Amazing Clay — More Wonderful Stuff from the Berkeley Art Center Show

Wanxin-Zhang's-Inauguration-Day-2009-large-ceramic statue. Photo by BF Newhall

Detail of Wanxin Zhang’s massive fired clay and glaze statue, “Inauguration Day 2009.” Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Here are some more fabulous inventions made of clay by three artists featured in the show, “Local Treasures: Bay Area Ceramics,” at the Berkeley Art Center through Nov. 18.

Massive ceramic figure by Wanxin Zhang, "God Bless You." Photo by BF Newhall

Towering ceramic figure, “God Bless You,” by Wanxin Zhang, Photo by BF Newhall

If you live in the Bay Area, don’t miss it. It’s a small but rich exhibition, and the Berkeley Art Center is a pleasant place to be on a fall afternoon.

You’ll find that the gallery space — and all the people in it — is dominated by three massive human figures created by Wanxin Zhang, an immigrant to the San Francisco Bay Area from China.

Inspired by the Terra Cotta Warriors of the Qin evacuations in China, the imposing figures are commentaries on contemporary life.

On the day I visited, Clayton Bailey‘s animal figures were a favorite of many visitors, especially his “Fire Breathing Demon Dog,” which will oblige you with a howl if you put your hand in its mouth and press on its tonsils.

As for Ted Fullwood’s “Yolk,” I’m not sure what I think. It reminds me of a song my big brother used to sing in my ear, hoping to gross me out: “Great, green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts . . . ” Is Fullwood hoping for icky here? I guess.

Other artists in the show are Viola Frey, Jon Gariepy, Mary Law, Annabeth Rosen, Nancy Selvin, Richard Shaw, Sandy Simon and John Toki.

For photos of Nancy Selvin and Richard Shaw’s work, check out my earlier post. If you like looking at photos, see “My Rain-Battered Garden.”

Ted Fullwood's ceramic vase, "Yolk 2010"  Photo by BF Newhall

Ted Fullwood’s ceramic — urn? — “Yolk 2010.”

Detail Ted Fullwood's ceramic vase, "Yolk 2010"  Photo by BF Newhall

Detail “Yolk 2010” Photos by BF Newhall

clayton bailey stoneware ceramic, "Fire Breathing Demon Dog." Photo by BF Newhall

Clayton Bailey’s stoneware, “Fire Breathing Demon Dog”

Wanxin Zhang, clay artist, at Berkeley Art Center ceramic show, Photot by BF Newhall

Wanxin Zhang at the show’s opening reception.




 “Local Treasures: Bay Area Ceramics,” Sept. 22 – Nov. 18, 2012, Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA, 94709, (510) 644-6893.













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