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Dirk Staschke

Dirk Staschke


Dutch still life paintings, sometimes called Vanitas, are concerned with the futility of pleasure and the certainty of death. Religious in nature, the paintings also confer the belief that this world is somehow less real than the one that awaits. It is this modulation between the real and illusionistic that most interests me and ultimately makes my work about perception.

I endeavor to explore the space in between sculpture and painting that neither medium can occupy alone. Look behind a painting and the illusion of space is lost. My work seeks to give that space a tangible form. The knowable gives way to a backdrop of structures that exist in support and in reaction to its creation. Representation becomes a departure point and a foil for examining skill and craft.

My latest investigations have taken me directly to painting. The notion of futility is key in the Vanitas tradition. I look to translate that futility into an artistic gesture by rendering what is representational and static in the fluid medium of glaze, knowing that what is painstakingly depicted will change beyond my control once fired. It captures a fleeting moment reminiscent of the temporal nature of life. Conversely, history has shown fired ceramic to be among the most permanent materials in existence.

Invoking the impermanent in the enduring medium of ceramic becomes a hopeful act, and in some small way, futility gives way to optimism.


Dirk Staschke is a full time studio artist who is best known for his exploration of Dutch Vanitas still life themes in the medium of ceramics. His current body of work explores the space in between sculpture and painting and often uses meticulous representation as foil for examining skill and craft.

He received his BFA from the University of Montevallo followed by an MFA from Alfred University and has maintained an ongoing studio practice and extensive exhibition record for the last twenty-two years. During this time, he has taught at many notable universities, including Emily Carr University, Alfred University and New York University. His work has been shown internationally and resides in the permanent collections of several museums including the Smithsonian Museum in Washington (DC), Icheon Museum, World Ceramic Center (Gwango-dong) South Korea, Crocker Museum (CA) and the Portland Art Museum (OR). He has received various artist’s grants including grants from The Virginia Groot Foundation and the Canada Council on the Arts.


