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  • Joel Otterson

    United States

    Art Brokerage: Joel Otterson American Artist: b. 1959. Joel Otterson (b. 1959) is a maker in the old tradition– his materials of choice are copper pipe, pottery, earthenware, concrete, marble, and stained glass; and he also works in quilting, lace making, and woodworking. But his works’ ironic arrangements and pithy titles are wholly au courant. Though a Los Angeles native, Otterson studied art at Parsons School of Design in New York City in the late 70s, and continued to live in the city for more than 20 years. An early achievement: he had a one-person Project Series exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1987. Otterson describes his practice: “My work is loud, and I want it to yell at people.” In this boisterous example, American Portable Pottery Museum (Wall of China) (1994), the artist makes a wry and pointed comment on current global manufacturing practices, namely, that China is the United States’ primary trading partner of manufactured goods. Every facet of the behemoth work, measuring almost 8-feet high, conveys a message. A complicated lattice structure of copper tubing makes up the sculpture—China is the second-largest miner and producer of copper in the world. Filled with pieces of found pottery, the sculpture brings to mind the material history of earthenware in the United States, and, by association, the long, complex history of porcelain in China. Listings wanted.

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