|Jens (Art) Morrison
|Birth Date: April 28, 1939
|Jens Morrison, raised in Southern California, is an artist who began making ceramics in the California Funk tradition. Funk artists are sensitive to materials and processes, often using plaster molds for slip casting, sometimes employing crude handbuilding, underglazes, lusters, brightly colored low-fire glazes, and house paint. They are inventive, explorative, and at the Funk movement's inception, with an edgy sense of subject matter often seeking to irritate or shock to make a point.
Morrison first came to national attention when on the art faculty at Coe College in Iowa, where he adopted a new first name of "Art," and invented an imaginary society called Farmonia, populated by anthropomorphized pigs and their architecture all made of low-fire clay. Morrison was deeply involved in anthropology and this was reflected in his work. With Farmonia he was able to illuminate and poke fun at the rural society around him.
Having moved from Iowa years ago, his current home is located near the border of Mexico and several times a year he visits the Mexican countryside, fascinated by its folk art. Through his works today, Morrison has evolved to conveying his respect for Mexican architectural forms.
His small houses, each named for a village, resemble reliquaries filled and surrounded by small objects--hearts, shells, cacti, crescents, trees and roses--all sitting on trays. Everything, however, with the exception of nails and thorns, is made of low-fire clay under a palette of pastel glazes and lusters. Over the years, Morrison has simplified the procedures for his handbuilt structures.