Dual Natures in Ceramics: Eight Contemporary Artists from Korea / SFO Museum, San Francisco

Dual Natures in Ceramics: Eight Contemporary Artists from Korea / SFO Museum, San Francisco
May 17, 2014 - February 22, 2015

“In modern art, as everyone knows, the beauty of deformity is very often emphasized, insisted upon. But how different is Korean deformity. The former is produced deliberately, the latter naturally. Korean work is merely the natural result of the artisan’s state of mind, which is free from dualistic man-made rules.”
—Bernard Leach (1887–1979)

Renowned British studio potter Bernard Leach once acknowledged that Korean potters are admired for their naturalism and spontaneity in creating ceramics. Scholars have attempted to define the beauty of Korean ceramics as “artless art” or “unplanned plan.” Indeed, Korean ceramics have been produced by the second nature of matured, skilled hands, sometimes transcending any rules, knowledge, and intentions.

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Turn, Weave, Fire, and Fold: Vessels from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection / SFO Museum, San Francisco

Vessels from the Forrest L Merrill Collection at SFO Museum, San Francisco

Turn, Weave, Fire, and Fold: Vessels from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection / SFO Museum, San Francisco
January 25 - June 1, 2014

New exhibition presents an exploration of the vessel in work by Bob Stocksdale, Kay Sekimachi, June Schwarcz, and James Lovera.

Collector Forrest Merrill has an affection for the vessel. Its form, sometimes alluding to the sensuous curves of a human body, holds irresistible appeal for him. So too does its familiar scale, which allows a vessel to be cradled in the palms of one’s hands. Forrest’s first art acquisition was in 1950 at a clay and glass exhibition in Pasadena, California, that he attended with his high school art club. With forty dollars earned from cutting neighbors’ lawns the previous summer, Forrest purchased a slumped-glass salad set by Glen Lukens, a pioneer in studio crafts then teaching at U.S.C. in Los Angeles.

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