On View at the Getty Center: Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970
With its vertical orientation, human scale, and skin-like glaze, Orange Cross is one of Mason’s more anthropomorphic works. The glossy coating highlights the sculpture’s variegated color and surface texture. Alternating patches of rough and smooth clay, and the visible drips and modulations of the glaze, suggest a spontaneous imperfection that belies the technical difficulty of the piece. Mason began working primarily in clay while attending the Otis Art Institute from 1949 to 1952. Working closely with Peter Voulkos and his circle of ceramicists, Mason developed an art of monumental forms. By working on a larger scale, Mason explored the difficult processes of cantilevering, modeling, drying, and firing his clay sculptures, yet produced ground breaking works of abstract ceramic sculpture.