Warren MacKenzie, an American Potter: An American Potter

David Lewis, Author, Peter Lee, Photographer Kodansha International (JPN) $65 (0p) ISBN 978-4-7700-1528-0
MacKenzie's pottery, made on his Minnesota farm, contains references to the flasks and storage jars of pioneering homesteaders. Yet he is no simple rustic potter. As an apprentice to famous Cornwall ceramicist Bernard Leach in the 1950s, MacKenzie, now 67, absorbed the influences of Japan's mingei movement, in which his mentor was steeped. Mingei (or folkcraft) strived for beauty born of unself-conscious humility, and MacKenzie's work fulfills this ideal in its sensuous enjoyment of spontaneous runs and crazes, its exuberant finger wipes, drips and splotches, its textures made with unlikely tools. In this lavishly illustrated retrospective, Lewis, a Pittsburgh architect and urban designer, decodes the cultural cross-fertilization in MacKenzie's pottery, with influences ranging from ancient Greece to Mayan and early Christian rituals. This album offers a rare personal glimpse of a well-known craftsperson who has assiduously avoided the spotlight. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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