Dora de Larios ceramic artist

By suzi click on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 in Reviews, The Artful Life. No Comments

Early this year I saw an exhibit of native Angeleno ceramic artist Dora de Larios at the Main Gallery in downtown LA.
she died in January of this year (2018) at age 84 after a notable career. She grew up in LA near Silver Lake where she was surrounded by Mexican and Nisei Japanese immigrants. This diverse community, as well as her childhood trips to the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City, inspired her to create artwork that blended influences from ancient America and Japanese ceramics. She studied with potters Otto and Vivika Heino and Susan Peterson at USC and was exposed to the work of radical ceramic artists, notably Peter Voulkos, whose abstract work encouraged her to explore non-functional forms in clay. After graduating in 1957 she set up an independent studio in LA and sold her work thru venues that included Gump’s in San Francisco. In her figural sculptures, she developed a distinct style that derived from traditional Japanese Haniwa. In the 60’s artist and impresario Millard Sheets hired her along with other notable ceramic artists to design tiles for the Franciscan Ceramics division of Interpace in LA. She began experimenting with bronze, creating sculptures based on her personal experiences. Inspired by her participation in the Mask Festival at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, De Larios began experimenting with the mask form in the 80’s, drawing on religious and spiritual traditions from around the world.

in 2009, the Craft and Folk Art Museum hosted Suenos/Yume: Fifty years of the Art of Dora De Larios a retrospective of her work, curated by Elaine Levin.

In 2011, she was prominently featured in Art Along the Hyphen: The Mexican-America Generation at Autry national Center. The same year she was included in Common Ground, ceramics in Southern California 1945-1975 at the American Museum of Ceramic Art both organized by the Getty Founation’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. Initiative.

Her work is featured in many public commissions throughout the Southern California area.


Marimekko Exhibit

By suzi click on Monday, July 10th, 2017 in Featured, Reviews. No Comments

On a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest I visited the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle. A small but worthwhile exhibit of the Finnish design firm, Marimekko, that was so popular and influential in the late 60’s and early 70’s, really was “a blast from the past.” The pop imagery and vibrant colors really evoke the exuberance of that time in fashion – still one of my favorites. The company was founded in 1951 and they are still going strong today. You can find out more about their heritage and where to find their products on their website click here

Carla Fernandez – designer

By suzi click on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 in Reviews. No Comments

Although I missed the exhibit , Carla Fernandez – The Future is Handmade, at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston last summer I was able to see it in downtown LA in September.  I love the way this Mexican designer  honors the craft and heritage of Mexican textile art but in her own updated way.  And she collaborates with many of the craftspeople to produce her line of clothing and accessories.  The exhibit highlights the style and technique of five Mexican states – Chiapas, Yucatan, Campeche, Mexico and Mexico City.

To learn more click here

Kimono for a Modern Age

By suzi click on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 in Reviews. No Comments

This is an exhibit at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. During the early 20th century, a majority of Japanese women continued to wear traditional kimono but it evolved to reflect the introduction of vibrant synthetic colors, new modes of textile production, and bold abstract and figurative design motifs, often inspired by Western art movements and important current events. The exhibit features more than thirty captivating examples from LACMA’s permanent collection exhibited for the first time. Most were worn for daywear so many were not saved like the ceremonial kimono. Most were worn from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.

Presenting Bejeweled Bedazzling

By Gretchen Schields on Saturday, August 30th, 2014 in Reviews. No Comments

Gretchen and painter Marianne van der Veer recently presented their two woman show at Forest and Ocean Gallery.  The show, Bejeweled Bedazzling, is an inspired exhibit of two different artistic interpretations of adornment.  Marianne’s watercolors portray women wearing Gretchen’s exotic jewelry, a new collection which was on display.  We will stage the show again so check our Events page for the next exhibit dates and venues.



Frida Kahlo photos at MOLAA

By suzi click on Monday, August 11th, 2014 in Reviews. No Comments

We attended a show of photographs of Frida Kahlo at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach recently.
Although we adore Frida Kahlo we were disappointed in the content and presentation of the show –
many very small black and white photos unimaginatively hung on plain white walls.
Frida was about color and pattern so we do not think it suited her.
However, Frida in any form is worth seeing and the the photos were an interesting insight into her life.

Frida is one of my personal style mentors and I love that she said “Dress everyday like it is a fiesta!”

She wore the peasant costumes and jewelry of her native Mexico with such flair
and definitely had her own unique spin on it.

I meet women all the time who love Frida like we do – she is a true style icon and great artist.