Howard Kottler

Howard Kottler

American, 1930-1989

Howard Kottler was a seminal force in shaping the direction of contemporary American ceramic sculpture. Shortly after his schooling at Cranbrook (where he studied with Maija Grotell) and Ohio State University, he began teaching in the Department of Art of the University of Washington, Seattle. In his early thrown and hand-built vessels, Kottler established his interest in clay as a sculptural medium. After moving to Seattle, his ceramic sculptures became increasingly message-driven. Kottler juxtaposed ceramic materials with fur, leather, plastic, and commercial decals, contrasting the ordinary with the refined, and the real with the fake. His surrealist tendencies merged well with the idiosyncratic West Coast Funk Art scene, which included artists like Clayton Bailey and Robert Arneson.

Education: B.A., Ohio State University, 1952; M.A., Ohio State University, 1956; M.F.A., Cranbrook Academy, 1957; Ph.D. Ohio State University, 1964

  • ceramics
  • American
  • ceramics
  • Northwest

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