Push / Pull • Nancy Valle • a ceramic vessel inspired by the painting "Ruby Gold" by Hans Hoffman


Art Reflected Features New Work by 41 Regional Artists ROCHESTER, NY — Art Reflected: The Inspiration of 100 Years, a show and sale featuring some of the region’s best known contemporary artists, opens February 10, 2013 at the Memorial Art Gallery. For this fundraiser celebrating the Gallery’s 100th anniversary, 41 noted regional artists have created works that reinterpret objects in the MAG collection. Their new works will be on view side by side with their sources of inspiration. All the new works will be available for purchase through the Gallery Store. For a list of participating artists see the next page or visit our website. Art Reflected: The Inspiration of 100 Years is presented by the Gallery Council to benefit the Memorial Art Gallery. It remains on view through March 17.

“I am inspired by the rich colors, expressionist brush strokes and the dynamic energy of the composition of Hans Hofmann’sRuby Gold. On close inspection, I imagine Hofmann energetically using brush and palette knife to texture and layer the canvas with rich mixtures of paint. Hofmann’s theory of “push pull” in painting, creating the illusion of depth and movement, has prompted me to use a parallel process in working with clay. My terracotta vessel, like the canvas, provides an opportunity to build and work the surface of clay with hands, tools, and brushes of colored ceramic glazes. I’ve named my workPush/Pullin honor of Hofmann’s teachings.”

me & Hans



Soft terra cotta clay is formed by hand to resemble the brush strokes inspired by the painting.


Underglazes made from clay-like colored minerals are painted on wet clay before the first firing. Underglazes are like an "under-painting," they help develop the final glaze coloring.


Details from Hoffman's painting on permanent display at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY


Below are finished details in clay of my interpretation:

Valle Detail 6
Valle Detail 8

I started building the base narrow and gradually built wider. The second, or middle form, fits into the base and continues up. I wanted the top to express the dynamic qualities of the painting and to change shape dramatically. I photographed the base and sketched countless variations on my iPad with a drawing app. I also used photoshop to analyze the coolness and warmth of Hoffman's colors, the push-pull effect in painting.

idea 1

The photo above shows the top form drying after being built and under-glazed. Below are the three sections bisque-fired and waiting to be glazed.


Glaze testing: Before applying glazes to the form, I tested and re-tested colors. I used primarily a red glaze palette challenging myself to create a push - pull effect with warm and cool reds.


Below are images of the final vessel ready to be delivered to MAG.

Valle Detail 2
Valle Detail 3

Time to celebrate! Thank you MAG Gallery Council for this opportunity. Nancy


Nancy valle 2013