ArtworksThumbnails
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KIRK MANGUS
Golden Child
2009 
Glazed earthenware
9 1/4 x 5 x 5 in. including lid

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KIRK MANGUS
Golden Guardian and Girl
2009 
Glazed earthenware
9 1/4 x 6 x 6 in. including lid

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KIRK MANGUS
Pinky Face
2009
Glazed earthenware
9 1/4 x 4 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. including lid
 

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KIRK MANGUS
Green Guardian
2008 
Earthenware and colored slips and glazes
16 1/2 x 13 x 13 1/2 in

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KIRK MANGUS
Pearl
2008 
Earthenware and colored slips and glazes
11 1/2 x 9 x 10 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Kat
2008
Earthenware and colored slips and glazes, 16 1/2 x 12 x 14 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Basket Ziggurat
2008 
Glazed earthenware
16 1/2 x 8 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Pymatuming
2000 
Ink on mulberry paper
56 1/4 x 28 1/4 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Journey to Yelpa
1999 
Ink on mulberry paper
17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Flow of Life Bottle
1999 
Salt glazed stoneware
16 1/4 x 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Animal Love
1999
Carved and wood fired stoneware 36 x 8 1/2 x 8 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Mermaid In Paradise
1999 
Ink on mulberry paper
17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
A Day In the Neighborhood
1999 
Ink on mulberry paper
17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Views
1999 
Ink on mulberry paper
17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Love & War Amphora
1998
Carved and wood fired stoneware, 30 1/4 x 11 x 10 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Love & War Amphora
1998 
Carved and wood fired stoneware
30 1/4 x 11 x 10 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Insect World Cylinder
1998 
Wood fired stoneware
21 1/4 x 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Cat Girl In Paradise
1997 
Ink on mulberry paper
56 1/2 x 28 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Only Cat
1994 
Luster glazed earthenware
4 3/4 x 8 1/8 x 3 1/4 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Jacky Amphora
1993 
Salt and luster glazed stoneware
9 1/4 x 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Bunny Love Amphora
1992 
Luster glazed earthenware
12 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 6 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
The Gang
1990
Ink on mulberry paper, 17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Lakeside Summer Yellow Femme
1989 
Ink and watercolor on paper
87 1/2 x 52 1/4 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Life In Suspension
1989 
Ink on mulberry paper
56 1/2 x 28 3/4 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
The Conversation
1989
Ink on mulberry paper, 17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Woven Body
1989 
Ink on mulberry paper
17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Hot Springs
1988 
Ink on mulberry paper
17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Basket Armor
1988 
Ink on mulberry paper
17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Basket Head
1988 
Ink on mulberry paper
17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
So Many Arrows
1988
Ink on mulberry paper, 17 x 12 1/2 in.
 

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KIRK MANGUS
Life In the Country
c.1988
Stoneware and colored slips
31 3/4 x 17 1/2 x 19 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Everyone Was There
1988 
Ink on mulberry paper
17 x 12 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Chubby Bunny
c.1987
Stoneware and colored slips, 48 x 24 1/4 x 24 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Rainbow Femme
c.1987
Stoneware and colored slips, 44 1/2 x 21 1/4 x 17 1/2 in.
 

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KIRK MANGUS
Bronze Femme IV
1986 
Stoneware and bronze glaze
38 x 15 x 12 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Red Luster Floating World
1986 
Luster glazed earthenware
4 3/4 x 9 7/8 x 4 1/4 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Two Femme Vase
1986
Carved and wood fired stoneware
16 x 4 3/4 x 4 in.

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KIRK MANGUS 
Girl with Bangs Bottle
1985
Carved and wood fired stoneware, 15 1/2 x 7 x 7 in.
 

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KIRK MANGUS
Cat Girl On the Farm Jar
1985 
Carved and wood fired stoneware
36 3/4 x 17 1/2 x 17 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Man and His House and Cat
1984
Carved and wood fired stoneware, 15 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 7 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Pale King Carrot
1984 
Salt glazed porcelain
8 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
King Carrot Head
1984 
Salt glazed porcelain
8 x 4 5/8 x 4 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Two Guardians Jar
1984 
Carved and wood fired stoneware
27 x 16 x 15 1/2 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Wild Life Jar
1983 
Carved and wood fired stoneware
36 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 18 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Bird Totem
1983
Stoneware and colored engobes, 38 x 9 1/2 x 11 in.
 

