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Rudy Autio


Sandusky Bay

25 x 21 x 12 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation with matching funds from the National Endowment for the Arts

In Sandusky Bay Rudy Autio disrupts the spatial conventions of the ceramic vessel by merging two and three-dimensional space. Through incised lines and color, two figures embracing are represented on the flat surface of the vessel. Yet Autio enlivens the bodies by bringing parts of the figures into three-dimensional space—the wings jutting from the figures’ backs and the arm and elbow wrapped around one figure. These decisions in shaping the form of the vessel creates a silhouette resembling the human forms. The sensuous lines and bright colors merge with vessels shape to animate the pot.

A central figure in abstract expressionistic ceramics, Rudy Autio is unusual in that he never abandoned the depiction of the human figure. Autio experimented widely with the properties of line and color with form and was highly innovative for ceramic figural sculpture. He trained under Frances Senska at Montana State University, receiving his Bachelor of Science in 1950 and would later go on to complete his Master of Fine Arts from Washington State University in 1952.

Matthew Limb

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