This exhibition showcases the ceramics work of the late, legendary Don Reitz and his last assistant Ben Roti. Transitions explores the close relationship between the artist and his assistant.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether or not you go, Don Reitz: Clay, Fire, Salt, and Wood is a catalog of Don Reitz work, an artist recognized as one of the most important and influential ceramic artists of this century. Trained at Alfred University in the early 1960s, Reitz has pursued a life-long investigation of salt and wood firing of his ceramic pieces in order to preserve the energy and freshness of his artistic marks and gestures. Finding that the texture and unpredictability of salt-firing suited his work, Reitz almost single-handedly revived this neglected technique, and through long experimentation developed a range of colors and surface effects previously unknown in salt-firing. Juggling and manipulating the variables in each firing, Reitz is a virtuoso who relishes knowing what he can control and what he cannot. His work maintains a fine balance between technical mastery and improvisation. The Elvehjem Museum of Art (now the Chazen Museum of Art) retrospective features some seventy-four ceramic works that Reitz created between 1960 and the present.