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Videos and Virtual Gallery Views
Below are videos and virtual views of the works in the exhibition, in approximate order of encounter as you walk through the exhibition. Click or tap on the videos to load. The images are virtual views of the exhibition – click or tap to load the view (depending on your internet speed, it may take a few seconds). You can click or tap and drag to look around the virtual space. Click or tap the square in the top left of the image to enlarge the image to full screen. Scroll (computer) or pinch to zoom.
Patti Warashina (b. 1940) is a Seattle-based artist and one of few who demonstrate a unique capacity for transformation, self-reflection, and re-invention. Warashina uses her work to raise questions of social consciousness and life-cycle mysteries. Amid the disparity of such opposing energies, Warashina takes pleasure in producing works that possess duality and ambiguity.
Red Belly Surfer is an upright fish racing along in a boat that is little more than an extension of its own shape—a tiny person in the boat suggests the scale of the human world. The fish that just fits comfortably in its boat travels in an aura of heat and energy in the form of a mysterious red glow somewhere down under their belly. The reflected glow of red color under the fish gives a remarkable illusion of actual light. Warashina had in mind the very hot issues of nuclear reactors, radioactive waste, and environmental contamination, exemplified for decades by the Hanford site in Washington State.
As in other works during this time of her career, Warashina asserted a different fluidity, not in the poses but in themes of water. Water Boy is clothed in garments of “water,” with a roiling surface, wave tops breaking out erratically, and a high-gloss glaze of glistening wetness. Fish, boats, and oil, introduce ecological concerns.
Red Belly Surfer, 1989. Low-Fire Clay, Underglaze, Glaze, Mixed Media. Gift of the Artist.
Water Boy, 1991. Low-Fire Clay, Underglaze, Glaze. Gift of the Artist.
Chris Gustin (b. 1952) comes from a family of makers and from a young age, he shared his parents’ enthusiasm for making functional objects. Gustin is an explorer of forms, a painter with fire and glazes, and a master of his materials. He takes inspiration from historical and utilitarian pottery as well as the subtleties of the human form.
“I want my work to provoke image to the viewer, to suggest something that is just on the other side of consciousness. I don’t want my pots to conjure up a singular recollection, but ones that change with each glance, with each change of light. I use surfaces that purposely encourage touch, and by inviting the hand to explore the forms as well as the eye, I hope to provoke numerous memories, recollections that have the potential to change from moment to moment.” – Chris Gustin
Untitled Platter, 1979. Porcelain. Gift of The American Ceramics Society Headquarters.
Note: a 360 photo of this work is not available.
Elliott Kayser (b. 1985) is an Arizona-based artist who views the cow as a symbol for America’s landscape; our resources, history and our cultural beliefs. Kayser finds that nowadays, images of the American pasture have been abstracted, repurposed for product consumption. In his work, Kayser is looking to reestablish the connection between value and stewardship as to sustain economic and community health.
Kayser implements a technique he learned while studying in Japan, known as ‘Shigaraki’, where granules of feldspar are embedded into the clay body before creating the form. As the clay reaches its vitrification temperature in the kiln, the feldspar begins to melt and ooze through the surface. With extensive knowledge and experimenting, Kayser was able to adjust this technique and introduce color as a way to further his concept and create a truly moving body of work.
With Syrup and Vinegar, 2017. Ceramic and Feldspar chips. AMOCA Purchase, with funds provided by MAW.
Note: a 360 photo of this work is not available.
Tom Coleman (b. 1945) is a Nevada-based ceramicist who has been developing his craft over the last 35 years as a potter working with both porcelain and stoneware, each equally refined and well-balanced. He has collaborated extensively with long-time friend Frank Boyden as well as with his wife Elaine Coleman.
Coleman’s Test Site Series, exemplified here, references Las Vegas’s bright colored downtown and the dry, cracked, textured earth of the surrounding desert in which Coleman resides. The main inspiration for this body of work comes from the history of the Nevada Test Site, used as the primary testing location of American nuclear devices. During the 1950s, the mushroom cloud from these tests could be seen for almost 100 miles in either direction, including the city of Las Vegas. While there are no longer any explosive tests of nuclear weapons at the site, there still is much concern and controversy over the radioactive waste which remains at the site.
Cobalt Treatment, 1993. White-ware. Gift of David and Julianne Armstrong.
Kim Tucker is an artist working out of Los Angeles whose work explores the subconscious mind and human condition through a surreal approach to the historical tradition of sculpting busts. While Tucker’s work is often playful, loose and colorful there is a balance between the grotesque and appealing qualities in her work and their relation to the body. Tucker uses the hand-building technique when constructing her sculptures, often using colorful glazes to call attention to certain deformations. Tucker’s sculptures design their own world of humor and mischief by manifesting the viewer’s deep childlike thoughts into tangible forms that alter the human experience from the limits of reality.
Teenage Smiler, 2014. Stoneware. Gift of the Artist.
Robert Brady (b. 1946) is a San Francisco Bay Area sculptor whose career spans over 40 years. Brady’s early career began as a potter; today, his versatility and skill with materials has led him to work effortlessly between clay, wood, bronze, and works on paper. Brady’s figures are Spare and abstract, stripped to their essence and totemic in a way that conveys a range of emotions and evokes an equally large range of responses.
