Elsa Rady

Elsa Rady (July 29, 1943 – January 29, 2011) was an American ceramist. Elsa’s work evolved from functional objects to spare, nonfunctional pieces. Elsa was known for her refined and monochromatic glazed ceramic vessels. Several of her pieces are in the collection of major well know museums across the United States. Elsa was influenced by instructors Ralph Bacerra and Otto and Vivika Heino.

Artist Elsa Rady
Born 29 July 1943 New York, New York
Died 29 January 2011 in Culver City, California at the age of 67
Known For Elsa was well known for her delicate and monochromatic glazed ceramic dishes, which she created in her studio.
Nationality American

Elsa Rady (July 29, 1943–January 29, 2011) was an American ceramicist who worked in the field of porcelain. After starting with utilitarian things, Elsa’s work evolved into pieces that are wonderfully sparse and nonfunctional. Known for her elegant and monochromatic glazed ceramic vessels, Elsa was a well-known artist. Several of her works are held in the collections of large, well-known museums throughout the United States of America. Elsa studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, where she was highly influenced by renowned educators Ralph Bacerra and Otto, and Vivika Heino, as well as other notable figures in the arts.

Elsa Rady’s Ceramic Art Style

From useful things to the wonderfully spare, nonfunctional sculptures for which Rady is most known today, Rady’s work has changed through time.

“Rady’s work reveals that she was heavily influenced by Chinese ceramics from the Song Dynasty (simple shape and form), which I discovered after a closer look at her work. Rady’s ceramic artwork is a modern minimalist ceramic vessel remarkable for its vertical, precise geometric features which have no practical functionality.”

Ed Shears

When it came to displaying her ceramic vessels, Rady stretched the boundaries of standard display tactics, either by mounting them on wall-mounted shelves or by suspending them in mid-air from the ceiling using ropes. Her outstanding “Cycladic Swing” series from 2005 serves as a wonderful illustration of this.

Elsa Rady’s Early Education And Career

The daughter of Lily Mehlman Rady, a former Martha Graham dancer, and Simon Rady, a record executive and producer, Rady was born in New York City to these parents.

By the time she was seven years old, she was enrolled in ceramics workshops with her older sister, Jane. She attended the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1962 to 1966, where she studied under the tutelage of artists such as Ralph Bacerra and Otto, and Vivika Heino.

She worked with Interpace for two years in the 1960s, and she returned to the company from 1989 to 1994. She also designed pieces for the Swid Powell company during her time there. When the Northridge earthquake struck in 1994, she lost 70 pieces worth $225,000, despite the fact that she had wrapped them in carpet tubes as a safety precaution.

Rady had a studio in Venice, California, where he worked for a number of years. A few months after being hospitalized in Culver City due to health issues, she passed away.

A memorial service was held for Rady on January 29, 2011, in Culver City, California.

Elsa Rady’s Exhibitions And Museums

Rady was the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1981 and the California Arts Council in 1983, among other organizations.

Her work is included in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection, while others are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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