Feat of Clay: Five Decades
of Jerry Rothman
October 11, 2003 :: No. 71
||Cal State Fullerton Grand Central Art Gallery
& Laguna Art Museum
||Feat of Clay: Five Decades of Jerry
||Grand Central Art Center
November 2, 2003 – January 11, 2004
Laguna Art Museum:
November 2, 2003 – February 29, 2004
||Cal State Fullerton Grand Central Art Center
125 North Broadway, Santa Ana, CA
Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, CA
Grand Central Art Center
Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday–Saturday,
11 a.m. to 8 p.m
Laguna Art Museum
Daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Public Opening Reception: 7-10 p.m. Saturday,
Nov. 1, 2003
Concurrent public receptions will be held at both venues
with a shuttle for visitors between sites.
Grand Central Art Center
Laguna Art Museum
$7 general, $5 seniors and students, children under 12 free.
Admission is free the first Thursday of each month.
The curatorial team of Feat of Clay: Five
Decades of Jerry Rothman, including guest curators Susan Peterson
and Mike McGee; Tyler Stallings, LAM curator of exhibitions;
and Dana Solow, LAM exhibition coordinator, have built this
exhibit to present the first retrospective examination of
Rothman’s work from his beginnings at Otis in the early
1950s through his present day work.
Part teacher, part sculptor, part potter and all rebel,
Rothman has spent the majority of his 50 years making art
that challenges and pushes the limits of what he sees as comfortable
and mundane. While others were conforming to the sleek, stylized
and cold intellectualism of Minimalist art which was emerging
as dominant in the 1960s, he sought to infuse his work with
a warmth that invoked humanism, challenging the style of the
time and questioning the norms of the day.
The fine art ceramics of Rothman is explored through a chronological
journey of the various locations where he has worked and been
inspired. The "Early Years," covers Rothman's first
contact with clay and the explosive innovations that he created
while in school. Seen as one of the most important achievements
in vessel making during the 1950s and 60s, Rothman's first
major series "Sky Pots," are well represented. “Japan
1958-60,” looks at the two-year period Rothman spent
in Japan working on commercial and fine art ceramics and exploring
the strong traditions of ceramics in Japanese culture. “Paramount"
delves into an entrepreneurial and expansive period in his
life. With a strong commercial background as well as exceptional
artistic skill, Rothman was able to mass-market ceramics to
a wider audience. In "Towne Avenue" we see Rothman
beginning to attain his mature style. During this period he
created the Bauhaus-Baroque pieces for which he has become
well known. “Sun Valley Drive, Laguna Beach" shows
Rothman continuing to seek challenge and change in his work.
In Laguna Beach, Rothman created some of his most prolific
work, exploring sculpture with a strong socio-political edge
as well as developing several new series including Bay Views,
Views from the Deck and a return to Sky Pots.
A mentor by nature, Rothman has affected many people with
his ideas and his teaching. Discourse and dialogue are his
tools, and with them he has challenged, and in the process
changed, minds. In the essay, Maverick Mud included in the
book Feat of Clay, Garth Clark best describes Rothman as,
“…one of [the] most restless, skeptical and authentic
iconoclasts,” in art. At the age of seventy, Rothman
is not even close to slowing down or giving in. Still as illusive
of being labeled as ever, Rothman continues to sculpt giving
the art world one triumphant masterpiece after another.
Organized by Laguna Art Museum and California State University
Fullerton Grand Central Art Center, the exhibition at Laguna
Art Museum covers work from 1956 to 1997 with Grand Central
Art Center exhibiting pieces from 1998 to 2003. It is fitting
that these venues host this retrospective Rothman is a longtime
resident of Laguna Beach and California State University,
Fullerton ceramics professor for 26 years.
A 164-page color book, with an introduction by Garth Clark,
has been published in conjunction with the exhibition. The
Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation and the City of Laguna
Beach provided major support for this exhibit.
|About The Book
Feat of Clay: Five Decades of Jerry Rothman,
is also the title of the book created in conjunction with
the exhibition through the collaboration of the Laguna Art
Museum staff, and guest curator Susan Peterson (ISBN: 0-940872-29-3).
The 164-page book includes 134 color images, and 150 black
and white images as well as three essays exploring various
periods of Rothman’s work. The essayists include Garth
Clark, cofounder of the Garth Clark Gallery in New York City
and author of numerous books on ceramics, such as American
Ceramics, 1876 to the Present and A Century of Ceramics in
the United States, 1879-1979; Susan Peterson, a guest curator
of the exhibition, and author of numerous books, including
The Craft and Art of Clay and Contemporary Ceramics; and Mike
McGee, a guest curator, facilitator of the California State
University Fullerton Grand Central Art Center and professor
of art at the California State University Fullerton.
The book has been designed by Jerry Samuelson, Dean of the
School of Arts, at California State University Fullerton.
Feat of Clay: Five Decades of Jerry Rothman can be purchased
at the Laguna Art Museum Store. For more information about
book purchases, please call Laguna Art Museum 949.494.8971
In her essay from the exhibition’s accompanying book,
guest curator Susan Peterson comments on how Rothman’s,
“…continual questioning [makes] finding answers
essential.” He began this quest through his training
under the instruction of Peter Voulkos at the Otis Art Institute
in the late 1950s. Rothman was an active member of the "Otis
Group," which included other well-known California ceramists
such as Billy Al Bengston, Ken Price, John Mason, and Paul
Soldner. Rothman was an integral member of this group, which
ushered in the, "Ceramics Revolution," revitalizing
and revolutionizing modern American ceramics.
At Laguna Art Museum
11:00 a.m. Sunday, November 2
Susan Peterson, writer and honorary professor at Hunter College
of the City University of New York, will talk about Jerry
Rothman and his art that is on view in Feat of Clay: Five
Decades of Jerry Rothman, Main Level galleries, November 2,
2003—February 29, 2004. Susan will be available to sign
exhibition books following her gallery talk.
Sunday, November 16 Rothman will conduct a gallery talk related
to his current exhibition, and in celebration of his 70th
birthday, the museum will serve cake following.
Sunday, December 7 Mary MacNaughton, director of Ruth Chandler
Williamson Gallery and professor of art history at Scripps
College since 1985, will present a slide lecture and gallery
talk on the exhibition Rebels in Clay: Peter Voulkos and the
Otis Group, on view in the Lower Level, October 26, 2003—February
Sunday, February 1 Kigen Ekeson Osho, vice abbott of Rinzai-ji
Zen Center in Los Angeles, speaks about how Zen philosophy
and aesthetic influenced many of the ceramic artists associated
with Peter Voulkos and the Otis School.
||Grand Central Art galleries at 714-567-7233
Marilyn Moore, Cal State Fullerton Art Gallery
Andrea Harris, Grand Central Art Center at
Elizabeth Champion, School of the Arts at
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