American sculpture

Charles Krafft

United States 1948

Charles Krafft
Charles Krafft
United States
January 12, 2014

Charles Krafft is a self-taught painter based in Seattle, Washington USA. His work in the Delft ceramics tradition was inspired by his friendship with American motorcycle and hot rod hero Von Dutch. In the early 1990s, Krafft began a series of natural and socio-political disasters painted on found china plates called Disasterware™, with the logo designed by Von Dutch. In 1995, Krafft traveled to war-ravaged Bosnia Herzegovina with the Slovenian industrial rock band Laibach. Moved by the plight of the besieged residents of Sarajevo, he returned to Central Europe and created an arsenal of Delft weaponry. The Porcelain War Museum Project premiered at the Republic of Slovenia Ministry of Defense headquarters in Ljubljana in 2000, and has subsequently been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world.

During an Arts/ Industry Residency at the Kohler Co. Pottery in 1999 Krafft began creating human bone china memorials and reliquaries based on a formula invented by the British porcelain manufacturer Josiah Spode.

Krafft substituted ball milled human crematory ash for Spode’s percentage of calcinated cow bone in his clay body, resulting in a product he calls SPONE.
He launched this idea at the “Ring of Spone” performance-exhibition in 2003 at the Arthur A. Wright Chapel columbarium in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Seattle. SPONE was subsequently featured in two special editions of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Consulting with friends and relatives of the deceased, he continues to create unique personalized memento mori on commission.

