Philadelphia artist Nicholas Kripal has been working with clay since the mid-seventies. He is known for creating sculptural objects inspired by his interest in architecture — particularly historical and sacred buildings where ornamentation, history, and ritual often converge. On many occasions, he has exhibited his sculpture at the original site to create a direct dialogue between the sculpture and architectural source. In much of his work, he utilizes the technique of casting in order to create multiples of a singular object. The repeated elements are typically arranged in either a pattern or shape suggestive of their origin; yet in totality, has multiple interpretations.
In Kripal’s most recent work — a series of terracotta assemblages — he has created casts from common moulds: primarily vintage baking pans and food containers. The various cast forms are joined together in numerous variations and combinations. Each freestanding object is unique and appears partly architectural and partly functional. In groupings, they seem like ritualistic sacred containers or architectural models of an ancient city. In this series titled Swarm, Kripal’s influences remain consistant; although here, he has imagined his own forms.