los-angeles

John Mason

L.A. Louver

Known as one of the Los Angeles artists who, in the ’50s, pushed clay beyond crafts and into the Abstract Expressionist arena, John Mason set clay aside in the mid ’70s and soon began stacking firebricks on museum floors (the “Hudson River Series,” 1978) and installing site-specific environmental sculptures. Now, for the first time in over ten years, Mason has returned to ceramic objects.

The new works are of three modular types: vessels, plates, and freestanding forms such as triangles, squares, and rectangles. Most are glazed in geometric patterns that both reinforce and contradict their shapes, and all are set in relation to each other in such a manner that one begins to see them as elements in an ensemble. From various positions and elevations, the works seem to exchange edges, patterns, glazed and gritty surfaces, gestures, and symmetries, in what amounts to a kind of blocky bam dance.

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.