Krafft’s primary technique involves slip cast porcelain and earthenware forms fired at high temperatures. These sculptural objects are then meticulously hand painted and glazed or decorated with ceramic transfer decals before a final firing. This process, based on Dutch delft and Italian majolica traditions, results in artworks that are at once alluring and grotesque – infused with fine craftsmanship and darkly humorous social commentary.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2012Blue & WhiteThe Clay Studio, PhiladelphiaGroup
2012Funny Valentines: A Tribute to Jack DavisFantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, SeattleGroup
2012Love & HateSTOLENSPACE GALLERY, LondonGroup
2011Memento MoriPG Contemporary Gallery, HoustonGroup
2011Winter Group ShowWhite Walls Gallery, SFGroup
2010Morris Graves Centenary Invitational Exhibition & SéanceRock|DeMent Visual Art Space, Seattle, WAGroup
2009Summer Group showSTOLENSPACE GALLERY, LondonGroup
2009New BrowAlternative Cafe & Film Screening, CAGroup
2008LOL, Not your Grandmother’s ChinaJ.Flynn Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA, USASolo
2008Retinal DelightsJUXTAPOZ Show, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna, CA, USAGroup
2008Tresspass AllianceAndipa Gallery, LondonGroup
2008The Diane and Sandy Besser CollectionDe Young Museum, San Francisco, CA, USAGroup
2008ObjectionNCECA, Louisville, KY, USAGroup
2007Artist Rifles RequiemStolenspace, London, UKSolo
2007Bang Bang Trafic d’Armes de St.Etienne a SeteMusee D’Arte et Industrie, St.Etienne, FranceGroup
2007FragilesArt Basel/Miami, Miami, FL, USAGroup
2006Ceramic SabotageSchool of Art & Design, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, USASolo
2006The Edges of Grace – Provocative, Uncommon CraftFuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA, USAGroup
2006Von Dutch TributeCopro Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, USAGroup
2006Gallery Group ShowStolenspace, London, UK, USAGroup
2006Softly Treathening, Art of the Modern DomesticBumbershoot, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
2005Darkness in DelftSpokane Falls Community College, Spokane, WA, USASolo
2005New DisasterwareCopro Nason Gallery, Culver City, CA, USASolo
2005State of the Art, the New Slovenian Avant GardeSeattle Film Forum, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
2005FlipsideArtist’s Space, New York, NY, USAGroup
2005Pop SurrealismSangre de Christo Art Center, Pueblo, CO, USAGroup
2005Tale to Tell, Cont. Narratives in ClayJohn Michael Kohler Arts center, Sheboygan, WI, USAGroup
2005The Four Horsemen of the ApocalypseThe Shooting Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USAGroup
2004Final PresentationEuropees Keramisch Werkcentrum, ‘s Hertogenbosch, NetherlandsSolo
2004100 Artsts See SatanGrand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA, USAGroup
2004Natural SelectionSanta Fe Clay, Santa Fey, NM, USAGroup
2003Ring of SponeQueen Anne Columbarium/Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Seattle, WA, USASolo
2003Never Look A Giftshoppe in the MouthDirt Gallery, Hollywood, CA, USASolo
2003Now & Now2nd Annual World Ceramics Biennale, Inceon, KoreaGroup
2003Dictatorship of the NewNSK Sound Icons, Venice Biennale, Venice, ItalyGroup
2003Gun and WoundWhite Box the Annex, New York, NY, USAGroup
2003Sex and ViolenceF.I.N. Arts Inc., New York, NY, USAGroup
2003Girls and Guns31 Grand, New York, NY, USAGroup
2002Charles Krafft’s Villa DeliriumGrand Central Art Center, Cal. State University, Fullerton, CA, USASolo
2002Porcelain War MuseumCopro Nason Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USASolo
2002Break 12 – Dead or AliveKapilica Gallery, Ljubljana, SloveniaGroup
2002Blue + White = RadicalGarth Clark Gallery, New York, NY, USAGroup
2001Charles Krafft’s Villa DeliriumCont. Art Center, Cincinnati, OH, USASolo
20002000.5Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
2000Cincinnati Contemporary Art CenterCincinnati, OH, USAGroup
1999Defense MinistryLjubljana, SloveniaSolo
1995Imagine That!Lucia Douglas Gallery, Bellingham, WA, USAGroup
1995Northwest NoirVox Populi Gallery, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1995Sex and SatanTwo Bells Tavern, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1995Project:ExhibitMaryland Institute, Baltimore, MD, USAGroup
1994UntitledMetropolitan Mobile Museum, Seattle, WA, USASolo
1994Cult RaptureCOCA, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1994Group ExhibitionBess Cutler Gallery, New York, NY, USAGroup
1994Group ExhibitionGallery of Funtional Art, Santa Monica, CA, USAGroup
1993UntitledGarth Clark Galleries, New York, NY, USASolo
1993Kustom GrafixThe Works Gallery, C osta Mesa, CA, USAGroup
1993Shipwreck ShowKirkland Arts Center, Kirkland, WA, USAGroup
1992Skagit ArtistsValley Museum of NW Art, La Conner, WA, USAGroup
1992Futures PastPort Angeles Fine Arts Center, Port Angeles, WA, USAGroup
1991UntitledDavidson Galleries, Seattle, WA, USASolo
1990Tortures and TormentsetcLa Luz de Jesus, Los Angeles, CA, USAGroup
1990Silent InteriorsSecurity Pacific Gallery, WA, USAGroup
1989UntitledElizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR, USASolo
1989Counterfeit Masterpieces etc.COCA, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1989The 62nd Northwest AnnualCOCA, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1987Group ExhibitionChilders/Proctor Gallery, Langley, WA, USAGroup
1987Group ExhibitionNBBJ Associates, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1986UntitledCafe Counter Intelligence, Seattle, WA, USASolo
1986Poets/PaintersWhatcom Musseum, Bellingham, WA, USAGroup
1986Group ExhibitionPenryn Gallery, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1986Seattle Design AssociationTraver Sutton Gallery, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1985Bumpershoot Arts FestivalSeattle, WA, USAGroup
1984100 Bucks FlatLangley, WA, USAGroup
1983UntitledThe Francine Seders Gallery, Seattle, WA, USASolo
1983100 Bucks FlatLangley, WA, USAGroup
1982UntitledThe Meeting Place in the Market, Seattle, WA, USASolo
1982VernissageMr. and Mrs. Kirby Torrence, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1981Northwest/New YorkBayard Gallery, New York, NY, USAGroup
1980Northwest/New YorkBayard Gallery, New York, NY, USAGroup
1980Bumpershoot Arts FestivalSeattle, WA, USAGroup
1979Group ExhibitionNagatani Gallery, Burlington, WA, USAGroup
1979Northwest InvitationalWhatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA, USAGroup
1978Group ExhibitionNagatani Gallery, Burlington, WA, USAGroup
1977Group ExhibitionFoster/White Gallery, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1976Group ExhibitionNagatani Gallery, Burlington, WA, USAGroup
1976The Langley Arts and Craft FestivalLangley, WA, USAGroup
1976The La Conner Arts and Crafts FestivalLa Conner, WA, USAGroup
1976The Edmonds Arts FestivalEdmonds, WA, USAGroup
1975Asparagus Moonlight GroupSecond Storey Gallery, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1974Skagit Valley ArtistsSeattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1971Group ExhibitionPolly Friendlander Gallery, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1971The 57th Northwest AnnualSeattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1970Group Exhibition76 Main St, Gallery, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1970The Edmonds Arts FestivalEdmonds, WA, USAGroup
1970The Governor's InvitationalOlympia, WA, USAGroup
1969Group ExhibitionRichard White Gallery, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1968Group ExhibitionThe Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA, USAGroup
1968UntitledRogue Gallery, Eugene, OR, USAGroup
1968The 54th Northwest AnnualSeattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, USAGroup
1967UntitledThe Vorpal Galleries, San Fravcisco, CA, USAGroup
1967UntitledCollector's Gallery, Bellevue, WA, USAGroup
1967The Unitarian Fine Arts FestivalSeattle, WA, USAGroup
1967The Anacortes Arts and Crafts FestivalAnacortes, WA, USAGroup