In a one person show at the Frank Lloyd Gallery from October 9 – November 13, 2004, Adrian Saxe presents new ceramic sculpture. Saxe's exhibit includes various forms, some new and experimental. Other works will revisit the artist's concerns from the previous thirty years. Ornate vessels, rococo ewers and exquisitely glazed jars are included. As always with Saxe's polymorphous pieces, there is a simultaneous reference to contemporary culture, ceramic history, and word play. This is Saxe's first solo show in Los Angeles since 1997. Saxe's work has been seen in recent years at other venues in Los Angeles, such as Departures: 11 Artists at the Getty, curated by Lisa Lyons, and L.A. Post Cool, curated by Michael Duncan.
Rare among artists working clearly within ceramic traditions, Saxe receives critical comment and review in articles by writers in art journals and other publications that regularly exclude artists working in craft media. Peter Schjeldahl, poet, and art critic for The New Yorker, has written that "Saxe is a virtuoso in sharp focus and at a screaming pitch, nothing if not overbearing. His fantastically ornate vessels, their academic orders exaggerated, are spectacularly skilled, harshly jokey, and show-off erudite. Saxe's ceramics are engines of simultaneous seduction and insult. This work that can be neither resisted nor succumbed to is a sort of materialized, exploded history and philosophy of ceramics, putting into play disparate lore and analysis of the medium. Saxe makes of the collectibles trade an improbable site of reflection on civilization and its discontents."
Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight writes "With outrageous humor and unspeakable beauty, (Saxe) makes intensely seductive objects that exploit traditional anthropomorphic qualities associated with ceramics. Having pressed the question of the utility of his own art in a post-industrial world, his work engages us in a dialogue about our own place in a radically shifting cultural universe. The result is that Saxe has become the most significant ceramic artist of his generation."
Saxe began his exhibition career in the early 1970's. Based in Los Angeles, he has been teaching at UCLA since 1973, where he is currently head of Ceramics in the Art Department. One of the most important ceramic artists working today, he has work in many permanent collections throughout the world, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. His work was the subject of a major mid-career survey organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1993-1994.