Sunday, October 23, 2011
Claire Lerner Stylized Bird Vase, 1950
Just came across this beautiful piece of California pottery produced by Claire Lerner in 1950. Very nice dark gray color vase with black accents depicts a bird amidst flowing, leafy plants.
This Claire Lerner Studios pottery vase is marked on the bottom with her distinctively stylized, "Calif", the date, 1950, written as "19©50", and the item number, "CL 228".
This is our first encounter with a Claire Lerner piece, and we were captivated immediately. Without even knowing anything about its creator, we could see that it was done by a very skilled and talented artist.
From the small amount of research we have done so far, we have discovered that Claire Lerner Studios was based in Los Angeles and only produced items from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s. That very short production period contributes to the rarity of Claire Lerner items.
The pieces we have seen are beautifully free-form and organic.
The vase we have here displays Lerner's wonderful use of playful, organic shapes. The gracefulness captured in the the bird's form keeps the eye moving around it. The lines all visually connecting to each other create a loop shape from the head and beak, to wing and down around the body.
Plants dance their way up the sides of the vase and cap the rim with the curve of their leaves. Lerner then, as a balanced counterpart to the plants positive space, forms the same smooth curves with the negative space. Effortlessly transporting your gaze from one plant to the next.
Around the base, Lerner softly blends plant leaves, at a larger scale than the rest, to create a stage for the entire scene. A less skilled artist may have created a rock or simple line, but here, we see how Lerner's talent softens and balances what could easily have become over-weighted and out of scale.
We will definitely be watching for more Claire Lerner Studios pieces.