Oral history interview with Richard Shaw [videorecording] / Archives of American Art; Paul J. Karlstrom, interviewer; David Bolt, director, 1998 April 3 and 6

Shaw, Richard Blake , b. 1941 Sept. 12
Sculptor, Ceramicist
Active in Calif.

Size: Master: 12 videocassettes (Beta) (30 min. each) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
Duplicate: 12 videocassettes (30 min. each) (VHS) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
Edited version: "Richard Shaw : Love of the Common Object": 1 videocassette (60 min.) (Beta) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
Edited version: "Richard Shaw: Love of the Common Object": 1 videocassette (10 min.) (VHS) sd., col.: 1/2 in.

Format: Title taken from video credits.

Collection Summary: A video interview of ceramist Richard Shaw conducted by Paul J. Karlstrom for the Archives of American Art at Shaw's home and studio, Fairfax, California, and at the Quay Gallery, San Francisco, California. The video was directed by David Bolt, the cameraman was Robert Boudreaux, and sound technician was William Steffanacci. In addition to Shaw, other participants include Shaw's wife, Martha; Ruth Braunstein, owner of the Braunstein/Quay Gallery; Pauletta Chanco, painter and former student; and James Melchert, sculptor and art administrator.

The interview covers the development of Shaw's career, life, and art. The first session took place in Shaw's studio and introduces his living and working environment. Shown is a step-by-step technical demonstration of Shaw creating his trompe l'oeil ceramic pieces. Shaw discusses his family background, values, his choice of a semi-rural environment of Marin County in which to live; bohemianism; connections with the counter-culture of northern California; relationships with other artists and friends and their importance to the development of his ideas and creativity; the differences in art communities of northern and southern California and the East and West coasts; experiences at the San Francisco Art Institute and instructors there which influenced him, as well as the influences of San Francisco in general. He described his illusionism, alchemy of technique, and his artistic philosophy and goals in his art.

The second session took place at the Braunstein/Quay Gallery where a Shaw exhibit was then on display. The interview focused on his work, their meaning, and the evolution of ideas and expressions; his collaboration with Robert Hudson; the idea of a broader collaboration in the Bay Area over the years, especially in the 1960s, and the changes since then; and Shaw's reflections on the importance of ceramics in Bay Area art, his role, and direction for the future.

Biographical/Historical Note: Richard Shaw (1941- ) is a ceramist and sculptor from the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

This interview was conducted as part of AAA's Oral History/Video Project, with funding provided by the Mrs. Yoshiko Mori Fund.

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