Melvino Garretti

Melvino Garretti (born 1946 in Los Angeles) is an American multidisciplinary artist who works in ceramics, painting, and performance. We know Garretti’s artworks for their abstract motif, which often includes a variety of colorful emblematic shapes, symbols and often includes spikes, spiral forms, and jagged edges. Garretti is a 1978 MFA graduate of San Francisco Art Institute.

Melvino Garretti is a Los Angeles-based artist who lives and works in the city. Having acquired his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, he went on to work at the Great Barrington Pottery in Housatonic, Massachusetts, the Studio Watts Workshop in Los Angeles, and with Michael Frimkess in Venice, California, among other places.

His work has been the subject of exhibitions in California, California University Press and New York, among other places. Garretti held a solo exhibition at the Parker Gallery in early 2021, which was a success.

Melvino Garretti is a founding member of the Studio Watts Workshop art collective and a 1978 MFA graduate (and original member) of the San Francisco Art Institute, CA, United States, where he studied and learn about painting and sculpture.

Melvino Garretti ‘s Early Career

Melvino Garretti was born in the city of Los Angeles, California. When he was a child, his family relocated to Compton, (making art in) Los Angeles since. Melvino Garretti started working at the adjacent Studio Watts Workshop in 1967.

Education: However, after two years of arduous work at Great Barrington Pottery, the pottery company owned by Richard Bennett in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, he was exposed to ceramics by the workshop, despite his initial interest in painting.

There, he received instruction in Japanese techniques and production philosophy, as well as the opportunity to fire pottery in a real wood-burning kiln. Following his ceramics studies, Garretti relocated to San Francisco, where he pursued a painting degree under the tutelage of Julius Hatofsky at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Melvino Garretti ‘s Artistic Style And Performance

During the year 1969, Garretti and ten other members of Studio Watts collaborated with the San Francisco Dancer’s Workshop, under the supervision of Anna Halprin, to create a dance performance art piece entitled Ceremony of Us, which was performed at the Mark Taper Forum in San Francisco.

A common feature of Garretti’s paintings and ceramic pieces is the inclusion of sharp edges, spiral formations, and jagged edges, to which he applies paint and glazes in a free gestural manner.

His painted sculptural paintings, which he began creating in the 1980s by draping hand-painted fabrics over armatures, result in three-dimensional sculptures that are reminiscent of the California assemblage techniques popular in the 1960s and 1970s.

As well as three-dimensional clay masks depicting human faces in motion, Garretti has created two-dimensional contour paintings and drawings of facial profiles, some of which feature gestures of human faces.

Melvino Garretti ‘s Legacy

The front cover of the September 2018 issue of Art Forum magazine features a group shot of the cast of Ceremony of Us, which includes Melvino Garretti, in the foreground.

An article about the Santa Monica home of philanthropist and art collector Eileen Harris Norton details can be found in the November 2018 issue of Architectural Digest. The home’s gallery rooms are shown in a photograph included in the article. A giant colorful jar created by Melvino Garretti sits on a table next to a painting by Kerry James Marshall and a neon piece by Glenn Ligon in one of the rooms.

Exhibitions And Museums

  • Clay Pop – Jeffrey Deitch, New York (Wooster Str)
    Jeffrey Deitch, New York (Wooster Str) Soho | New York | USA
    Sep 10,2021 – Oct 30,2021
  • Melvino Garretti: Vino’s Carnival of Ceramic Curiosities, or the Circuitous Path to Calamity
    Parker Gallery Los Angeles | California | USA
    Jan 30,2021 – Mar 27,2021
  • Sculpture from a Distance – Parker Gallery
    Parker Gallery Los Angeles | California | USA
    May 01,2020 – Jun 13,2020
  • Sculpture from a Distance. Part III – Parker Gallery
    Parker Gallery Los Angeles | California | USA
    May 31,2020 – Jun 13,2020


Contemporary Art

Contemporary art refers to art created in the second half of the twentieth century or the first decade of the twenty-first century. Contemporary artists live and work in a world that is impacted by the global community, culturally varied, and technologically advanced.

Fine Art

Fine art is developed solely for the sake of aesthetics or beauty in European academic traditions, distinguishing it from decorative art or applied art, which must also have some practical function, such as pottery or most metals, in order to be considered valid.

Modern Art

Generally speaking, modern art refers to artistic work created during the period roughly between the 1860s and the 1970s, and it refers to the styles, philosophies and design of the art produced during that time period. The term is typically connected with art in which the conventions of the past have been discarded in the name of experimentation and a spirit of exploration.

California State University – The California State University system is a public university system in the state of California that was founded in 1850. The California State University system is the largest four-year public university system in the United States, with 23 campuses and eight off-campus facilities educating 485,550 students and employing 55,909 faculty and staff.

What Is Clay Pop?

Clay Pop is a modern trend of artists’ reinterpretation of ceramic sculpture. A medium that has been considered as more craft than art in the past is now a dynamic platform for formal and thematic experimentation and advancement. Pop Art has gained a new dimension thanks to the use of a media that has historically shied away from participation with popular culture. It’s a venture into the world of what I call ceramic curiosities.

Ed Shears

Popular Ceramic Artists

Images courtesy of pintrest = Melvino Garretti

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