A Los Angeles-based artist, Mason studied under Peter Voulkos at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now the Otis College of Art and Design) and later shared a studio with the older artist. Like his mentor, Mason is motivated by an interest in exploring the possibilities and limitations of the medium of clay. While Mason’s and Voulkos’s sculptures included in First Glimpse are quite different in scale and style, both artists experimented with scaling up their ceramic sculpture to monumental scale (a tendency they shared with Viola Frey, another First Glimpse artist).
Many of Mason’s sculptures, including Square Hex 3, are highly geometric, relying on the ideas of symmetry or repetition, 360-degree viewing, and the integration of color and form. Square Hex 3, and other similar examples of Mason’s sculpture, was created with the help of a slab roller, which creates consistently sized and shaped slabs of clay that allow for Mason’s precise, volumetric geometric constructions. The repeated angles employed in Square Hex 3, coupled with the incorporated black coloration and light bands that trace the slab edges invite close, active looking and produce an effect skirting optical illusion.
Artist: John Mason
Title: Square Hex 3, Black with Tracers
Dimension: 12 1/8 x 14 1/2 x 12 5/8 in.
Collection: The Buck Collection at the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art
Copyright: © 2005, John Mason