David Haskell (b. 1979)
Born in 1979, David Haskell grew up in New York City and Westport, Connecticut. He first studied ceramic wheel throwing in high school, an experience that proved enjoyable enough that he would return to it 15 years later. Meanwhile he completed undergraduate studies at Yale (class of ’01), and then studied Architecture and Urbanism at Cambridge University as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. At Cambridge he also founded Topic Magazine (2002), a quarterly nonfiction and photography journal that he continued running out of New York until 2008. In New York he began working for New York Magazine where he was an editor for 11 years before being named Editor in Chief in early 2019. He is also cofounder of the Kings County Distillery. In 2013 Haskell returned to wheel-throwing, studying under Mark Davies in New York City. He soon became a member of Sculpture Space ceramics studio in Long Island City, and works out of Shelter Island as well.
Haskell approaches his art as an exploration of the natural world via wheel-thrown forms. Several years ago he started looking at the relationship between plants and clay, both functionally and formally, i.e., how they interact in a shared pot. He produced a series of pots each inspired by a cactus or succulent he’d collected, with the aim of heightening the plant’s particular expressiveness. This resulted in his 2015 show “Psychotic Plants” at Coming Soon in New York, followed by two more shows there in 2016 and 2017.
More recently, Haskell has been creating more abstract ceramic sculptures. No longer relying on functionality, these sculptures still make reference to the natural world directly or implicitly, alluding both in form and texture to forces such as gravity, tides and weather. Among these are rock-like sculptures that indeed seem to have weathered the elements, as well as “assemblage sculptures” - wheel-thrown closed forms that appear to balance precariously and/or “float” on a central base. These begin on the wheel and are then altered and combined, mirroring the natural environment and how it shapes forms through both intrinsic and external forces. Haskell’s glazing and texturing techniques are essential to his process. Between firings he utilizes dipping, which is conducive to the very simple, strong lines he seeks out in his sculptures.
Coming Soon, New York, 2015, 2016, 2017
Sight Unseen Offsite, New York, 2016
Raquel's Dream House, New York, 2018