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Adrian Saxe

American, b. 1943

La Cienega Wang Doodle

Porcelain, Stoneware, and mixed media
10.5 x 17.5 x 6 in. (26.67 x 44.45 x 15.24 cm)
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Adrian Saxe’s La Cienega Wang Doodle is a playful collision of formal and cultural elements. Drawing upon ceramic traditions from around the globe, this piece embodies the eclectic spirit of the West Coast. La Cienega Wang Doodle takes its name in part from La Cienega Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in West Los Angeles known for its restaurants, design shops, and art galleries, and in part from the popular blues song “Wang Dang Doodle,” by the Chicago-based blues artist Willie Dixon. Such a lively combination of references is embodied in the form, which incorporates porcelain, stoneware, and various ornamental elements. La Cienega Wang Doodle is a tribute to the variety of source material ceramists began to explore during the postmodern period.

Deeply influenced by his mentor Ralph Bacerra, Saxe embraced surface decoration and ornamentation. He worked with Bacerra at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles in the mid-1960s, before leaving to establish his own functional ceramics business. He later returned to Chouinard—by then renamed the California Institute of Arts—to receive his BFA degree in 1974. He is a professor of ceramics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Matthew Limb

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