Realism and Eloquence in Reuben Igbine’s Ceramic Sculpture

Realism and Eloquence in Reuben Igbine’s Ceramic Sculpture




Looking at a collection of Reuben Ugbine's ceramic sculptures displayed in a gridded rack in his apartment is like watching a panoramic array of news events unfold sequentially in three dimensions. From one chamber of the rack to another, they seem to open up, yielding their contents gradually. Taken together, they become what Michael Wilson has described as “an encyclopaedia of variations on a theme.”1 Each piece represents an opinion, a situation, and an event. Ugbine is a master storyteller who believes in making narratives that are stripped down to the point where every detail is relevant. He has the knack for translating human experiences into visual forms that read like drama and poetry, which describe different scenarios pieced together as fragments of a creative history. Although his ceramic sculpture is usually in small scale, its impact is extraordinary and its combination of simplicity and directness impressive; they make illusions clearer in an innovative way.