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Diane Otte Shaw

Morning Discontent

13.5 x 17.5 x 11.75 in.
Museum Purchase with the Charter Member Endowment Fund

In Morning Discontent, two pieces of toast are split, like logs, by a pair of hatchets. Menacing thorns run down the spine of each handle. The thorns suggest the natural world of plant life, but also mysterious injury for the hatchets’ users. Diane Shaw’s work is deeply personal, yet her compositions involving everyday objects, architectural elements, and plantlike parts feel strangely familiar. Here the artist’s combination of wheel-thrown, molded, and slab-built forms is unified by the work’s all-over bronze surface.

Shaw graduated with an MFA from the University of Utah and has taught ceramics in its continuing education program alongside her husband, John Shaw, for more than two decades. Diane and John often collaborate on ceramic and mixed-media sculptures that include both wheel-thrown and handbuilt elements inspired by the wooden beams and brickwork of their home and studio—formerly the Bamberger railway station.

Sara Morris

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