“Crucible” Series #1, 2018

Hong Kong 2019
Taka Ishii Gallery
45.8 x 45.8 x 45.8 (cm)
18.0 x 18.0 x 18.0 (inch)
Tony Marsh was born in New York City in 1954 and lives and works in Long Beach, California. In his work for over 30 years Marsh has devoted his artistic practice to an exploration of the ceramic vessel. In Marsh’s early work, the vessel was an arena within which he explored themes of Fertility Union, Death and Creation by arranging evocative symbolic abstract forms within the interiors of carefully designed prototypical vessel forms. In a subsequent body of work that evolved over 15 years Marsh created an endless array of thin walled, hollow abstract shapes and perforate them as densely as possible in an effort to replace the mass with light and dematerialize form rendering the work as ethereal. In his most current work “Crucible” the ceramic cylinder is the one constant and it is the building up of the surface that is dynamic. Minerals are applied in repeated layers and fused in the fire. Curiosity, chance and material phenomenology play out in the creation of the work. There are both real and imagined allusions to the physical sciences, earth formation, geographic phenomenon, force, pyroclastic work, time and landscape that appear in the work. Marsh may send a work back to the kiln five or more times applying different mineral concoctions between firings. There is no note taking or record of the sequence of events in this process that might lead to a particular end result, in that way each piece is unique. Tony Marsh spent 3 years in Mashiko, Japan at the workshop of Tatsuzo Shimaoka from 1978 to 1981. He teaches in the Ceramic Arts Program at California State University Long Beach in Southern California, where he was the Program Chair for over 20 years. He is currently the first Director of the Center for Contemporary Ceramics at CSULB. Marsh has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Asia and Europe. Marsh is a 2018 United States Artist Fellow. His works can be found in the Collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mad Museum of Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Everson Museum, Syracuse, the Oakland Museum of Art, Gardiner Museum of Art, Toronto, Museum of Fine Arts Houston.