Look Alikes: The Decal Plates of Howard Kottler

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Tacoma Art Museum, 2004 - Art - 76 pages
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Kottler's apparent rejection of the hand-made object and embrace of the conceptual over the tactile were unique among the revolutionary ceramists of the 1960s and 1970s. Kottler's messages were often as profoundly anti-establishment as his medium. As a Viet Nam war protestor, he cut and rearranged the American flag to create Made in the USA As a gay man, he changed the couple in Grant Wood's American Gothic into identical males and turned seemingly innocuous images into sexual double entendres. He positioned his work squarely within the rich tradition of wit, irony, appropriation, and gender-bending epitomized by modernist Marcel Duchamp. including formal, boxed sets now in museum collections. Over sixty illustrations of the decal plates show the range of Kottler's imagery and the piquancy of his humour. In the late 1960s influential ceramist Howard Kottler (1930-1989) began to experiment with commercial decals and store-bought plates. Kottler altered the decals, often with political intent, by cutting and combining them, then adhering them to cheap white porcelain plates he purchased in bulk. Kottler's apparent rejection of the hand-made object and embrace of the conceptual over the tactile were unique among the revolutionary ceramists of the 1960s and 1970s. Kottler's messages were often as profoundly anti-establishment as his medium. As a Viet Nam war protestor, he cut and rearranged the American flag to create Made in the USA As a gay man, he changed the couple in Grant Wood's American Gothic into identical males and turned seemingly innocuous images into sexual double entendres. He positioned his work squarely within the rich tradition of wit, irony, appropriation, and gender-bending epitomized by modernist Marcel Duchamp. including formal, boxed sets now in museum collections. Over sixty illustrations of the decal plates show the range of Kottler's imagery and the piquancy of his humour.

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Contents

Directors Foreword and Acknowledgments
6
Janeanne A
7
Howard Kottlers Gay Masquerade
9
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

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About the author (2004)

Vicki Halper is an independent curator and writer and former associate curator of modern art at Seattle Art Museum. Diane Douglas is executive director of Seattle CityClub and former director of the Bellevue Arts Museum.

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