los-angeles

Ron Nagle

Frank Lloyd Gallery

In a show of small ceramic objects (all 2002), Ron Nagle displayed his gift for tweaking familiar forms. Selections from his ongoing “Snuff Bottles” series, begun in 2002, for example, clearly revealed a kinship to the small-necked, round-capped collectible object, with Nagle retaining the item’s telltale attributes while converting its form into a female figure that looked like a cross between a doll, a finish-fetish sculpture, and a fertility goddess. The bottles’ anthropomorphic shoulders flow into heart-shaped torsos with puffed-out bosoms, and the lower portions fan out into broad skirts edged by drip lines of glaze that read like ruffles. Airbrushed accents there intensify the pieces’ luminosity; in some, hazes of reddish orange go so far as to imply heat escaping from beneath the hemline.

Selections from the “Smoove Wares” series, 2001–, meanwhile, showed a greater departure from

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