Berkeley

Vaea

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

At the beginning of Vaea’s exhibition at the Berkeley Art Center he stretched a black plastic drop-cloth across the floor and unloaded a truckload of nice damp clay carefully worked and ready for a ceramics operation. He worked on the show each day for the duration of the exhibition, and at the end he cleaned up his clay, dumped it back in the truck and took it away. Firing the clay into more or less permanent ceramic pieces was not part of the idea. Hardness removes from clay its tactile liveliness, and this show was to demonstrate just that: it is easy to work, takes many forms with great plastic adaptability, and holds its form relatively well whether organic or geometric. Some of Vaea’s forms were geometric forms that had become organic. He filled concrete form rolls and produced pillars of clay which were then dumped in a careless way, making them like vast limp noodles; he lined

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