Superhouse Vitrine Space Opens With Tile Block by Sean Gerstley

If you find yourself in Manhattan between now and November 14th, you may want to stop in new downtown space, Superhouse Vitrine, to see ceramic artist Sean Gerstley’s Tile Block exhibit. It’s actually Gerstley’s first solo show, and his second time exhibiting with Superhouse. In Tile Block he explores how ceramic can find its place in living spaces on a larger scale – you’ll find no dinnerware or tchotchkes here. Gerstley’s inspiration came from the architecture of the gallery itself, “The space is like a large display case with glass walls, and the works are arranged as examples of typical furniture you would use in a domestic setting. It is like peering into someone’s living room,” he said.

What you will find are new forms and elements in Gerstley’s work. There’s a large surfboard-shaped coffee table, a pair of glazed ceramic mirrors, and nesting tables. You’ll also see plenty of irregularly-shaped colored tile blocks that the artist is known for. The blocks begin with a base of American red earthenware before he adds grog for additional texture. Slabs are formed and coils added, edges pinched and then the wet clay is fired at a higher than usual temperature to enhance durability. In the final step, Gerstley paints each tile with a custom glaze.

Superhouse Vitrine gives founder Stephen Markos the chance to continue his digital platform’s innovative programming in real life. Located in Manhattan’s Chinatown, the space will run a program of solo and group shows focused on art furniture and design. “Vitrine” emphasizes the space’s glass wall architecture and will allow visitors to view exhibitions even when it’s closed.

To learn more about Sean Gerstley’s Tile Block exhibit, visit Or visit in person at Superhouse Vitrine, 75 East Broadway, Second Floor, New York, New York 10002. Hours are Saturdays, Sundays, and by appointment.

Photos by Sean Davidson.