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Ceramics on track

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FPZ340_A copyAmong the common questions I’ve heard, since I closed our public exhibition program, is this one: “Who will show ceramics in Los Angeles?” To answer that, it’s time to count the number of current or upcoming shows:

I’m very proud to see that our friends at Latin American Masters have already selected a survey titled Cerámica Contemporánea, an exhibition of twenty-six ceramic works of art by Mexican artist Gustavo Pérez. Their press release states, “Despite a modesty of means and scale, Gustavo Pérez’s ceramics have achieved worldwide recognition, including a 2012 retrospective at Museo Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City.”

Just reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, an exhibit at Acme is titled “Hard and Soft”, and includes the work of four women artists, all demonstrating the flexibility and form of clay, that most plastic of materials. Selected by Vicki Phung Smith, it was characterized by Leah Ollman as a show where “Fluidity and fixity serve as the primary poles between which all of these works dance and tease and strike their own marvelously precarious balances.”

In fact, ceramics shows are all over the galleries. Keep in mind that Shoshanna Wayne Gallery still represents the work of Kathy Butterly and Arlene Schechet. Over at Edward Cella, who is moving to a new location on South La Cienega soon, there is the work of Adam Silverman and Brad Miller. L. A. Louver has, for a long time, presented various artists working in clay. Their sculptor Richard Deacon makes major works in fired clay, and the younger Matt Wedel is prominently featured.

An upcoming show at AMOCA will present approximately 300 works from the permanent collection of the museum. Curated by Jo Lauria, it marks the 10th anniversary of the AMOCA, and presents the wide array of possibilities of the medium.

There are many more, and there will be dozens—if not hundreds—to follow! It’s a great time to see ceramics, from the finely crafted to the freely formed, in Los Angeles. Don’t mourn the loss of our program, just get out and see the art!

Ceramics in L.A.

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A question I am asked frequently at the gallery is: “Where else can I see ceramics in Los Angeles?” I’m happy to tell visitors that there are more opportunities than ever to see ceramic art in the city, both in museums and at mainstream art galleries. Over the past several years, I have noticed a distinct rise in the number of institutions that represent or exhibit artists who work in ceramics.

For visitors who want to go to museums, I always recommend FSU014_A copythe Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Not everyone is aware that LACMA has significant ceramic holdings across a wide spectrum of cultures and time periods. Ceramic artworks play a role in their Japanese, Chinese, Islamic, and Decorative Arts and Design collections, just to name a few. As an encyclopedic museum, LACMA is well positioned to provide a compelling context for the clay works on display.

CPE047 copyCeramic artists are also being exhibited in contemporary art galleries with increasing frequency – a development that I welcome!  Showing ceramic art alongside work in other mediums demonstrates the position of ceramics within the larger art historical conversation. The hierarchy of materials is loosening up and artists are feeling freer than ever to work in clay materials. Some local galleries that have been recently showing ceramics are; ACME., with works by Matthias Merkel Hess, Julia Haft-Candell, and Christopher Miles; L.A. Louver, who has shown Ken Price, Ben Jackel, Matt Wedel, and Tia Pulitzer; and Couturier Gallery, featuring the artists Gertrud and Otto Natzler, Rose Cabat, and Jay Kvapil. Other galleries that have been exhibiting ceramic art include Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Edward Cella Gallery, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art.

Written by Frank Lloyd

February 24, 2013 at 1:48 am