Flow Bowl, 2008.
James Lovera (American, 1920–2015)
Porcelain with metallic gold and red flow glazes over black vitreous slip, 2 5/16 x 7 3/4 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Gregory Baldock, 2009.27.2.

James Lovera’s special affinity for the bowl has resulted in a refined and elegant hemisphere. By concentrating on perfecting form, he has been able to unleash upon the “canvas” of his chargers and bowls interpretations of the textures and hues that surround him in nature. His vessels exemplify midcentury Modernist concerns for the clarity of form and function, but Lovera has also studied Song Dynasty (960–1279 CE) ceramics, which are among the highest achievements in Chinese porcelain. Lovera was moved by the period's regard for simplicity and distillation of essential form. He has also pushed the chemistry of his glazes to fit to porcelain like a skin, and tapping one of the bowls' rim produces the sonorous ring that attests to that marriage. All of this is apparent in the Crocker’s Sunburst Charger and Flow Bowl, each glazed with the artist’s distinctive flow glazes. These glossy and glassy surfaces unite dramatic color with form and evoke the forces of nature.

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