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KIRK MANGUS
Two Men and Two Houses Face Vase
1982 
Earthenware and colored slips and glazes
10 1/4 x 6 x 4 3/4 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
David and Insect Face Vase
1982 
Earthenware and colored engobes
9 5/8 x 5 1/4 x 4 1/4 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
True Blonde
1982 
Stoneware and colored engobes
41 x 8 x 8 in.

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KIRK MANGUS
Man Swimming In the Ocean of Life
1980 
Wood fired porcelain
8 1/2 x 6 1/4 x 6 1/4 in. including lid

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KIRK MANGUS
Dreaming Blue
1980 
Reduction glazed porcelain
11 1/4 x 4 x 4 in.

Artist BioDownload Bio English PDF
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Kirk Manugs in the studio

Kirk Mangus (1952-2013) was a prolific artist, whose work defied restrictive formal boundaries and navigated an array of traditions and practices. Celebrated as a master ceramicist, Mangus worked across multiple disciplines, including painting, drawing, and sculpture, and it is nearly impossible to separate one practice from another. Unable to be neatly cast into one genre, style, or artistic tradition, Mangus’s work is characterized by his simultaneous use of traditional ceramic practices with contemporary subject matter and style, blended together with his unique levity and spontaneity.
 
Mangus grew up in a family of craftsman, who were part of the burgeoning American studio craft movement that began to grow in the 1920s and even more so after World War II. Early on he was influenced by his parents, their teachers, and their peers who altogether created a rich community of international artists and craftsmen. Beginning an informal studio practice as early as high school, Mangus went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he continued to develop his craft. After RISD, he received his MFA from Washington State University Pullman, where he was greatly influenced by the prominent “Bad Painting” aesthetics of artists such as Patrick Siler. Through these disparate influences, Mangus became a skilled ceramicist, yet also felt at ease experimenting with and departing from more traditional forms of aestheticism and beauty.
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Kirk Mangus, Rainbow Femme, 1987

Mangus’s development is equally tied his physical environment as it was to his community. Throughout his career, he sought to utilize locally-sourced materials as much as possible, which ultimately became another variable onto the work. He and his wife, fellow ceramicist Eva Kwong, would collect clay from local sand pits and firewood from indigenous trees for their kilns. Because the materials varied in composition every time it was collected, this added an additional layer of chance, and gives each work a sense of place and uniqueness. 
 
Of his work, Mangus wrote, “I do a lot of drawings. Both on paper and clay. This work is about recording a gesture; putting down a mark… The ones that I like the best have a reserved or unfinished quality…they reflect the fact that the making process is a series of stopped events.” When viewing his work, this sense of immediacy, spontaneity, and stream of consciousness is evident, on whatever surface he had chosen. In his corporeal amphoric Femmes, he creates layer upon layer of slip and other glazes, giving the figures a life of their own. His ink paintings on handmade Mulberry paper recall Japanese calligraphic lettering while also have the expressive quality of action painting and the humor of the Chicago Imagists.
 
Though his practice spans over four decades, the work has a fresh and contemporary quality, regardless of whether it was thrown in the 1980s or right before his untimely death in 2013. Driven by a singular desire to create, Mangus’s work possesses a sense of freedom, lightheartedness and spontaneity, grounded in his understanding of wide-ranging styles and traditions. Through his work, Mangus pushes the very distinctions between art and craft, and reconsiders traditionally accepted dictates of beauty that continue to challenge viewers today.
 
Mangus’s work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally since the mid-1970s. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including a major career retrospective, Things Love, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland in 2014. He has also be included in numerous group exhibitions at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Akron Museum of Art and The Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Seattle Art Museum, WA; Seoul National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea; Gummeson Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden; and the Finnish Craft Museum, Helsinki, Finland. His work is included in numerous national and international collections, including Amsterdam Municipal Collection, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI; DeYoung Museum, Sandy Besser Collection, San Francisco, CA; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea; Newark Museum of Art; and the Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN. 
Exhibitions
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Gallery Exhibition
Kirk Mangus
A pot, a joke, a rhythm, a theory
291 GRAND ST | MAY 20 - JUN 26
New York
Press / Media
Articles / Reviews
Art in America
"Kirk Mangus at James Cohan," by Julia Wolkoff
Articles / Reviews
Cleveland.com
MOCA Cleveland celebrates the weird, wild, wonderful world of the late Kirk Mangus, by Steven Litt
Articles / Reviews
Art Hopper
REVIEWS: Kirk Mangus / Things Love by Douglas Max Utter