All Works

Clay Tablet (triangle)
2017
high fire ceramic
13" x 9" x 1"
Catherine Fairbanks Works high fire ceramic
Clay Tablet (circle)
2017
high fire ceramic
12" x 9.5" x 1"

Catherine Fairbanks Works ceramic
Queen Coin
2017
ceramic
16 in. diameter
Catherine Fairbanks Works print
Willa
2016-2017
print
14 x 22 in.

My oldest surviving ceramic work was photographed on the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie not far from my childhood hometown. Cather wrote of the experience of the immigrant form.

The prairie there is uncultivated, growing native and wild grasses and plants, but cattle raised by westerners in the last several hundred years have pastured there, and cow pies are deposited throughout. Those cow pies were used as structural building material for homes for early non-native Americans. The dried dung, cured through exposure to sun, by losing water, acts much like sun-dried adobe.


Learning About Dance Through Clay
2016
video
4:32
Catherine Fairbanks Works papier mache, no armature
Chimney Sculpture, 5
2016
papier mache, no armature
54 x 28 x 28 in.

image thanks to Artist Curated Projects

Catherine Fairbanks Works papier mache, gouache, and polyacrylic protectant
Finding Pitchers, 1
2016
papier mache, gouache, and polyacrylic protectant

These wall sculptures are created by mapping out drawings from my handmade book of drawings, Pitchers 2015. The shapes were modeled using paper mache as a substitute for ceramic. These works are without armature. There are 8 works in this series.
Catherine Fairbanks Works papier mache, gouache, and polyacrylic protectant
side view of Finding Pitchers, 1
2016
papier mache, gouache, and polyacrylic protectant

These wall sculptures are created by mapping out drawings from my handmade book of drawings, Pitchers 2015. The shapes were modeled using paper mache as a substitute for ceramic. These works are without armature. There are 8 works in this series.

Catherine Fairbanks Works papier mache, gouache, and polyacrylic protectant
Finding Pitchers, 2
2016
papier mache, gouache, and polyacrylic protectant

These wall sculptures are created by mapping out drawings from my handmade book of drawings, Pitchers 2015. The shapes were modeled using paper mache as a substitute for ceramic. These works are without armature. There are 8 works in this series.
Catherine Fairbanks Works papier mache, gouache, and polyacrylic protectant
detail of Finding Pitchers, 2
2016
papier mache, gouache, and polyacrylic protectant

These wall sculptures are created by mapping out drawings from my handmade book of drawings, Pitchers 2015. The shapes were modeled using paper mache as a substitute for ceramic. These works are without armature. There are 8 works in this series.

Catherine Fairbanks Works Embossed drawing, archival Rives paper and papier mache
Pitcher with Harpy
2016
Embossed drawing, archival Rives paper and papier mache
25 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (framed: 31 x 44 3/4 in.)

Comparative drawings were made by drawing forms personally relevant to ceramic art history side by side on a sheet of paper. The drawings were then inlaid with a thin line of paper mache. As the paper mache dries it reveals the embossed object on the backside of where the inlaid paper mache resides.

This work is the comparison of a Harpy, which was often used to decorate ceramic ceremonial and burial objects in ancient western cultures with a line drawing of a Bauhaus pitcher that reveals the top and bottom shapes of a pitcher as included volumes housed in the form.
Catherine Fairbanks Works Embossed drawing, archival Rives paper and papier mache
Sylvette with Lamp
2016
Embossed drawing, archival Rives paper and papier mache
25 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (framed: 31 x 44 3/4 in.)

Comparative drawings were made by drawing forms relevant to ceramic art history side by side on a sheet of paper. The drawings were then inlaid with a thin line of paper mache. As the paper mache dries it reveals the embossed object on the backside of where the inlaid paper mache resides.

This work is the comparison of Picasso's Bust of Sylvette with a Byzantine lamp in the Cloisters collection. The lamp is a bronze cast in the shape of a sandal. It's hanging architecture, which arises from the dorsal side of the object would have hung on the wall, allowing a candle to have remained lit on the big toe of the sandal. Picasso's Bust of Sylvette though flattened into planes remains surprisingly directional.

Catherine Fairbanks Works Embossed drawing, archival Rives paper and papier mache
Sylvette with David
2016
Embossed drawing, archival Rives paper and papier mache
25 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (framed: 31 x 44 3/4 in.)

