LARGE AS LIFE: Betty Davenport Ford, Elaine Katzer, Lisa Reinertson


June 14–August 31, 2014

The American Museum of Ceramic Art is honored to present Large as Life, an exhibition that includes three female artists whose sculptural work—figures, torsos, and animals—is unified through their similar approaches to clay. Drawing from their individual experiences as working artists, teachers, mothers, or women, their sculpture and public commissions have explored themes of feminism, the human condition, and the environment.

Betty Davenport Ford, Elaine Katzer, and Lisa Reinertson share a fascination of using stylized figurative forms for their investigation of the human condition; their artistic endeavors speak to a spiritual concern for all life and for proclaiming the earth’s bountiful beauty. Ford, Katzer, and Reinertson fashion compelling sculptures that evoke playfulness, offer social commentary or reference spiritual truths.

AMOCA would like to acknowledge the Pasadena Art Alliance for their financial support of this exhibition.

Rody Lopez
Associate Curator

Large as Life features life-size sculptures as well as drawings and paintings that inform the artists’ processes. The exhibition also presents photographs and other ephemera to accent the grandiose careers of these exceptional artists whose large scale practice is both admirable and unequivocally ambitious.

  • Betty Davenport Ford, resident of Claremont, California, received her formal art education from Scripps College and Cranbrook Academy of Art. Since the early 50s she has been a well-known and recognized inventive sculptor. Her artwork derived from an art movement that was imbedded in the classic form of sculpture; however, she experimented with unique finishes and textures. Throughout her career, she lived by the principle that art is an abstract form: form, shape, and design combine to express the essence of the subject.
  • Elaine Katzer has maintained a studio in San Pedro, California for over 50 years. Katzer received her BA and MA from California State University, Long Beach and also studied for four years at the Chouinard Art Institute, which later became the California Institute of the Arts. In 1969, her Masters show filled an outdoor courtyard with large-scale totems and fountains. Her sculptures, murals, water walls, and fountains are constructed in stoneware using a unique pinch-method. Many of her works are located in public places. She taught ceramics at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills and was an artist in residence at Monash University in Australia. Today, she continues to sculpt and paint colorful watercolors.
  • Lisa Reinertson, resident of Benicia, California, is known for her life-size figurative ceramic sculptures and large-scale bronze commissions. Her work combines realism rooted in the humanist figurative tradition in art with a contemporary expression of social and psychological content. The youngest of the three women, Reinertson completed her MFA at UC Davis in 1984 and since has taught at CSU Chico, UC Berkeley, and the San Francisco Art Institute. She continues to exhibit internationally and evolve as an artist.