One of the recognized master ceramicists in America today, Richard DeVore is known for his simple, organically inspired forms, finished in dull glazes. Often his ceramics recall bleached bones or polished stones. DeVore’s fluid, undulating forms and sinuous lines carry a suggestion of the erotic.
Kenneth Trapp The Renwick at Twenty-Five (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art, 1997)
Born in Toldeo, Ohio, Richard DeVore earned a B.Ed. degree with an art major in 1955 at the University of Toledo. In 1957 he received an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where he studied ceramics with Maija Grotell, who influenced his decision to make working with clay his life calling. In 1966 DeVore became head of the ceramics department at Cranbrook, where he exercised considerable influence as a teacher.
Emphasizing irregularity and studided spontaneity, DeVore enlivens the common place. In his mature work he dispenses with color, except for subtle variations almost lost in viewing, to concentrate on form and finish. A conscious erotic element in DeVore’s ceramics creates a tension between what is seen and what is suggested. The manner in which he handles the clay has references to the human body. Even DeVore’s dry finish brings to mind the parchment-like translucency of skin.
Kenneth R. Trapp and Howard Risatti Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998)