Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

Ceramic artist’s work displayed at Myhren Gallery

An exhibition by celebrated Colorado ceramicist Paul Soldner is open at the Victoria Myhren Gallery.

The show features 45 works by Soldner, who is often called the father of American raku — a technique he developed that relies on the experimental use of non-traditional materials following the traditional Japanese quick-firing raku process.

“Paul Soldner has had an untold influence on the practice of art in the United States, helping to create new degrees of freedom for ceramists and for artists in general,” says Dan Jacobs, director of the DU Myhren Gallery and curator of University of Denver Art Collections.

Soon after World War II, Soldner enrolled in the newly formed ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis Art Institute), where he became Peter Voulkos’ first-ever student. His exploratory instincts soon became apparent as he moved away from functional ceramics towards more sculptural objects, to the point of constructing a gigantic eight foot tall object that was too big for any kiln and which required a ladder to complete.

“It’s been a privilege to experience his joyous approach to life and art through this project and to bring together our region’s strong ceramics community at DU to celebrate his work,” Jacobs says. “You can always count on enthusiasm from potters — and doubtless Paul is partly responsible for that!”

The works are on loan from David Armstrong, founder of the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, Calif.

The exhibit runs through Feb. 22. The gallery is free and open daily between noon and 4 p.m.

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