Kathy Erteman

San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts

Accession no: 2007.3.3 A-C Type of work: Ceramic
Current location: Prep Room – Blue Cabinets
Artist/creator: Kathy Erteman

Artist biography: Kathy Erteman a New York based ceramic artist and designer makes vessels and architectural wall pieces in her Manhattan studio. She received her BFA from California State University Long Beach, studied with Adrian Saxe at UCLA, and worked with Judy Chicago on the Dinner Party after graduation. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is included in private and public collections including Renwick Gallery/Smithsonian Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Taipei Museum of Fine Arts and SC Johnson Collection. She is widely published in design books and periodicals that include The New York Times, Metropolitan Home, Art Forum, Elle Decor and Ceramics Monthly. A full time studio artist and part time teacher, Kathy has taught at Parsons School of Design and been a guest lecturer at The Brooklyn Museum, SUNY New Paltz, Bezalel Academy of Art, Jerusalem and currently teaches at Greenwich House Pottery. Kathy is the recipient of a NYFA Fellowship and EBAY artist technology grant. She has travelled to Yunnan China to work with Tibetan Potters as a Design Consultant for Aid To Artisans.The Mountain Institute/USAID.

Title of work: Homage to Lucien Day
Date of item: 2004
Signed: artist’s initials on the bottom of each cup (KE)
Other markings/identifiers: The tall cup and one of the smaller cups have a black circle on the bottom with the artist’s initials (KE) in the middle. The second small cup doesn’t have the black circle but has the artist’s initials etched in the clay.
Dimensions: 3 cups: 2 are 2 1/8” high x 2” diameter; 1 is 2 ½” high x 2” diameter (5.4 x 5.08 cm; 6.35 x 5.08 cm)

Description: 3 small black and white, hand-less, rund-bottomed cups. Two of the cups are just about the same size the third one is slightly taller. The large cup and one of the small cups are white inside and outside with a design on the exterior of the cup in black: a series of black vertical shapes (leaf shapes, cylinders, rectangular shapes) encircles the cup in the middle of which of each of them is a white linear design. The second smaller cup has the same design and colorings on the exterior but the interior of the cup is black.

Material: porcelain
Technique: sgraffito
Medium: ceramic
Country of origin: U.S.A.

Artist’s statement about work: There are many ways to approach art making with clay. For me the choices are very conscious and tested. I follow various schools and cultural traditions in making vessels and works for the wall. As a young artist in Los Angeles I followed the work of Gertrud and Otto Natzler, and L.A. clay artists associated with Chouinard Art School, Adrian Saxe, Ralph Bacerra and Elsa Rady. Their well executed and highly personal vessels gave me license to go beyond the strict unspoken rules of pottery making at the time. I embraced industrial methods of making such as slip casting, jiggering and plaster turning taught by Dr. Robert Ramsey at California State University Long Beach. The study of early 20th century design,ie Wiener Werkstaette, and the architecture and design of international modernists like Le Corbusier, Neutra, and Joseph Hoffman contributed to my modernist attitude about form. I have always been interested in a pared down aesthetic and admire Sol Le Witt and Agnes Martin for their freedom within restraint and continue to refer to 19th century Japanese design for direction in the abstraction of natural forms. The sculptural vessels I make are metaphorical in their exploration of containment, and celebrate form, setting aside the constraints of utility. When making tableware, I consider design and the rigors of daily use. The spirit of my hand in these pieces is modest, to harmonize with and act as a support to the prepared ingredients. I have taken inspiration from early 20th century European and American studio artists and designers, including HT Baumann, Lucie Rie, Timo Saraponeva, Russel Wright, and many anonymous artists who chose to embrace a pared down, restrained, and graceful aesthetic to enhance the routine of daily life in an artful way. Recently my work has ventured off the table and onto the wall. I have been looking to Abstract Expressiont painters Rothko, Hoffman and Gottlieb for surface treatments which has redirected my focus from form to surface. I have been concentrating on monoprints and paintings on flat clay tablets and dimensional wall square installations. Using abstraction of natural forms and the human figure, alienation and spontaneous order are the themes that drive these compositions.

Condition: Excellent from condition report dated December 6, 2010.
Provenance: Gift
Donor information: Garth Clark, Garth Clark Gallery, New York
History of object: Received at San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts as a gift from Garth Clark of Garth Clark Gallery, New York, in December 2006

Cataloger name: K. Zimmerly
Date: Dec. 6, 2010
Sources used: artist file; artist website: kathyerteman.com