As social animals, humans continuously shift between seemingly contradictory states — impulse and control, individual versus group, suppression and openness, transition versus boundary. Christyl Boger is interested in the intersections between these states, and how their limits are defined and transgressed. Due to their style, medium, and format, Boger’s sculptures are both figurative works and decorative objects. They stand as metaphors for a human subject shaped by social and cultural traditions, and conflicted by the pull of unnamable desires.
Boger’s interests make ceramic sculpture an especially apt choice of medium. Due to their ceramic composition, each figure is simultaneously skin and drape, thought and actuality. Once a soft and malleable clay form, each pose is made permanent under intense heat. Superficial layers and glazes add further complexity to Boger’s exploration of the fragile balance between human nature and social superego. These provocative works present the questions “What ways do the protective boundaries we keep both privately and socially influence how well we know ourselves and each other? As we negotiate our individual natures within complex social structures, what roles do these layers play?” ...
Renwick Craft Invitational 2009 Artists' Roundtable
...“I have always been interested in the strange balancing act that is life of the social human animal: in impulse and control, individual versus group, and the fragile and the vulnerable veneer of our shared cultural behavior. Finding a physical form for these thoughts has involved incorporating two additional parameters. The first is a concern for the issues of representation, which necessarily arise with the decision to work figuratively. The second is a commitment to the contemporary possibilities of the ceramics medium, with all of its complex associations. My intent has been to explore the areas where these concerns intersect. The resulting work expresses a psychology of the “domestic” figure. It draws an equation between the figure and the decorative ceramic object to create a metaphorical representation of a human subject shaped by codified social and cultural traditions yet conflicted by the pull of unnamable desires.”
Christyl Boger was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1959, and currently lives and works in Indiana. She has exhibited her work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC; Purdue University; Miami University, Oxford, OH; and has been represented by EVOKE Contemporary since 2010. Boger was Artist in Residence at the International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark, and an Evelyn Shapiro Foundation Fellow at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, PA, in 2001. She was awarded the Emerging Talent Award by the National Council for the Arts in 2003.
SELECTED AWARDS AND HONORS
Evelyn Shapiro Fellowship, Philadelphia, PA, 2001
Emerging Talent Award, National Council for Education in the Arts, 2003
21 C Museum Hotel Art Collection
Ohio University, Athens, OH: MFA
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI: Postgraduate work
Miami University, Oxford, OH: BFA