to the show at Klaus, in 2020 Leener will stage a solo exhibition at Parker Gallery (Los Angeles).

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