Misbehavin

Misbehavin
Curtis & Suzan Benzle
Suzan - Born 1950, Curtis - Born 1949
Acquisition Number: 85.3
Medium: Porcelain - handbuilt - 2 slabs
Size: 5" x 7 1/2" x 6"
Date: 1984

Curtis and Suzan initial exposure to lithophanes and translucency occurred when they were undergraduate students at Ohio State University in 1970. Professor Margaret Fetzer maintained the OSU Ceramic Department library (which included an extensive ceramic collection) and, learning of their interest in porcelain, Mrs. Fetzer ignited their interest in translucency by revealing some lithophane treasures hidden away on a back shelf. Suzan’s expertise is in drawing, painting and fibers before she married Curtis, Curtis states “I conceived and created the piece “Misbehavin”, during the period of time I co-credited all of my work with Suzan”. Their collaboration was from 1979 to 1992. Curtis created the form and Suzan influenced the color and design. Translucency is an important part of “Misbehavin”. There is a spiritual quality, yet a fun, feminine and tonal quality to the work. There are tonal qualities, colors and sometimes hidden designs that can only be seen when the piece is lite. Curtis wrote the following about this style of work: “Translucency in porcelain is a great example of an overlooked aesthetic virtue. While being one of the hallmarks of porcelain (along with density and “tone” or “ring”), translucency is often misperceived as being unrealized transparency. This is no more the case than lingerie being unrealized nudity. Translucency suggests. Translucency implies. Translucency entices and encourages closer examination. The primary purpose of my art is to embrace the illusive, emotional content of traditional beauty. Instead of precisely rendered images that describe but a moment in time, I aspire to communicate the feeling behind moments—the mysteries within a cloud shrouded morning mist as opposed to the simple, glaring reality of a sun filled-afternoon”.