Myrton Purkiss: Paintings on Clay, 1930 - 1960
The Landing at Reform
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 7th, 6 - 9 pm
On Display: February 7th - March 28th
For the second show at The Landing, Gerard O'Brien is reaching into his private stash of ceramics by Myrton Purkiss.
Originally from Canada, Purkiss ended up calling Fullerton, California home. He studied under Glen Lukens at Fullerton High School and at USC. He was drafted into the allied forces in WWII and served as a cartographer in Europe where he extended his interest in ceramics by visiting potters in England and France. As a 29 year-old veteran, Purkiss returned to Fullerton and opened a small ceramics shop in his backyard. Mryton's form of choice was the hand-painted plate. That form was transformed into a clay painting with an addition of a looped wire on the back after a woman commented that his plates were too nice to use. Soon after, Purkiss was being included in major ceramics exhibition, including the Scripps College Annuals, Pacific Coast Ceramic Exhibitions, Syracuse Nationals and 6000 Years of Art in Clay.
Myrton's interest in horticulture was evident in many of his designs. It eventually led him into a career in landscape architecture after he closed his ceramics business in the mid-1950s. Purkiss died in 1978.
Purkiss and his plates.
Source: Plaques from a Potter's Wheel
This is the platter Gerard O'Brien lent to the AMOCA Common Ground exhibition in 2011.
That's the same plater shown in 6000 Years Art in Clay in 1952. It' a big deal.
Source: Common Ground: Ceramics in Southern California 1945–1975 Photo by Burton Frasher Jr.
There's an article about the Landing in the current issue of Angeleno.
You can see an earlier post on the Morgan MacLean show at the Landing here.