Annabeth Rosen in San Francisco, CA

I have been a bit obsessed with the work of Annabeth Rosen for quite some time, yet had never before seen it in person. Best known for her sculptural work, Fired, Broken, Gathered, Heaped, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, chronicles over 20 years of Rosen’s work in ceramics. Raised in Brooklyn, Rosen has taught ceramic art at the college level for 30 years and has held the Robert Arneson Endowed Chair at the University of California-Davis since 1997. “I always second-guess the students when they come into class. I look at them, I’m like “What are you doing here? Are you nuts? Run away – you may like this!” (DATEBOOK)

I’ve been wanting to get to San Francisco for six months to see the show, and I am thrilled that I was able to experience the extraordinary work in person. If you can see the show before it closes January 19th, it’s well worth the trip.

I’m showing you a lot of group shots so you can get a feel for the scale, and quantity, of the pieces in the retrospective. I spent hours looking at the pieces over and over again. Every time I looked I saw something new, as the assemblages are dense. There are many layers involved with each piece, whether individual fragments, or layers of slip and glaze.

There was a museum tour going on when I was there, and when the docent came into the Annabeth Rosen show, I glommed on. It was apparent that the other people in the group hadn’t purposely come to the museum for this show as I had. The docent gave me fabulous information, and perhaps my favorite was that when Annabeth Rosen was setting up the show and assembling pieces, she gave some of the docents pieces from her work. The docent said Rosen was super friendly and warm. I love when I’m a fan of an artist’s work and then find out that they are also kind.

Large Wave, 2018 Fired ceramic, steel baling wire and steel armature 70″ x 60″ x 28 in

I could figure out how most of the pieces in the show were assembled. This piece, Large Wave, stumped me. I could not find an internal support when I looked inside the piece. Even with all the tying together of the pieces, I couldn’t quite understand how the piece stayed upright with the weight of the angle.

These are individual stacked tiles. Two large tiles stacked on topped of each other and placed in a grid. Each tile appeared to be very heavy.

In my next life I want to get an MFA in Ceramics.

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