Color House

Hedge Gallery

Nov. 6, 2024 - Jan. 10, 2015

501 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, California 94133

Hedge is pleased to present the exhibition Color House, the most recent works from California artist Tony Marsh. Seemingly familiar, yet fully realized as a unique and independent body of work, the Color House series is the most current chapter of Marsh’s use of the vessel as “a small-scale arena for the testing and containment of a variety of ideas.”

In these 15 new pieces, Marsh continues his exploration of the rich history of ceramic traditions, while at the same time creating purely sculptural objects that engage in a dialog with the history of art. The sculptures ask the viewer to stretch intellectually through time, referencing both ancient ceramic technologies and more modern artistic movements. The rectilinear blocks making up the vessels’ contents are hand cut and finished, each unique in proportion and size. Each block is bisected by two colors selected at random, then arranged in a compositional exploration of color, drawing a clear reference to the Neo-plasticism of Piet Mondrian and Color Field painters such as Ellsworth Kelly and Kenneth Noland.

“When I arrange these blocks I am selecting size, shape and colors to create compositions . . . Each composed container is an aesthetic puzzle that is a densely layered, dynamic . . . dimensional color map. They behave artistically like painting and sculpture at the same time.”

Marsh has created pieces that can be inserted or arranged in endless positions that result in new compositions. The tactile and visual familiarity of the blocks encourages the participation of the viewer, through the potential of his or her own intellectual play. They function as bits of information that bring forms into focus, occupying a place on the continuum of visual culture, between the deep history of their material and the digital nature of our present.

Following a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1978 from California State University Long Beach, Marsh studied with Tatsuzo Shimaoka for three years, in Mashiko, Japan. Mr. Shimaoka was named living national treasure by the Japanese government in 1996. In 1988, Marsh completed his MFA degree at Alfred University in New York.

Tony Marsh is currently the head of the Ceramic Arts Program at California State University Long Beach where he has taught for over 20 years. He has exhibited his ceramic art throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S., and is represented in numerous private and public collections of art around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Art & Design in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, the Museum of International Ceramic Art in Korea and the Foshan Museum of Contemporary Art in China to name a few.

Return to list of all exhibitions