Zane Smith, Richard – 20″h Corrugated “3-D Steps Op-Art” Jar (1997)

17.5"w x 20"h

$ 9,800.00

This is a spectacular large ajr by Richard Zane Smith at the height of his “op-art” period in the 1990s.  The jar is coil-built with the coils left exposed on the exterior. The coils are then incised to create the designs and various colors of clay are added.  It is a striking “op-art”, this is almost more like an MC Escher drawing. The piece has a series of double-step designs that extend and flow down from the polished rim to the base.  The shape of the double steps and the coloration give the illusion that the designs are carved into the clay and not incised into the surface.  At a distance, you would think it was a deeply carved jar!  It’s amazing what he was able to create on this jar!  The colorations and subtle shading are stunning and part of what makes the op-art style work!  The rim of the jar is stone polished in contrast to the matte designs.  All the colors were applied before the piece was fired. It is signed, “Richard Zane Smith” and dated 1997.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  

“The 1980s was a period of encouraged experimentation where an artist could work with one foot in traditional ways and traditional roots and the other out there probing into the future. A fascinating era of arts rooted in tradition but also expanding all over. When there seemed to be some interest I thought I’d start by keeping close to the old pueblo style of corrugated pottery. I started doing some imitation work but inevitably kept adding my own thing. In the beginning, they were just the clay color and I was doing design indention with my fingernail. Then I thought I would add another clay color, so I started adding slip and painting certain areas. Then, why not two clay colors? It wasn’t long and I started seeing that I could develop 3-D patterns. I could mix my slips in graduating shades. Once that happened it opened the door, and everything was 3-D. First, they were geometric, and then it was curvy geometric shapes which became a signature for years.”  Richard Zane Smith, Spoken Through Clay