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Opening reception: Thursday, March 23, 6–8pm


Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based sculptor Zachary Leener. The show will feature fifteen new intimately-scaled ceramic works which share commonalities within a typological group, but also possess subtle and magical idiosyncrasies.

Leener’s ceramics are both illustrative and open to interpretation, suspended somewhat ambiguously between iconographic and unexplainable. They’re objects that at once appear totally familiar—evoking a range of horizontal forms such as bassinets, strollers, hospital beds and coffins—yet resist fully resolving into explicable things.

Every sculpture in the exhibition consists of a smooth, hard-edged geometric prism embedded within a rounder and craggier exoshape. And while the repetition of this single motif is almost meditational, each work’s individuality is expressed through variations in structure, surface, personality, and an assortment of additive and excavatory interventions: geode-like open tubes, coconut-flaked piles of rubble, handlebars and spoilers, rib cage sandal straps, ponds of rough glass heaped with clay chunks resembling marshmallowed fruity cereals, and stuck-on wads of discarded chewing gum.

Gritty and textured, covered in pastel shards and smooth glazes, the surfaces of Leener’s works are built up and often significantly transformed over the course of repeated firings. This sense of mutability informs the exhibition title — Clock, go inside a stone — a line inspired by a Charles Simic poem. The notion that time, which is always progressing, could enter a sedentary rock, is analogous to the practice of ceramics: wet clay, liquid-like time, becoming fixed, literal hard stone, by means of duration, incantation, and unbelievable heat.


Zachary Leener (b. 1981 in Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles. Solo and two-person exhibitions include Figur, Parker Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2021), Shekhinah, Klaus von Nichtssagend, New York, NY (2020), Family Practice, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Canada (2019), and Zachary Leener: Three Sculptures, Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Davis, CA (2019). Select group exhibitions include Soft Corners, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA (2018), Softcore, South Willard, Los Angeles, CA (2018), Of a well-sucked apricot pit, Tif Sigfrids, Los Angeles, CA (2017), and Build Your Own House, Dio Horia, Mykonos, Greece (2017). He received his MFA from the University of California, Riverside and his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. This will be his first exhibition at the Gallery.