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Irja Boden

Fractured Light

March 18, 2021 – April 18, 2021

Opening Reception: Friday, March 19, 6-8PM

Amos Eno Gallery proudly presents Fractured Light, an exhibition of new ceramics by Irja Bodén. This is Bodén’s first solo exhibit with the gallery, and the show's title is in reference to Leonard Cohen's song Anthem, which declares, “There is a crack . . . in everything; that's how the light gets in.”  These works emphasize a particular dimension of ceramics: as clay hardens, it gets fragile. Clay in that way echoes our society; as it hardens, it becomes fragile and brittle, but it is within its cracks where a hopeful light may shine through. 

These works were all made during the pandemic. Bodén uses stacking as a method of spatial organizing, and the stacks run between three and forty-five inches tall: all richly textured, wheel-thrown and hand-built. Many of the works contain unique loose objects precariously perched upon larger vessels to express that balance implies precariousness. Some are layered richly with glaze, others are created in alternative firings of raku. The artist use minerals unique to her hometown such as oxides and mica, along with the soft hues of winter pastels, and the vibrant colors of the polar night – references to the arctic where she grew up — Bodén's work alludes to the natural world and domestic interiors.

Ceramic is an unpredictable material and how it will appear after firing is largely is uncertain. But it is this unpredictability that keeps the artist interested in the material, as it echoes life. Clay, like our bodies, retains memories of how it has been treated. It is not unusual for Bodén to subject her works to multiple firings, since she enjoys experimentation with surface techniques. Some of the works on view in Fractured Light contain broken, unrecognizable parts, which reference the ways in which memories diminish and change over time.



Irja Boden (b. Kiruna, Sweden) holds a BFA from SUNY Potsdam, magna cum laude, in visual arts and a BA in Social Science from Lund University, Sweden. Recipient of several grants, awards, and residencies, her

work has been exhibited in the US and abroad. Boden received a 2021 Artist Resource Trust Fund from Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. She was one of the artists in The Immigrant Artist Biennial 2020; Here Together!, NYC, NY. Boden grew up in a Swedish town that is relocating because of underground fractures from years of mining, and is currently based in New York's Hudson Valley. She is a member of the artist-run Amos Eno Gallery, Brooklyn.

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