Judith Salomon is an American ceramist who creates slab-built vessels and other objects that are inspired by her love of architecture. She describes her work as an exploration of ideas related to “containers and containment, [or] how [the] insides and outsides [of an object] work together.”1 Steeped in art history, Salomon draws on specific stylistic influences such as Russian Constructivism, Color Field painting, and the influence of collage on the 20th century. Other influences such as domestic space(s), the built urban landscape, contemporary Japanese packaging design, and the interaction between the object and the viewer’s touch are also important references. As she describes “these vessels are intended for use and contemplation. When they are full of food, flowers or mail, they have one visual meaning relating to function; when they are empty, they can be viewed and appreciated as sculptural objects. The way two building walls meet, the way a banana sits next to a peach in a bowl, the way a sidewalk meets a curb…all these images are purposely selected and funneled into a dictionary of images in my mind that eventually become integrated into the aesthetics of my work.” Recently Salomon has been pushing towards the idea of pure form over that of functionality as demonstrated in the new ceramic ‘paintings’ that she has been making; reveling in the contrast of form, color, hue, texture, surface of her materials: clay, glaze and heat.
Her work is in corporate and museum collections all over the world, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Los Angeles County Art Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan; and the Cleveland Museum of Art among many others. She is the recipient of numerous awards from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Cleveland Arts Prize; and the Ohio Arts Council to name just a few. A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology (BFA) and NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred (MFA), Salomon holds the honor Professor Emeritus of The Cleveland Institute of Art where she taught for 37 years.