Installation Views

Works Exhibited


Rotation is a form of symmetry. The most common forms of symmetry are reflection, which most people think of as bilateral; rotation; inversion; and translation, which is just moving an object in a line. . . . But the thing about symmetry is it’s invisible. It does not proclaim itself. It’s there, you know, and it has a structural reality.
—John Mason

Gagosian is pleased to present Geometric Force, an exhibition of ceramic works by the late John Mason.

One of the most visionary ceramic artists of the last century, Mason brought his medium into conversation with Abstract Expressionism by extending the physical and spatial properties of clay. He began his career on the West Coast in the 1950s, as part of a group of artists who studied with the pioneering ceramist Peter Voulkos at the Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles. Mason and his contemporaries challenged conventional ideas about ceramics, making large, abstract, subversive works. Mason worked at scale, his wall reliefs and expressionistic sculptural works matching the ambitious painting and sculpture of the era. In his Los Angeles studio, which he shared for a time with Voulkos, they began employing industrial techniques and technologies: humidifiers from fruit packing plants, which allowed clay to stay pliable for longer periods of time; heavy-duty dough mixers; and a custom-built kiln that enabled him to fire works six feet in height, often using up to two tons of clay at a time.