(Born 1948, USA)
Untitiled (Vesuvius), 2002
Earthenware; 15.5, wd. 10 in.
Exhibited: Free Spirit: The New Native American Potter. The Stedelijk Museum, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. See Clark, Garth. Free Spirit: The New Native American Potter. 's-Hertogenbosch: The Stedelijk Museum, 2006, p. 79. In addition to its illustration in this catalog, Vesuvius has been illustrated in more than a dozen other scholarly essays.
Along with Untitled (Nautilus), 1996, and Untitled (Spine), 2010, this is one of McHorse's undisputed top five masterworks. The artist, a resident of Santa Fe, is the Southwest's most adventurous and important abstract ceramist. While taught to work with micaceous clay by her Taos grandmother-in-law, McHorse is Navajo and therefore did not have the same pressures to adhere to a Pueblo style. As a result she took on freedoms other Indian potters seemed reluctant to embrace, more attuned to contemporary art. The title Vesuvius suggests the spill of lava from a volcano, but modeled into a lace-like flow, thin walled and superbly defined and articulated. This pot, like most of McHorse's work, is made from a continuous coil with no cutting or joining. The process is time-consuming, resulting in about ten pieces a year, and as a result her work is rarely seen at auction.
A national traveling exhibition, Dark and Light: The Micaceous Pottery of Christine Nofchissey McHorse is currently being organized.
Condition: Excellent original condition.