Start at the beginning

In early June 2010 I asked Jed Morse the curator at The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, where my installation (with Nader Tehrani) Boolean Valley was residing in a fountain in the sculpture garden  (http://www.atwaterpottery.com/boolean_valley.html )  if he knew anyone at The Kimbell who he could introduce me to so that I could propose a project to them. He asked me what the idea was, and after explaining it to him, he made a very nice introduction / endorsement to Malcolm Warner the Deputy Director of The Kimbell. I emailed Malcolm a brief proposal, the meat of which is copied here …

“…I would love to get into the hole, extract some raw materials to make some artifacts that memorialize this moment in time, when Louis Kahn and Renzo Piano come face to face in dialogue. The presence of Ando in the background as a concerned spectator is also of great interest to me. I don’t have any preconceived notion of what the resulting pots would look like, but hope that in some meaningful, yet abstract way, they will articulate or suggest that they came from the ground below this culturally monumental triumvirate…in 2010…”

NOTE: The project and the way that I talk about it now has become more interesting and concise, and at the same time, bigger and more confusing.

Malcolm responded immediately saying that he needed time to digest the idea and discuss it with the museum’s director, Eric Lee, and he would get back to me as soon as possible. I heard back from him in early September, and after a nice phone call, I got the green light. Ground breaking was scheduled for the following month, October, so I made a quick trip down in late September to meet Malcolm, walk the site, and review the construction documents, especially the geological report, to see what I could expect to find in the ground once they started digging.

Here are a few pictures of Boolean Valley installed at The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, which is a fantastic museum, and was my gateway to Texas.


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1 Comment

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One response to “Start at the beginning

  1. Norman Meunier

    Adam, your blog courtesy of Heath turns me on so much! I spent about nine years in the ceramic studios at San Francisco City College, and SF State where I got a very nice degree in ceramics and textiles. Back in the 70’s when education was almost free. Seeing the process you took on to create your project for the Kimbell is absolutely something to be wonderfully proud of. I can totally relate to the many many tests you did to finally arrrive at a clay base that would hold up. My first ceramic professor told us stories of pieces he had done as a student that had prized locations in his home. Prized yes, but still the unknown happened as one by one many of the larger pieces were found in piles of rubble. Those might have been over 30 years old by that time, they became dust. Roy said he shed a tear as he cleaned up the mess. As he explained to us new folks, clay remains plastic forever, we can expect this to happen. Lo and behold I find that it is and does! Recently my wife asked me to get one of the huge bowls from student days from storage so she could fill it with the huge potato salad she had made for my birthday party. Well, the bottom had disconnected from the body! I was not happy, but remembered Roy saying this could and would most likely happen. Who said it is not Rocket Science, they sure did not understand the entirety of clay did they?

    I have a nice collection of your bud vases that I am happy to see at the Ferry Bldg and now I hear the new studio in SF is open, We plan to attend a book signing next week there and will no doubt be wowed by more of your wonderful art pieces! I can’t wait.

    If you know Lisa Bookstein at Heath Sausalito she is a very close and dear friend of my wife and me, we have known each other for a long time and continue to enjoy that a lot. I really enjoy Lisa’s work with chips and broken pieces, the mosaic is a wonderful way to re-purpose broken things! I installed some very cool wallpaper in Cathy and her husband Robin’s home in Sausalito where I beleive that my very first ART Dept chair at SF City College lived back then! The world is a very small place, we must enjoy that, I sure do! I have somewhat vague memories of their home, be it slightly different from those days long ago when we would be invited to a semester end party where the booze and other enjoyables flowed, it was the 70’s, things were a bit different then.

    Keep up the hard work, the reward is obvious. I get the impression that you really enjoy it!

    Regards and best wishes, Norman Meunier

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