Comparative drawings were made by drawing forms relevant to ceramic art history side by side on a sheet of paper. The drawings were then inlaid with a thin line of paper mache. As the paper mache dries it reveals the embossed object on the backside of where the inlaid paper mache resides.
Catherine Fairbanks Works Embossed drawing, archival Rives paper and papier mache
Lamp with Aquamanile
2016
Embossed drawing, archival Rives paper and papier mache
25 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (framed: 31 x 44 3/4 in.)

Comparative drawings were made by drawing forms relevant to ceramic art history side by side on a sheet of paper. The drawings were then inlaid with a thin line of paper mache. As the paper mache dries it reveals the embossed object on the backside of where the inlaid paper mache resides.

Catherine Fairbanks Works book
Cups and Busts 2016
2016
book
14" x 10" x 1"

A sketchbook was formalized into an artist book.
Catherine Fairbanks Works
untitled, page from Cups and Busts 2016
2016

Catherine Fairbanks Works
untitled, page from Cups and Busts 2016
2016
Catherine Fairbanks Works book
Pitchers 2015
2015
book
17" x 11" x 1"

A sketchbook was formalized into an artist book.

Catherine Fairbanks Works
untitled, page from Pitchers 2015
2015
Catherine Fairbanks Works
untitled, page from Pitchers 2015
2015

Catherine Fairbanks Works papier mache, no armature
Chimney Sculpture, 3
2015
papier mache, no armature
92 x 62 x 36 in.

image thanks to Wilding Cran Gallery
Catherine Fairbanks Works papier mache, no armature
Chimney Sculpture, 4, installed
2015-2016
papier mache, no armature
80 x 57 x 31 in.

image thanks to Wilding Cran Gallery

Catherine Fairbanks Works horsehair weavings: Icelandic horsetail hair and hand dyed thread mounted on archival linen
Luce's Fireplace 10 and Luce's Fireplace 12
2014-2016
horsehair weavings: Icelandic horsetail hair and hand dyed thread mounted on archival linen
27 x 18 1/2 x 1 in. (left), 32 x 17 1/4 x 1 in. (right)
Catherine Fairbanks Works photo
Marina and David
2014
photo
22 x 16 in

Catherine Fairbanks Works High fire ceramic, papier mache, gouache and polyacrylic protectant
Pitcher Sculpture, 2
2004 - 2015
High fire ceramic, papier mache, gouache and polyacrylic protectant
17 x 16 x 10 in.
Catherine Fairbanks Works
Pitcher Sculpture, 2, second view

Catherine Fairbanks Works High fire ceramic, papier mache, gouache and polyacrylic protectant
Pitcher Sculpture, 3
2004 - 2015
High fire ceramic, papier mache, gouache and polyacrylic protectant
21 x 13 x 11 in.
Catherine Fairbanks Works
Pitcher Sculpture, 3, second view

Catherine Fairbanks Works High fire ceramic, papier mache, gouache and polyacrylic protectant
Pitcher Sculpture, 5
2015
High fire ceramic, papier mache, gouache and polyacrylic protectant
15 3/4 x 9 1/2 x 4 1/2 in
Catherine Fairbanks Works
Pitcher Sculpture, 5, second view

Catherine Fairbanks Works High fire ceramic, papier mache, gouache and polyacrylic protectant
Pitcher Scupture, 4
2015
High fire ceramic, papier mache, gouache and polyacrylic protectant
15 3/4 x 9 1/2 x 5 1/2 in
Catherine Fairbanks Works framed poster
How Does Sylvette Work?
2015
framed poster
24 x 36 in.

This work is a bolted-together set of posters, the top one by Laura Boles Faw, titled 'Towards a Prosthetic Power', the bottom one by me, titled 'How Does Sylvette Work?'. This is one of a long series of works made collaboratively with Laura Boles Faw. In many of our works together two separately made, solo-authored objects are bolted together, or shown abutted together to create a final work.

