One of the first artists that joined the gallery in 1996 was Adrian Saxe. He gave his support to my fledgling organization and encouraged my ideas. That was a welcome push from a friend and mentor. It helped that Adrian lent his credibility, and I have certainly used his intelligence and experience during the past 16 years of exhibits. It’s extraordinary to have the resource of his technology, and the depth of his knowledge about the history of ceramics is amazing. He’s also a fantastic artist. As Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Knight has written, “With outrageous humor and unspeakable beauty, (Saxe) makes intensely seductive objects that exploit traditional anthropomorphic qualities associated with ceramics.”
In December, the gallery presented a new body of work by Saxe. His sense of humor was, as always, present. It was accompanied by a myriad of references: to scholar’s rocks, to language, to digital technology, and to culture—both ancient and contemporary. Several of the works were interactive; by holding up a cell phone and reading the quick response code, the viewer was transported to images and videos from the internet. The show marked a brilliant new chapter in an inventive career that has been filled with ideas—gifts from Adrian that delight the eye and the mind.
For those who would like a refreshing look at the evolution of Saxe’s work, we made an on-line publication. This book chronicles the way that Saxe has sought to reinvent a role for ceramic art that employs decorative art conventions to comment on social and cultural expectations surrounding a number of topical themes. Take a look at over sixty pages of Saxe’s work here: Adrian Saxe catalogue