Robert Winokur

Having been a potter for a long time it occurred to me that a house is a unique kind of container. I think the thought grew out of a fantasy I had once in which I made vessels so large that I had to lower myself down over the side on a scaffold, from the top, in order to decorate it. A pot that size would be as big as a house.

A house is a unique kind of container; One that is imbued with a deep set of profound and multi-layered psychic associations. To a child a house represents warmth, family, love, security and identity. In the process of my doing houses, they became, for me, a symbol of choice and I have been working with the form for more than ten years.

Those qualities and elements of children’s art that inspired me to work with the house surface every now and then but the sense of joy, euphoria, playfulness and spontaneity has been replaced by a kind of somber introspection. Perhaps it is the color of the clay coupled with the construction process I use to make the houses that moves me in this direction this.

Like sculptures of Equestrian Horsemen or Madonna’s with Child the houses have become, a form, a kind of abstraction that expresses, on one level, a formal study of variations on the theme and, on another, an exploration of the possibilities that can be wrung from the symbol. The ladders and the asparagus are recent elements that I have taken to. They do all sorts of neat things to modify and alter the way in which the houses are seen


Robert Winokur


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