Catherine Fairbanks Works Luce's Fireplaces 7: cotton, dye and Icelandic horseshoe mordant, Luce's Fireplace 1: Icelandic wool, dye and Icelandic horseshoe mordant, Luce's Fireplace 4: cotton, dye and Icelandic horseshoe mordant, Luce's Fireplace 6: cotton, dye and Icelandic horseshoe mordant
Luce's Fireplaces 7, Luce's Fireplace 1, Luce's Fireplace 4, Luce's Fireplace 6
2014
Luce's Fireplaces 7: cotton, dye and Icelandic horseshoe mordant, Luce's Fireplace 1: Icelandic wool, dye and Icelandic horseshoe mordant, Luce's Fireplace 4: cotton, dye and Icelandic horseshoe mordant, Luce's Fireplace 6: cotton, dye and Icelandic horseshoe mordant
115 x 55 in, 145 x 84 in., 140 x 75 in., 102 x 52 in.
Catherine Fairbanks Works high fire ceramic tile, backer board, mortar, grout, wood, casters
Chimney Sculpture, 1 and Chimney Sculpture, 2
2014-2015
high fire ceramic tile, backer board, mortar, grout, wood, casters
Chimney Sculpture 1: 84 x 80 x 36 in., and Chimney Sculpture 2: 84 x 36 x 36 in.

Catherine Fairbanks Works photo
untitled (from Adobe bookstore performance)
2014
photo

These works were made collaboratively with Laura Boles Faw, and continue the practice of making work by pairing works together. These images derive from a performance work from 2009 in which Laura Boles Faw and I worked spontaneously in the side by side store front windows of Adobe Bookstore in San Francisco. We agreed to make installations from materials we did not reveal to the other person ahead of time.

The instruction we agreed on prior to the performance was that we would each bring 1 suitcase full of material to the bookstore, that we would wear wigs, that we could incorporate any available books from the bookstore, and that we would work for the hour by dividing into 10-minute increments. We switched windows every 10 minutes, thereby building from and reworking the progress of the previous 10 minutes. A timer kept us on pace, and after 60 minutes we exited the windows and the works were done.

From the images taken of the installation and the process of making, these two photographs were printed and serve as windows themselves into the process of that performance and its resulting constructions.
Catherine Fairbanks Works digital image mounted on diebond and under plexi, undder framed in walnut, and artists easel
Ceramics/z, for 'Do It' by Hans Ulrich Obrist in Socrates Sculpture Park
2013
digital image mounted on diebond and under plexi, undder framed in walnut, and artists easel
79 x 40 x 40 in.

Catherine Fairbanks Works deployed automotive airbags imprinted on clay: high fire ceramic
untitled, airbag prints
2012-2013
deployed automotive airbags imprinted on clay: high fire ceramic
26 x 23 x 1 in

In the explosion of a motor vehicle accident, an airbag is deployed. The airbag is made of a very sturdy fabric. Some element of the force necessary to deploy it remains present in the scars on the airbag. The airbags were then printed onto ceramic slabs and fired in the kiln.
Catherine Fairbanks Works sailing performance work and the photographic and text-based ephemera and publications that arise from the sails
untitled
2009-ongoing
sailing performance work and the photographic and text-based ephemera and publications that arise from the sails
unlistable dimensions

Ongoing collaborative work with Laura Boles Faw.

These are images produced from over 12 sails and charted trips in the San Francisco Bay with student groups, exhibitions, research trips, and private charters. On certain trips we would chart a course in the bay in the shapes of prime numbers. Our first of these prime number sails was a trip following the 2, 3.

Images from this sail were published by n/a in Oakland in a collaborative text by Bonanza.

In a research trip in 2012 we circumnavigated the Farallon Islands, which together with the production of a personal audio book of Mount Analogue, became the backbone for an exhibition, Far Along, at the Scrawl kunsthall in San Francisco.

Catherine Fairbanks Works 800 lbs fresh snow brought to a summer performance festival
Snow as Ceramics
2013
800 lbs fresh snow brought to a summer performance festival
800 lbs snow, 5 hours

Like clay, the minute one starts working with snow there is less of it. The largest volume of material exists before you begin to sculpt or model.
Catherine Fairbanks Works paper mache, food coloring
untitled, paper mache busts
2012
paper mache, food coloring

The Story of the Stick
2011
performance
3 hours

In this performance, audience members sat with me, both of us blindfolded and listening to the identical sound piece on a loop, for as long as the audience member wanted to. I remained there listening and blindfolded for the duration of the 3 hours. This is an image from the performance.
Transference is a Tough Row to Hoe
2011
video
6:15

Thanks to Katrina Umber, Alwyn O'Brien, and Haig Aivazian for their help in making and editing the work.

