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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 formal conventions of the ceramic vessel by merging two- and three-dimensional spaces. Two embracing figures are represented on the flat surface of the vessel through incised lines and patches of color. Autio enlivens the composition by bringing parts of the figures—jutting wings, an arm and elbow—into three-dimensional space.

An important figure in abstract expressionist ceramics, Rudy Autio is unusual in that he never abandoned the depiction of the human figure. Along with Peter Voulkos, he was a founding resident of the Archie Bray Ceramics Foundation in Helena, Montana, and remained its resident artist from 1952 to 1957. In 1957, he founded the ceramics department at the University of Montana in Missoula. Autio remained in Montana, becoming a vital figure in the region’s ceramic activity. He, along with Frances Senska, fostered a rich ceramic tradition throughout the state.

Matthew Limb

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