Thoughts: Don Reitz

It is always a pleasure to watch a student of yours continue to excel over the years in an experimental way; pushing the envelope, exaggerating shapes, combining dissimilar forms, and using color and texture in an aggressive manner to create objects of significance. When these forms are put in their proper context, be it in a living space or an outdoor environment, they do not become answers about art, the viewer goes away asking a question. This, to me, is what art is about. Not telling the whole story, but giving you clues which you can assimilate in your own way.

I remember one afternoon at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Barbara was working with clay forms that were trying desperately to be exaggerated and outgrow the confines she had imposed on them. “Barbara,” I said, “Why the hell don’t you just let them grow?” And I’ll be damned if she didn’t. I applaud her willingness to take chances and not to become complacent with the ordinary. The new forms are setting standards again for the next series. Keep pushing the limits.

Don Reitz, American Ceramic Legend, Artist