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January 16th to February 27th, 1999

Reception for the Artist - Saturday, January 16th 3 to 6 pm

From his very beginnings as a potter, Rupert Deese has had function as an important component in his art. He finds it 'exciting' to solve the problems in designing and decorating the pot, vase, plate, jar or bowl in his hands, with the applied pattern supporting the essential usefulness of the piece.

His objects are made from a fine textured walnut brown clay body to which he applies his selected glazes. Each is finished like a porcelain or glass table item with all bases ground and smoothed with carborundum paper - no need for felt tabs on the bottoms! The lids on his jars are likewise smoothed to provide a good seal. The firings are heated to 2156 degrees ( 'cone 5'). The result is a very durable piece that is meant for use in the oven, on the table, in the dishwasher.

Rupert Deese was born in 1924 on the island of Guam. He achieved a B.A. at Pomona College in 1950, followed by a M.F.A. at Claremont Graduate School. For twenty years, 1964 - 1983, he designed dinnerware shapes and patterns for Franciscan Inc., continuing his own studiowork 'after hours' since 1950 to the present.

He has won prizes for his work, beginning in 1960 for the IBM Sweepstakes Prize at the 21st Ceramic National and continuing over the years. While exhibitions including his work have been ongoing, one of the most recent shows was in Marfa, Texas at The Chinati Foundation/The Judd Foundation, in parallel with prints by Barnett Newman and drawings by Dan Flavin. Rupert Deese stoneware is represented in many private and public collections - including The Renwick Collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the Walker Art Center, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Long Beach Museum of Art and the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art.

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