Frank Lloyd’s blog

Art, architecture and the people that I know.

Posts Tagged ‘Richard Shaw

Pincushion Man

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FSW085For the current show at the gallery, I have on display an outstanding piece called Pincushion Man, by Richard Shaw. Seated on a chair of stacked paper cups, his body is composed of sticks, tools, a mayonnaise jar and a miniature coffee cup. It’s his head that gives him his name – a strawberry red pincushion with button eyes. Because this is a work by Richard Shaw, all of these elements are painstakingly rendered in porcelain, in his signature trompe l’oeil style.

Shaw uses clay to recreate the objects of everyday life, gathering them together in still life compositions that speak to the presence of the person who ostensibly arranged them. The apparently casual nature of these pieces belie the considered relationships between items,and the layered references to pop culture, art history, and personal biography that exist within them.

The figurative works take the premise of the still lifes and extend it even further. Rather than simply referencing the presence of a person, the objects become people themselves. In a 2006 interview with Richard Whittaker, Shaw spoke about these works, saying that “taking the still life and making it into a person is like breathing life into it.” The artist taps into the expressive potential of ordinary items by anthropomorphizing them. The figures communicate with viewers through gesture and body language. As the personification of a still life, Pincushion Man returns the viewer’s gaze, peering back at them with his button eyes.

Written by Frank Lloyd

July 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Richard Shaw’s Online Videos

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On July 12th, the gallery will open a new exhibition of works by Ralph Bacerra, Richard DeVore, and Richard Shaw. In anticipation of this, it feels like a good time to repost Richard Shaw’s online videos. Last February, Shaw participated in an artists’ conversation with Adrian Saxe. One of our most popular events, the two artists spoke at length about their respective practices, including their shared interest in juxtaposition and references to contemporary culture. I’m glad that we filmed their talk, and I’ve included the edited video below:

In 2005, Shaw was filmed in his studio by KQED for the arts education program Spark. This video really demonstrates the complexity of his artwork, revealing the enormous library of molds, glazes, decals, and transfers that he uses to achieve a stunning level of realism. The profile also captures Shaw in his element as Professor of Art at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught until his retirement in 2012.



The Two Californias

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Camp_Bluff_Lake_letter copyI don’t know how many times I’ve made the drive from L.A. to the Bay Area. The number is well over 100, and spans a time period of over 50 years. Even as a child, I was irrationally obsessed with images of San Francisco, and begged my parents to take me there. My family traveled together on the train in August of 1960. We were tourists that first time, and I recorded the vacation in a short essay for my fourth grade class, with what was my very best effort at penmanship.

I’ve just returned from a road trip; this time it was part business and part pleasure. Stops in Oakland, Fairfax and Sebastopol were for gallery duties—picking up and dropping off artworks, and viewing a painting. During the long drive, I had a chance to reflect on my multiple trips, and my relationship to the oft-cited divide between the two regions of California. The divisions of geography, climate, politics, and culture are often the subjects of debate. The controversies and arguments can grow passionate—especially the rivalry between Dodger and Giant fans.

Road_Trip_1 copyBut what I was recalling—the people I know in the world of art—was a different story. It demonstrates how very much interrelated the lives of the artists and the two regions are. Let’s take, for example, the story of our artist Richard Shaw, who was born in Hollywood and lived in Newport Beach before becoming a resident of the quintessential Northern California town of Fairfax. Or consider the history of my friend, the late Henry Hopkins, a UCLA graduate who went on to become the Curator of Exhibitions and Publications at LACMA, before his tenure as Director at SFMOMA, and then his eventual return to the Hammer. Don’t forget about Richard Diebenkorn, whose first shows were in the Bay Area, but produced perhaps his most well-known series of paintings in a studio in Ocean Park, a neighborhood in Santa Monica. Peter Selz, who had a stay in Claremont before going to MOMA as the Chief Curator of Painting, eventually wound up in Berkeley. Peter Voulkos, a Montana native who attended California College of Arts and Crafts for his master’s degree, came to L.A. during the period of 1954 to 1959, then returned to Berkeley.

This list could go on, but the thought persists: Is there really such a division between the two Californias? I think not. Yes, the politics and culture may differ overall, but the people travel freely through some sort of permeable membrane. I have lived and worked in both the North and South, and so have many of my friends. Though I must be clear about one thing: I’m still a Dodger fan.

Summer Momentum

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FSW068 copy2It has been a busy summer for our gallery artists, and their momentum looks like it will continue into the fall! For example, Richard Shaw has three works featured in the Laguna Art Museum’s ongoing exhibition, Faux Real. On display through September 29th, Faux Real presents a selection of artworks that mimic and manipulate reality. Shaw’s porcelain sculptures are a natural fit for the show – he has been producing artful and irreverent trompe l’oeil objects for decades. Shaw is also presenting a series of figural ceramic sculptures in a solo show at the Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco, through August 24th. At a glance, these figures appear to be cobbled together from a variety of everyday objects, including instruments, books, branches, and cast-off shoes. However, these seemingly found objects are actually cast in porcelain.

The Orange County Museum of Art’s California-Pacific Triennial includes works by Akio Takamori. A re-working of the OCMA’s previously established California Biennial, the Triennial explores the complex cultural exchange between countries located on the Pacific Rim. Takamori, a naturalized American citizen born in Japan, is a perfect example of this phenomenon, making figurative sculptures that explore ideas of global community and his own multicultural background. His work will be on display at OCMA through November 17th.

