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Ourania

1975 Albert Green Born: Elizabeth, New Jersey 1914 Died: Summit, New Jersey 1994 glazed porcelain 17 5/8 x 14 3/16 x 4 1/16 in. (44.8 x 36.0 x 10.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1985.14 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 53A


Luce Center Label

Ourania, also spelled Urania, is the Muse of astronomy in Greek mythology. She is traditionally portrayed holding a staff in one hand, which she points toward an orb she holds in her other hand. Here, Albert Green simplified her classical representation to present only a circle, representing the orb. Green used simple shapes, as in Ourania, to emphasize his masterful use of glaze, a skill he developed through many years of studying painting. The minimal adornments, like circles and stripes, break up the space of the clay "canvas" to create advancing and receding planes of light and dark. Green's forms and rich glazes recall the work of Chinese and Japanese potters, which inspired him and continue to influence so many American ceramists.

Keywords

decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay

ceramic - porcelain

About Albert Green

Born: Elizabeth, New Jersey 1914 Died: Summit, New Jersey 1994