cover image Clay Today

Clay Today

Chronicle Books, Martha Drexler Lynn, Los Angeles County Museum Of Art. Chronicle Books, $24.95 (239pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-756-1

Highlighting a portion of the 20th-century ceramics collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, this handsome book showcases both the functional and sculptural aspects of the clay medium, from Laura sps ok throughout/pk Andreson's elegantly simple porcelain Yellow Orange Bottle to Robert Arneson's earthenware portrait, Jackson Pollock. Each of 64 ceramists is represented by a photograph of one creation as well as a short discussion of the artist's work. The more provocative pieces in this volume include Akio Takamori's bizarrely metaphoric stoneware Man with Chicken vase; Philip Cornelius's undulating porcelain China Maru Teapot ; Andrea Gill's realistically piscine Fish Soup Tureen ; and Christopher Gustin's anthropomorphic stoneware Pink Vessel . Lynn, an assistant curator at the museum, has written a lively, instructive introduction detailing the evolution of ceramics over the last several decades, and the color plates are suitably expressive. The only problem with this otherwise excellent volume is that in exhibiting just one work by each artist, it gives the reader no sense of the ceramists' development over time. (Sept.)