  • 1998 - Alfred University, Alfred, NY, Master of Fine Arts Degree
  • 1995 - University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL, Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree
Solo Exhibitions
  • 2021 - Wallflowers, (Online)Mark Moore Fine Art, Orange Park, CA
  • 2019 - Matter of Perspective, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA
  • 2018 - In-Between, Mark Moore Fine Art, Orange Park, CA
  • 2017 - Perfection of Happenstance, Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle,WA
  • 2016 - Nature Morte, (AMOCA) American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA
  • 2015 - Executing Merit, Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, WA
  • 2014 - Bounty, Clark Collage, Vancouver, WA
  • 2013 - Sated, Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, WA
  • 2012 - Falling Feels A Lot Like Flying, Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA
  • 2009 - Making Arrangements, Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2006 - Ornament, Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2004 - Politics of Clay, Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY
  • New Works, Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2003 - John Elder Gallery, New York, NY
Selected Exhibitions
  • 2022
  • Momento Mori, Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • Earth Oracles, Mayten’s Gallery, Toronto, ON
  • Collect Art Fair (Online), London, England
  • 2021
  • Salon Art Fair, Culture Object, NY, NY
  • Dead Reconning, Pensacola Museum of Art, FL
  • Counterparts, The Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA
  • Contemporary Clay, Western Carolina University Museum, Cullowhee, NC
  • Looking West: A Survey of Art on the Left Coast, Mark Moore Fine Art, CA
  • 2020
  • Art Miami, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, Miami, FL
  • Rare Earth, Mark Moore Fine Art, Orange Park, CA
  • Culture Object, New York, NY
  • 2019
  • Art Miami, Cynthia, Corbett Gallery, Miami, FL
  • Our Shared Heritage, Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL
  • State of the Art, Giertz Gallery, Champaign, IL
  • 2018
  • Collect, London Art Fair, w/ Cynthia, Corbett Gallery, London, England
  • Vasa Vasorum, Curated by Garth Clark at Peters Projects, Santa Fe, NM
  • Revive, Remix, Respond, The Frick Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
  • New York Ceramics and Glass Fair, w/ Ferrin Contemporary, New York, NY
  • Sugar, Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR
  • 2017
  • C'est le bouquet, Fondation d’entreprise Bernardaud, Limoges, France
  • The Evocative Garden, NCECA invitational exhibition, Portland, OR
  • Selections from the PAM permanent Collection, Portland Art Museum, OR
  • Sweet Tooth: The Art of Dessert, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT
  • BC to BC, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA
  • LH Project, Trifecta: Future Forward on the Ceramic Highway, Portland, OR
  • Form Over Function, Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, WA
  • The Smithsonian, American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC
  • Icheon Museum, World Ceramic Center, Gwango-dong, South Korea
  • The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
  • The Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX
  • Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
  • Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, UT
  • AMOCA (American Museum of Ceramic Art), Pasadena, CA
  • Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL
  • Fuller Museum, Brockton, MA
  • Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
  • Burlington Art Museum, Burlington, ON
  • The Burchfield Penney Museum, Buffalo, NY
  • The international Museum of Dinnerware Design, Ann Arbor, MI
  • ASU Art Museum, Tempe, AZ
  • The International Museum of Ceramic Art, Alfred, NY
  • Fidelity Mutual, Cincinnati, OH
  • Southern Progress Corporate Collection, Birmingham, AL
  • Various Private collections
Selected Publications
  • 2020 - Hanbuilt Ceramics, Jo Tayor, Crow Wood Press, England
  • 2019 - Cfile, Casita Confessions, podcast interview with Garth Clark.
  • American Craft magazine, Feb/March
  • 2018 - New American Painting, Feb
  • 2017 - Studio Visit, Ceramics Monthly, Dec
  • Seattle Times, Michael Upchurch, 12.06.17
  • 2015 - Two Faces of Clay, Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times, 03.20.15
  • The Vanitas of peeling A Lemon, Garth Clark, C-file, 05.20.15
  • Feature Interview, Pirita Litmanen, REVS Magazine, issue 14
  • Dirk Staschke, American Art Collector, issue 116
  • 2012 - Dirk Staschke, Nastia Voynovskaya, Hi Fructose Magazine, issue 23
  • Where Confection and Illusion Collide, Judy Seckler, Ceramic Art and Perception, issue 88
  • 2009 - Making Arrangements, Colette Copeland, Ceramic Art and Perception, issue 76
  • 500 Ceramic Sculptures, Glen Brown, Lark Books, USA
  • 2008 - Industrial Chinoiserie, Glen Brown, Ceramic Art and Perception, issue 71
  • 2007 - Confrontational Ceramics, Judith Schwartz. Penn, USA
  • 2004 - 500 Figures in Clay, Veronika Gunter, Lark Books, USA
  • 2002 - World Contemporary Ceramic Art, (author) Baiming, Jiangxi fine art Publications, China, p.36
  • 2001 - Consequences of Intent, Scott K. Meyer PhD. Ceramic Art and Perception, issue 44.
Grants and Awards
  • 2017 - Virginia A. Groot Foundation, Production Grant, 2nd place, Evanston, IL
  • 2015 - Virginia A. Groot Foundation, Production Grant, 3rd place, Evanston, IL
  • City of Bellevue Speacial Project Grant, Bellevue, WA
  • 2011 - Canada Council for the Arts, Production Grant, Canada
  • 2010 - First place in Bellevue Museum Biennial, John Price award of excellence, Bellevue, WA
  • 2009 - Honorable Mention, 5th World ceramic Biennale, South Korea
Visiting Artist
  • 2020 - University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
  • University of Montana, Missoula, MT
  • 2019 - UC Longbeech, Longbeach, CA
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
  • 2017 - LH Project, Joseph, OR, Artist Residency
  • Potery NorthWest, Seattle, WA
  • 2016 - CCACA (california conference for the advancment of ceramic Arts), Davis, CA, Guest Speaker
  • 2014 - Clark College, Vancouver, WA
  • 2013 - Alabama Clay Conference, Birmingham, AL
  • 2010 - Givat Haviva Cultural Center, Israel, Artist Residency
  • 2009 - Capilano University, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 2004 - Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA), Beijing, China
  • 2003 - Queens College, Queens, NY
  • 2002 - Alabama State Council On The Arts, Montgomery, AL, Guest Speaker
  • 2001 - SUNY New Paltz University, New Paltz, NY
  • 2007-11 - Emily Carr University, Vancouver, BC, Canada, sessional
  • 2006 - Wayne Art Center, Philadelphia, PA, Art faculty
  • 2005 - Alfred University, Alfred, NY, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • 2003-04 - Burlington City Arts, VT, Art faculty
  • 2002-03 - New York University (NYU), New York, NY, Adjunct professor Sculpture
  • 2000-03 - Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY, Adjunct professor Ceramics
  • 1999-03 - 92nd Street YMHA, New York, NY, Art faculty
  • 1998-03 - Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY, Faculty
  • 1999 - Alfred University, Alfred, NY, Visiting professor, summer

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