James Rigler works across drawing, design and sculpture, but is particularly known for his bold, architecturally-inspired ceramics. Based in Glasgow, his practice uses a site-responsive approach to develop large-scale installations and interventions, with a particular emphasis on the ongoing influence of historical, architectural and decorative styles. Having trained as a model-maker and mould-maker in the architectural terracotta industry, Rigler’s work employs skilled craftsmanship to create highly-finished yet curious objects. Colliding the sculptural with the functional and the playful with the profound, Rigler’s work embraces the ambiguities that exist where monumental architecture meets the domestic realm.
Recent commissions for Aberdeen Art Gallery (Primitive Forms, 2019) and Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (Old Money, 2021) interrogate the details of the institutions’ historic buildings, exploring the idiosyncrasies and absurdities of their neo-classical styles and reflecting the complex social histories that lie behind their elegant facades. His latest project, Sculpture House, is an artists’ studio and public workshop space housed in a Victorian villa, whose rent is paid in creative activity rather than cash.
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