San Francisco

Richard Shaw

Braunstein/Quay Gallery

In Richard Shaw’s porcelain works, found objects are cast into flat tableaux, still-life arrangements, and free-standing figurative sculpture. Shaw has perfected porcelain casting and overglaze photo decal transfer with the capacity to replicate playing cards, tin cans, scraps of letters, old books with marbleized covers and pictographic imagery with extreme veracity. While many ceramists seem content to operate solely within the boundaries of imitation, Shaw, particularly in his freestanding pieces, expands the realist genre, fabricating works that are lifelike in detail and gesture, but eccentric in their juxtapositions.

On the most obvious level, Shaw’s art may be seen as trompe l’oeil art historical homage, particularly to Harnett and Peto. A casual stack of books with saucer and skull, or a clay pipe and wooden matches, is a three-dimensional rendering of a 19th-century theme. Shaw’s

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