La Gardo Tackett for Architectural Pottery
This was Tackett Wednesday
Ron Nagle: Peripheral Cognition at the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) is surprisingly Nagel's first major solo museum exhibition. It includes work from over 30 years and it's magical. Along with ceramic sculptures with glazes that are like no other is a series of drawings that have never been shown publicly.
Gauguin to Warhol: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox is in the gallery next to the Nagle exhibit. It's as power as it gets, as seen here with Clyfford Still and David Smith. The Still looks small in this photo. It's actually enormous.
In a potential case of life imitating art, on January 5th, the new owner of Norms applied for and received a permit to demolish the building at 470-478 La Cienega Boulevard.
"On January 15, 2015, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) will meet and hopefully vote in support of taking Norms La Cienega Coffee Shop under consideration for Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) status. Designed by influential modern architects Louis Armet and Eldon Davis and completed in 1957, Norms La Cienega is an exuberant example of the California coffee shop type and an expressive Googie masterwork."
Visit the LA Conservancy to find out how you can help save Norms.
Hill was a noted Africa American artist who studied ceramics under Glen Lukens at USC. He ran a successful ceramics studio in Los Angles that was in business for over 30 years. His bio in A Handbook of California Design, 1930-1965: Craftspeople, Designers, Manufacturers describes him as a prominent member of the Los Angeles African American artistic circle and a role model for younger artists in the community, including John W. Outterbridge. Ads for his company were a common sight in Arts & Architecture magazine in the 1950s. Considering his notoriety and time in business, it would be expected that more of his work would show up on the secondary market, but examples seems scarce.
In a another 1954 Jet article it states... "eligible bachelor, rugged ceramic designer Tony Hill, also dropped in on New York from Los Angeles and lived it up for a week before embarking on a business trip to Africa". He was previously married to actress Frances Williams for nine years. They divorced in 1948.
James, also a student at USC, worked for Barbara Willis. The influence is hard to miss. With encouragement from Glen Lukens, she went into a short-lived business with Tony Hill. As noted in California's Designing Women 1896 - 1986 James went into business for herself in 1953. Her business did not last past the 1950s and she later became a distinguished educator in the Los Angeles area.
This piece is by Arthur Macbeth. It was in this stash of James and Hill ceramics I found this weekend. Wilmer James, Tony Hill and Doyle Lane are noted to be the only African American ceramic artists known to be working in California in the early- to mid-1950s.
I'm wondering if Macbeth might be another? Truth be told I have no idea who he was or even if he was African American. The only person I was able to uncover who had the same name was a noted African American photographer who did move to Los Angeles in 1937. He died in 1944.