Catherine Fairbanks Works video stills from performance
As Watching Makes
2011
video stills from performance
3 hours

Collaboration with Alwyn O'Brien
As Watching Makes
2011
short video clips from performance
3 hours

Collaboration with Alywn O'Brien

Catherine Fairbanks Works photo mounted on diebond, behind plexiglass
untitled (face)
2012
photo mounted on diebond, behind plexiglass
20 x 13 x 1.5 in.
Catherine Fairbanks Works studio visits
Mother Daughter, Doctor Nurse
2011-ongoing
studio visits

Thus far we have had studio visits with these artists: Haig Aivazian (Beirut, Lebanon), Kyla Chevrier (NY), Maria Walker (NY), Ken Nurenberg (Cincinnati), Katrina Umber (LA), John Seal (LA), Jacqueline Gordon (LA), Ryan Slugget (LA), Erik Benjamins (LA).

Catherine Fairbanks Works book
Agency
2011-2013
book
12 x 12 in, 22 pages, hardcover

A set of notes written anonymously by a long-time patient of mine, were kept by me after she left the hospital. I rephotographed them many years later. The images were composed into a book titled Agency.

The hospital is a complex machine requiring a particular radical empathy.

Thank you, Gregory Vershbow, for the help in taking the images in 2011.
Catherine Fairbanks Works video stills
Vignettes of Thereness, the Making of a Rock Snowman
2011-2013
video stills
HD video is 27:26

Vignettes of Thereness
2011-2013
HD video
27:26
Catherine Fairbanks Works thread sewn into military sleeping bags
Just a Secular Babe
2010-2011
thread sewn into military sleeping bags
92 x 32 x 32 in. on plynths

Catherine Fairbanks Works digital image printed on silk
The Difference Between the Reflection in My Iris and Looking Out From Me
2010
digital image printed on silk
80 x 40 x 4 in.

the reflection of the Golden Gate Bridge in my iris
Catherine Fairbanks Works thread sewn into a sleeping bag, ceramic, wood
Donald and Phyllis Will Never Meet
2010
thread sewn into a sleeping bag, ceramic, wood
80 x 75 x 20 in.

Catherine Fairbanks Works digital images in duplicate
A Matter of Course
2009
digital images in duplicate
72 x 40 x 20 in. corner installation.

Collaboration with Laura Boles Faw

An early example in which duplicate images, or sets of objects, were used to make a single work.
Catherine Fairbanks Works hammers, wood, bandaids, chair, and adhesive
untitled (for Dad)
2010
hammers, wood, bandaids, chair, and adhesive
60 x 48 x 40 in.

Catherine Fairbanks Works hand blown glass
untitled (Girl with Her Hair in Her Eyes)
2010
hand blown glass
11" x 8" x 9"
Me As the Ox
2009
performance
variable

Periodically and throughout the exhibition, I would spend time in a harness, pulling this wagon around the gallery and pushing the ceramic and wood sculpture that remained at the front of the sculpture.

Distant to the Person but Close to the Bridge
2009-2010
site specific sculpture, solo audio work 10:03, each chartered boat trip, round trip roughly 20:00
The work could be accessed throughout a 3 hour period, but the duration of each trip in the boat out to the specified place in the Bay and back to the Ferry building was 20 minutes.

The work as whole was authored in collaboration with Laura Boles Faw, with whom I have made many collaborative works on boats in and around the San Francisco Bay from 2009-current. The bridge and its changing appearance as a sculpture, once you are in the water, under it, and moving around it, was an interest in our work from the beginning.

This work was created for our thesis exhibition from the San Francisco Art Institute, which was held at the Ferry Building on the Bay. People learned about the work through a caller who directed them to a shuttle which took them as a discrete group to a nearby public dock where they could board the boat. The work operated as a site of transformation: people who boarded the boat and experienced the work together would return to the Ferry Building as a group having experienced a durational work outside of the exhibition together.

Once the boat reached a specified position in the water, in relation to the bridge, my solo audio work began to play. The audio work is a description of my relationship to the Golden Gate Bridge, for which my Great Uncle Charles Clarahan, was a major contributing mathemetician and engineer. In the sound work which played on board, we are asked to decide how responsible we are for each other as strangers, and how responsible we are for the actions of our ancestors.

One feature of my long-term collaborative work with Laura Boles Faw has been to make work where solo contributions by one of us is contained within collaborative work. Our collaboration always seeks to open up boundaries of authorship and the boundaries of exhibition-making.
Bibliography section article Bibliography Section Catalog Bibliography Section Web Link PDF icon small Sold Dot