Jennifer Rochlin and Shary Boyle

Jennifer Rochlin, Sycamore and Poppies, 2022. Glazed ceramic, 19.5 x 16 x 11.5 in.

These short December days can really drag me down. I wandered into Shrine on Tuesday afternoon, and found Jennifer Rochlin’s bright vases. These blaze orange California poppies on a cold November Tuesday simultaneously filled me with joy–and made me so, so intensely homesick. Her work takes me right back, so I can almost smell the dry grass and eucalyptus, and taste the salt spray off the Pacific.

Jennifer Rochlin, Surfer, Shells, and Sea Otters, 2022. Glazed Ceramic, 22 x 17 x 15 in.

I don’t think I could choose just one piece. If I could choose two, I’d take this vase with the sea otters, and the California poppies.

Rochlin’s work is new to me. According to the handout I picked up at Shrine, Rochlin lives and works in Altadena, a small city on the northeastern edge of Los Angeles. Altadena backs right up to the San Gabriel Mountains, and you can feel that proximity to nature in her work. There’s also something about the feeling of these works — the quality of light, the colors, the loose brushwork — that brings back the mood, and the quality of light, unique to that part of California.

Jennifer Rochlin, Biker, Bobcat, and Native Flowers, 2022. Glazed ceramic, 26 x 23.5 x 21.5 in.

Installation view of Rochlin’s show at Shrine.

Shrine and Sargent’s Daughters share the same space. Sargent’s Daughters is currently showing Shary Boyle, and Boyle’s show, “The Forgetting,” is a completely different mood.

Shary Boyle, Crazed Vase and Blunt, 2022. Acrylic gouache on linen, marbled porcelain, acrylic nails, velvet and pleather trim, glass beads. 24 x 18 x 3. in.

But Boyle and Rochlin are both interested in exploring the possibilities of ceramics as a medium, so it was interesting to move from one show to the other, and see how the two deployed the materiality of ceramics in completely different ways.

Shary Boyle, Justice, 2022. Porcelain, underglaze, china paint, glzes, gold luster. 26.75 x 15 x 16 in.

The centerpiece of the show, for me, was a trio of small porcelain sculptures. They felt like they belonged in a surreal, hyperbaroque Wunderkammer.

Shary Boyle, from left to right: The Forgetting, Justice, and Rage, all 2022.


Shary Boyle, “The Forgetting” (Sargent’s Daughters) and Jennifer Rochlin, “P-22” (Shrine NY): both on view through December 17th, 2022 at 179 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002.

Follow Shary Boyle on Instagram @magiclanterns

Follow Jennifer Rochlin @jenniferrochlin

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