Erin Watson, Sausage, 2014, Inkjet print, 20 x 30 inches
The Nature of Personal Reality
June 27 – September 1, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 27, 4-6pm
A group exhibition based on creating reality and the human need for connection and creation.
Artists in the exhibition:
Ashton Allen (MFA ‘16), Tada Asatoorian (BFA ‘16), Amanda Benefiel (MFA ‘16), Jeanette Degollado (MFA-Public Practice ‘16), Margarethe Drexel (MFA-Public Practice ‘16), Gerry Fialka & Mark X Farina (MFA-Public Practice ‘16), Ivett Godoy (BFA ‘16), Dakota Raine Higgins (BFA ‘17), Zac Roach (MFA ‘16), Regine Rode (MFA ‘16), Gabriel Rojas (BFA ‘16), and Erin Watson (BFA ’16).
The essence of what it is to be human, the flesh and the body, and the wonder of existence is profound. Western philosophers followed the Cartesian dualistic approach to understanding reason by separating mind from body. Despite the influence of Eastern philosophies, the feminist revolution, and everything in between, this notion of rationalism heavily influences our culture. In today’s world, where we find ourselves laden with human affects and effects, with seemingly inescapable military industrialization, and both human and natural disasters, it is hard to tell if we, as a human race, are truly evolving. Our approach is often solely based on past events in a time and space that our conscious minds can recollect; a battle, a response, a fight, a reaction, and the science of the moment seems to be leaving the body altogether.
In 1974 Jane Roberts wrote The Nature of Personal Reality: A Seth Book, in which the non-physical entity known as Seth states, “You make your own reality. There is no other rule. Knowing this is the secret of creativity.” The artists in this exhibition explore boundaries of reality, investigate new ways of understanding the domestic body, and express the need to feel something intimate and vital.
Ralph Bacerra, Untitled Bowl, 2007
Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty
September 26 – December 6, 2015
Exquisite Beauty is the first major exhibition and publication to survey and document the beautiful ceramic vessels and sculptures created by Ralph Bacerra. For more than fifty years, artist and ceramist Ralph Bacerra (1938-2008) consistently challenged and expanded upon ceramic traditions by appropriating cross-cultural influences and employing innovative techniques in his studio practices. Most notably, Bacerra’s contribution to the field was the development and contemporizing of the ancient skill of applying over-glaze enamels to achieve depth and richness of color and pattern. His virtuosic works demonstrate his mastery of materials, consummate craftsmanship, and his innate understanding of the holistic unity of form and surface design. By combining elaborate shapes with intricate, lavish surface decoration, Bacerra became the undisputed master of the ornamental, earning the distinction, conferred by ceramic historian Garth Clark as the “most extraordinary decorative potter of the last fifty years.”
Exquisite Beauty will include more than sixty of the greatest works of Ralph Bacerra’s long career, showcasing dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been highlighted in a major exhibition. These masterworks, along with a fully illustrated catalog, will bring into sharp focus the extraordinary creative vision of one of the key ceramic artists of our time whose oeuvre is deserving of wider recognition and appreciation.
In addition to achieving artistic excellence in the studio, Bacerra was a passionate and effective teacher in the classroom. Bacerra was head of the ceramics department at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1963 to 1972 when the institute closed. He continued his teaching profession in Los Angeles at Otis School of Art (now Otis College of Art and Design) from 1983 through 1998. During that memorable year of 1998, Bacerra was granted the Outstanding Achievement award from the National Council on the Education of Ceramic Art and was appointed a fellow of the American Crafts Council in recognition of his exemplary body of work and his exceptional teaching career. Many of Bacerra’s former Chouinard and Otis students have risen to prominence and have become accomplished artists in the field, all benefiting from Bacerra’s technical virtuosity and keen design sensibility, and the appreciation of materials and skills that he passed on. The Vincent Price Art Museum is presenting a complementary exhibition entitled Crossroads in Clay at Chouinard and Otis: The Ralph Bacerra Years, September 19 - December 5, 2015, curated by Christy Johnson. These two exhibitions will be the first surveys to examine the work of artist Ralph Bacerra within a retrospective setting as well as his lasting influence on those who studied and worked with him in a group show context.
Ralph Bacerra: Exquistie Beauty
Curator: Jo Lauria, Independent Decorative Arts Curator and Scholar. Exhibition Designer: Michael Patrick Porter. Sponsors to date: Friends of Contemporary Ceramics, Lois Boardman Family Foundation, Joan Takayama-Ogawa, Sue Wilson Keanne, and Lin Werner.
This project is supported in part by the Pasadena Art Alliance
Make your gift now to support the exhibition Exquisite Beauty: The Ceramics of Ralph Bacerra and help ensure the artistic legacy of Ralph Bacerra.