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Wax and Wane

1983 Nancy Carman Born: Tucson, Arizona porcelain and stoneware 17 1/2 x 17 3/8 x 11 3/8 in. (44.4 x 44.2 x 28.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Helen Williams Drutt English and H. Peter Stern in honor of the 35th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery 2007.47.7A-B Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 53A

Luce Center Label

Nancy Carman's haunting ceramic pieces frequently contain white surrealistic figures in eerie settings. In Wax and Wane, Carman attached a bald, expressive head to the top of a gray pyramidal structure. The title refers to phases of the moon, included behind and to the left of the figure, over the course of the lunar day. Carman calls herself "slightly superstitious" and believes that each of her pieces is the result of some event in her life, whether it is an experience or "simultaneous or even precognitive phenomena." (The artist, quoted in Ceramics Monthly 29, no. 9, November 1981)


Figure - head

Landscape - celestial - moon

decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay

ceramic - porcelain

ceramic - stoneware