Opening Reception, Saturday, May 17, 6–8pm
Rose Cabat (b. 1914), one of the United States’ most reclusive ceramists, and certainly one of the oldest of the few well-known mid-20th century ceramists still alive and producing today. Couturier Gallery is honored to present Rose Cabat – 100 Years, a solo show for the distinguished ceramist celebrating her 100th birthday. The show will include her famous “feelies” – seductive, wheel-thrown porcelain closed-forms with her satin matte jewel-colored glazes dating from the 1960s to the present. The opening reception is Saturday, May 17 from 6-8pm.
The list of renowned 20th century American ceramists is long and impressive, with the likes of Gertrud and Otto Natzler, Peter Voulkos, Vivika & Otto Heino and Paul Soldner to name but a few. All have in common a link with schools and art centers where they either taught, studied or did both. Rose Cabat, a New York City native, did neither. Her husband, Erni Cabat, an aspiring artist, in the 1930s brought home a lump of clay which Rose promptly began to play with resulting in work that encouraged Erni to enroll her at the Greenwich Settlement House in the Village in New York City where Rose threw simple utilitarian forms. It wasn’t until the late 1950s, with the help of Erni, that she developed a glaze they called the “feelie glaze” which would become part of her signature work. The glaze, a variety of jewel-colored greens, turquoises, cobalt blues, onion-skin browns, whites, lavenders has a satin matte sheen that texturally feels like silk, and applied to the closed-forms ranging from chicken egg size to larger spherical and ovoid porcelain forms called “feelies.”
Rose Cabat has spent the better part of the past fifty-four years perfecting the forms of the ”feelies” imbuing them with a Zen perfection. Like Gertrud Natzler, who when asked why she continued throwing bowls replied she was after perfection, Rose Cabat set her sights on the same ideal. It is one reason why Rose has always preferred to work alone, even today while confined to a wheel chair limiting her mobility and ability to raise herself up to make the larger works she was able to throw when she had use of her legs. She prefers the solitude allowing her precise focus eschewing the slightest interference of another’s presence. It is this consistency in her work that has generated a burgeoning interest on the part of curators and collectors alike.
Rose Cabat has taken part in group exhibitions in California (at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Craftsmen U.S.A., 1966); Art Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont (1965); Museum West, San Francisco (1966); The Egg and the Eye Gallery, Los Angeles (1967); California State College, Long Beach (1972); and Bannatyne Gallery, Santa Monica (1989). “Rose Cabat – 100 Years” pays homage to the work of this exceptional centenarian and will include work illustrating her wide vocabulary of forms and colors produced from the early 1960s through this year.
In March of 2014 The Tuscon Museum of Art launched an extensive retrospective exhibition entitled, Rose Cabat at 100. The work of Rose Cabat has been exhibited throughout the United States, Canada, Iran, Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium. Her work can be found in the museum collections of the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ; Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ.
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