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Alan Bennett

American, b. 1954

Fish Bowl

6.25 x 19.25 x 19.25 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

When Alan Bennett was five, he caught a bluegill. He thought it was so beautiful that he kept it in his pocket, where his mother found it several days later when she did the laundry. He has been “hooked” on fish ever since, though they did not feature in his work until the early 1980s. He
begins with a series of sketches, then the form is manipulated, hollowed out, and teeth and eyes are added. The large dark brown and earthy green Fish Bowl features a wax-resist black fish that arcs across a murky surface, filling the inner space. The fish that decorate Bennett’s many works vary from quite small to very large, gracefully enriching bowls, plates, and vases.

Bennett was born in New Jersey in 1954, one of five children in a rural area where he loved to fish, ride horses, and make art. Though he was a painting major in art school, he happened to choose a ceramics class that captured his interest. He went on to receive a BFA in drawing and painting from Arizona State University in 1976 and an MFA in ceramics from Ohio State University in 1980. He was assistant professor of ceramics at Utah State University from 1980 to 1984. Bennett left USU to work as a designer and technical consultant for El Palomar Ceramics in Talaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico. He and his wife have been full-time clay artists working in their studio in Bath, New York, since 1990, where they continue to make a variety of fish.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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