San Francisco

Robert Sperry

Stanford University Art Gallery

Symbols of nature (such as owls and cacti) seem to attract Sperry. He has a fine sense of design which allows him to draw out the weight of a jar or vase by encrusting its surface, or to point up the curved form of a bottle or plate with sweeping and striped designs in glaze. Given a limited format he can turn out attractive pottery that stresses its own properties. However, the fine arts objects in this exhibit suffer under the size restriction. Sperry appears somewhat trapped by the wheel, but moreso by these symbols which turn many of his explorations into cute junk (a horrible owl-vase, for example). To judge from a set of photographs that accompany the display, his best pieces (in which patterns are repeated often enough to become totems) were too large to be included in this traveling exhibit, sponsored by the Western Association of Art Museums. Too bad.

Joanna C. Magloff