Finally, Craig Kauffman will be included in Untitled 1-7, 1968-69_Louisiana Museum of Modern Art copyan exhibition titled Pop Art Design at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, running October 22, 2013 through February 9, 2014. This show, organized in cooperation with the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and Moderna Museet, will investigate the “exciting exchange of ideas between the fields of design and art” during the Pop Art movement.1 Kauffman will be represented by a beautiful plastic lozenge from 1968-69, from the collection of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

1 Pop Art Design, Barbican Art Gallery, London: 2013,


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The blog reached an important milestone this week – it has now been viewed over 100,000 times since I began writing it in 2008!  I started this blog with the intention to write about art, architecture, and the people that I know. In the five years I’ve been writing, it has served as a platform for me to share my thoughts on contemporary art.

Robert Hudson and Richard Shaw_Stinson Beach Studio_1971 copyI like to use the blog to provide behind-the scenes access to the gallery, as well as talk about my relationships with artists, critics and other gallerists. My gallery has a substantial collection of archival images – including historical photographs of artists, installations, and other art ephemera – which many art enthusiasts don’t have access to. It’s fun to share these images with the public, who might not have a chance to see them otherwise. The picture you see at left is of Richard Shaw and Robert Hudson in their Stinson Beach studio, which they shared during the early 1970s.

Part of the mission of my gallery is to provide free arts programming and educational resources to visitors, and I see this blog as an important part of that. It’s not always possible for everyone to come to our gallery walk-throughs, artist conversations, and classes in person, so it’s important to me that I do my best to make this content available online. I hope that this blog serves as another link to the larger arts community in Los Angeles. After all, my passion for the world of art is what got me started in this business, and I want to share that passion with others.

Written by Frank Lloyd

June 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Artists in Conversation – Online!

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FSE087 copyThe conversation between Adrian Saxe and Richard Shaw drew a record audience to the gallery. On February 9, over 70 people came to hear the two artists talk about their work. Now we have documentation of the event to share with you.

I’ve been working on the gallery’s education program for 17 years now. Artist talks, walk-throughs and conversations are part of that mission. The topics of the conversations have ranged, as the diverse resources of the gallery—from artists to writers to critics—are brought together to discuss the issues of contemporary art.

In the past, the gallery offered a class on FSW071 copyart collecting that comprised of a series of talks, titled “The First Class, Parts One and Two”. Speakers came from the museum world, such as the late Henry Hopkins, former Director of the UCLA Hammer Museum, and Charlotte Eyerman, former curator at the Getty Museum. Highly recognized journalists, including Suzanne Muchnic, staff art writer at the Los Angeles Times for 3 decades, and Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, author of biographies on Georgia O’Keefe and Craig Kauffman, gave lectures.

This service (yes, all of our programs are open to the public and free of charge) has been intended to provide a forum for discussion and a resource for the art community of Los Angeles. For the last two years, I’ve worked to make these available to the audience through new media. Our digital publications are available online through Issuu, and more Frank Lloyd Gallery videos can be found on our Vimeo channel.

Written by Frank Lloyd

June 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Gallery Artists in Museums

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One of the most gratifying aspects of my work at the gallery is seeing our artists’ works included in museum exhibitions and collections. Whether the pieces are on display for a temporary show or are being added to the permanent collection, it’s great to see artists get the recognition they deserve. I’m also interested in the ways curators perceive and present works that are familiar to me – often shedding new light on their significance or illuminating connections with other artists.

FSW049 copyRight now, Canton Collection by Richard Shaw is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as part of their exhibition “New Blue and White.” Referring to the tradition of blue and white porcelain, a practice with its roots in the Islamic world as well as Asia, Europe, and the Americas, the show explores how contemporary artists draw inspiration from this rich history. A signature trompe-l’oeil work, Canton Collection is a great example of appropriating historical practices for contemporary purposes. Shaw hand-painted original designs in the style of Chinese blue and white porcelain on the vessels he fabricated for this piece, but they can’t be used for their traditional purposes. Permanently attached to each other, the vessels allude to functionality but ultimately deny it.

Another gallery artist on display at a major museum is Kauffman_at_MoMA copyCraig Kauffman at the Museum of Modern Art. With several works in their permanent collection, Kauffman’s 1968 Untitled bubble has a prominent position in MoMA’s fourth floor gallery. Acquired for the museum by legendary curator Kynaston McShine, Untitled was first exhibited in the 1969 show “Five Recent Acquisitions,” alongside works by Larry Bell, Ron Davis, Robert Irwin and John McCracken. This ground breaking show was re-staged by P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in 2010 as part of their large-scale “1969” exhibition, which sought to explore the art of this tumultuous period. Back home at MoMA, Untitled really makes a statement about the early critical response to Craig Kauffman’s work.

Bell Installation copyLarry Bell also has great representation in museum collections across the country. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has on display a 1964 Untitled cube, bequeathed to the museum in 1981 after the death of Joseph Hirshhorn. Bell has an installation on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as well. Made in 1987-1988, this ten foot high room installation can be seen on the third floor of the east wing, where its reflective properties play with visitors’ visual perceptions. A large-scale installation was recently included in the PST show “Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface,” held at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in late 2011.