Image Copyright Restricted

Large bottle (no. K884)

1960
Gertrud Amon Natzler (American (born in Austria), 1908–1971), Otto Natzler (American (born in Austria), 1908–2007)


Dimensions

Overall: 42 x 28 cm (16 9/16 x 11 in.)

Accession Number

2012.1133

Medium or Technique

Wheel-thrown earthenware with volcanic glaze

On View

The 1940s and 1950s (Gallery 336)

Collections

Americas, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Ceramics

Large bottle with flared neck with blue-gray volcanic glaze over black. Signed “Natzler” on base and retains original paper label “K884”.


Viennese couple Gertrud and Otto Natzler fled their Nazi-occupied homeland in 1938, arriving in Los Angeles with a potter’s wheel and kiln in tow. The magisterial work that they produced together, Gertrude throwing delicate forms and Otto experimenting with glazes, has had long-lasting influence on American ceramic practice. Otto’s volcanic glazes, seen on this pock-marked piece, caused a sensation when first exhibited in Los Angeles. “What a fire does really is more or less up to nature and to God, and all you can do is pray that you get some of the things you intend to get,” Otto Natzler said of the unpredictable nature of ceramic art. “Sometimes you get even surprises that surpass your expectations.”

Signed

Signed "Natzler"; retains original paper label typed "K884"; another paper label reads "HIRSCH"

Provenance

May 8, 1998, sold by Gansevoort Gallery, New York (Mark McDonald), to Philip E. Aarons, New York; 2012, year-end gift of Aarons to the MFA. (Accession date: Februrary 27, 2013)

Credit Line

Gift of Philip Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons in honor of Jules and Jeanette Aarons