Maxwell Mustardo: Dish-Oriented

May 15 - September 4, 2022

Maxwell Mustardo’s unconventional approach to ceramics can be found in the title of his show, “Dish-oriented,” as well as in the work itself. Leaving traditional glazes and forms to others, Mustardo’s work is truly his own. Glorious colors, bubbled glazes, and anthropomorphic forms create a dazzling array of pieces that exploit unctuous ambiguities to generate an empathetic and autotelic encounter of the work.

According to Mustardo, he approaches making as a vital opportunity to examine perception and signification, and his work engages with ceramics as a polyphonic medium: one that speaks in multiple voices simultaneously.

“By working within simple constraints, such as the format of the mug, vase, or torus, I explore orchestrating elements of surface, form, materiality, and function,” says Mustardo. “Many projects revolve around broad, reverential notions of the vessel, the body, and language. Attempts are made to continually dissect processes, revisit forms, and reframe themes to agitate evolution and antagonize static thinking.”

Mustardo was born in 1993 in rural New Jersey. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science in Art History and Theory from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2017. During his time at Alfred Max earned multiple awards that include an ARGUS grant for materials research, a Levine Endowment grant to study in Japan, and a nomination for the Thayer Fellowship in the Arts/Patricia Kerr Ross Award as the SUNY finalist in the visual arts category. He is currently working as a resident artist at the studio of Toshiko Takaezu in Quakertown, New Jersey.

Maxwell Mustardo, Anthropophora

Learn More About Maxwell and his Work in the Show


Tris McCall Reviews “Dish-Oriented” for

Tris writes that this is “a robust exhibition that is far more active, and maybe even confrontational, than ceramics shows usually are. It is also eye-catching. … Mustardo’s confidence is appealing, and his will to entertain is manifest.”

Maxwell Mustardo Interview with NJ Indy

From a quiet studio in Quakertown, Maxwell Mustardo makes ceramic art that has people talking…

Dish-Oriented Featured in Ceramics Now Magazine

Ceramics Now is a leading independent art publication specializing in contemporary ceramics. With contributors from around the world, Ceramics Now promotes contemporary ceramic art and empowers artists working with ceramics since 2010.

Jersey Arts Feature

Two Exhibitions Cross the Lines Between Art, Craft and Poetry

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