“There has to be a constant revival, variation, and change in my work. I just can’t keep doing the same thing, or variations of it until it’s pushed into the ground. This comes from those life experiences I’ve had, the constant turnover, change, endings, birthings. These have real relationships to each other and to my work and are more important to it than talking about it in terms of ‘why” and ‘how.’ My life (is the biggest) explanation for my work.” – Robert Brady
Figure 1 and Figure 2, 1994. Stoneware. Gift of Gail M. & Robert A. Brown.
Cheryl Ann Thomas
Cheryl Ann Thomas (b. 1943) is a Los Angeles-based artist who has re-imagined the coiling technique used throughout history by Pre-Columbian, Native American and West African peoples, having a rich history in the ceramics world. Traditionally, coils were smoothed together and integrated when forming the pot, but Thomas leaves the twists of clay exposed, and imprinted with the mark of her hand, with textures echoing woven textiles and corduroy. The coils used for constructing the vessels are so thin they fold in on themselves during the firing process, with elegant unpredictability. Thomas is drawn to fragility, accident or chance and reconciliation, and sees her work as a distinct experience of creation and loss.
Vessel 5, 2003. Porcelain and Oxides. Gift of the Artist.
Anna Silver (b. 1928) is a Los Angeles-based artist who trained as a sculptor and painter. Influenced by Greek and Mediterranean pottery, Silvers’ vessels echo symmetry. Silver explores the relationship of surface painting though the traditional lexicon of functional forms. Silver’s stylistic choices in surface treatment favor recent movements in painting. Her vibrant and multi-layered abstract paintings on clay continue the Abstract Expressionist tradition of non-objective mark making, spontaneity, and emotive use of color. Echoes of color field painting are also evident in her division of space. Silver’s process, however, is more intuition than formal improvisation. She applies her glazes with measured physicality, skillfully coaxing bold, gestural drawings to float against backdrops of luminous pigment.
Untitled Vessel, 1987. Low-fire stoneware. Gift of Lothar Von Schoenborn.
Rimas VisGirda (b. 1942) is a Lithuanian-born American ceramic artist whose work is wheel-thrown and hand-built, with a characteristic surface decoration in engobes, decals and overglazes depicting socio-critical caricature. VisGirda’s imagery is influenced by California underground cartoonists such as Robert Crumb and S. Clay Wilson and the British Punk movement.
VisGirda’s work is derived from the culture he lives in, the machine age, the urban environment, the media, as well as fad and fashion. One of the artist’s fundamental beliefs is experience affects everything one does; sometimes immediately and sometimes not until years later. VisGirda finds that humanity and the human condition also play a role in his work as a result of his experience visiting the Soviet Union as a guest of the USSR Union of Artists in 1981 as well as a number of symposia in Eastern Europe during the ensuing years.
The Herend Sisters, 2009. Porcelain, Engobe and Luster. Gift of Artist.
Harris Deller (b. 1947) is a Brooklyn-based artist interested in dualities, contradictions and internal human dramas joined with the layering of time and history. Deller’s work is a visual vocabulary consisting of lines, geometric forms, basic color and repetition of simplified shapes, along with a strong affinity for precision, proportion and balance. The illusion of 2-dimensions is enhanced through Deller’s mark-making on the planes. Incising and crosshatching into the clay’s surface lends to it the spirit of a drawing. Deller works with a very coarse white porcelain clay body and inlay the marks with a black glaze that accentuates the whiteness of the porcelain and the graphic quality of the work. Deller’s work re-examines the role volume plays in pottery while challenging the viewer’s perspective of an object in space.
Untitled Vessel, 1984. Porcelain. Gift of Enrique Serrato.
John Toki (b. 1951) is known for his monumental totem-like sculptures that reference landscapes, which often resemble a cross-section of earth – or perhaps, a California fault line – cut open to expose the layers of our planet. Although some of his works weigh more than 1,000 pounds, Toki’s eye for detail is evident throughout, seen in his careful handling of surface textures and subtle color variation.
Much like the scale of his work, Toki’s artistic process is staggering, and at its core, a detailed study in the life of an artist and art of multitasking. John Toki continues to be a vanguard of Bay Area sculpture, all the while navigating his own ever-evolving topography, achieved through a vast network of tectonic plates, shifting and colliding to inspire something larger than life: a force of nature, not unlike John Toki himself.
Springtime Mirage, 2016. Stoneware and Porcelain. AMOCA purchase with funds provided by MAW.
Gerit Grimm (b. 1973) is a German-born artist working in Madison, Wisconsin. Grimm’s work is a reinterpretation of the folk figurine tradition, where by combining narrative and form she is able to synthesize pots with fairytales that tests the boundaries of each and results in an uncanny union.
Utilizing traditional ceramic craft processes, Grimm has developed an innovative and distinct approach to making sculpture with wheel-thrown parts. Grimm adds her own voice to this tradition through her technical virtuosity on and off the wheel, her use of raw, unglazed, brown clay and her approach to the work’s scale, which is larger than the typical figurine.
The Teapot Peddlers, 2011. Stoneware. Gift of David and Julianne Armstrong.