From the time of the Renaissance, artists working in clay were designated as craftsmen, working more with their hands than their minds. Meanwhile, painters and sculptors were positioned as intellectual fine artists. Even today, this legacy remains, and many see the categorizations as problematic. Participants in this class will develop critical looking skills and an accompanying vocabulary focused on the relationship between form and surface, and will explore how ceramic artists engage narrative content. Along the way, the class will compare and contrast works of ceramic art to paintings and sculpture in order to better realize the sophistication of the former.
Instructor Kevin Muller has taught at University of California, Berkeley, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Chabot College. He has also lectured on the collections at several museums, including the Crocker and the de Young. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley, and his publications cover three centuries of American art.