Loved to Death
A retrospective of the works by Maria Alquilar
Creatures from the Fire
Ceramic sculpture by Joe Mariscal
June 8 through July 29, 2017
Thursday, June 8th from 5 to 7pm
Who was Maria Alquilar? She was a post war bride named Barbara Taffet from Flatbush, Brooklyn who with her husband, Frank Taffet, was part of the East Coast migration to California, the sunny land of opportunity. She was a mother of three, social worker, school teacher, art collector, sudden widow, a prominent Sacramento gallery owner and finally, Maria Alquilar, her new invented persona, and the well regarded artist. It is her impressive body of work, left behind since her death in 2014 at age 86, which JAYJAY will feature and celebrate with this exhibit. Alquilar was a painter and ceramicist inspired by the narrative artists she admired, exhibited and collected from her own gallery, Jennifer Pauls Gallery, and other sources, such as The Candy Store and The Short Center. She became an active public artist for several cities across the country, including Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose and Denver. She was commissioned by Art in Architecture, General Services Administration to do the award winning Port of Entry piece in San Luis, AZ. Her work can be found in the collections of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.; Redding Museum, Redding, CA; University of California, Davis; McDonald’s Corporation; Chase Manhattan Bank; and the Department of the Interior Museum Collection.
Beasts, birds, fish and bugs, Joe Mariscal serves up a menagerie of wildlife in this exhibition of his recent ceramic sculpture. Imbued with a gritty sense of power and wry humor, these pieces are intriguing in the territory they occupy. Beautifully crafted and bold, the work references folk art and clan totems with a nod to the long history of Bay Area figurative ceramics and a strong dose of anthropomorphism thrown in. Mariscal is a veteran of ceramic sculpture, as he says, he has “slabbed, coiled and burnished clay for over 40 years.” His deft touch and fierce connection to the medium are evident in the work. Having lived in Mexico and traveled extensively, most recently to Vietnam, Mariscal expresses his feelings and experiences of the human condition through its animal nature as in these works.
Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 11 to 4 and by appointment