By Show and Tell
By Bree Davies
By Bree Davies
By Cory Casciato
By Emilie Johnson
By Robin Edwards
By Bree Davis
By Josiah M. Hesse
Fans of Daniels's classic style won't be disappointed, as there are two of her marvelous architectonic towers, which have a totemic character, and one of her abstracted figures. "Tajin Tower" which is being acquired by the American Museum of Ceramic Art, and the brand-new "Cibola Tower" are on display in the main room. "Cibola Tower," like all of Daniels's towers, is a pierced obelisk that's been gold-leafed. The joints of the tower's structural members have been articulated with globe-like forms that are repeated up and down the piece. She made it after she moved, and it proves that regardless of her change of address, she's still following the same aesthetic course she set in Denver. Another recently done piece is "Pomona," a red depiction of a female nude that's closely related to her famous "Red Nike" sculptures.
In the back of the gallery is a quartet from her "Unfolding Tea Bowl" series. Daniels is relentlessly experimental, and these expressionistic bowls with their elaborate multi-colored glazes are her latest push forward. Another important influence for Daniels is French and Italian ceramics of the mid-twentieth century, and the connection between those pieces and the tea bowls is abundantly clear.
The last of the trio at Sandra Phillips is legendary studio ceramicist Don Reitz, who is eighty. In many ways, Reitz is in the same category as Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner and Rudy Autio — one of the greats of his era — and like them, he put the Japanesque vessel tradition into the context of abstract expressionism. Rietz has had an illustrious career, and his work is in museums around the world.
I can't remember ever having seen a Rietz piece in a Denver show, but he has come to Colorado several times over the years, heading up workshops at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Anderson Ranch in Snowmass. An even more profound connection to Colorado ceramics is the fact that Reitz was the late Rodger Lang's teacher and mentor at the University of Wisconsin.
All of the Reitz pieces are magnificent. His "Cochina #135," sitting in the middle of the room, is a real eye-catcher. The piece takes the shape of a column made up of stacked elements in which Reitz alternates flat slabs of clay and altered vessel forms. More characteristically Reitzian are the two majestic "Teastack" vases, which are the most significant works in his part of the show.
Three on Fire may be small, but it's impressive. The same could be said for the Sandra Phillips Gallery.