Rudy Autio

This biography is a history and celebration of Rudy Autio’s life, work, career, and techniques. Rudy Autio is considered one of the most important and influential ceramic artists that worked in the United States during the last fifty years. With works in the permanent collections of museums around the world...(Scroll for more.)



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PDF Download Only | 277 Pages
Order code B072E | ISBN 978-1-57498-541-2

 …including the American Craft Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Brooklyn Museum, the Carnegie Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, the Portland Art Museum, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Applied Arts Museum in Helsinki, the National Museum in Stockholm, and the Aichi and Shigaraki ceramic museums in Japan, Rudy Autio has left an indelible mark on the world with his art.

In addition to the physical displays of Autio’s art, his influence can be found in many other areas. In 1951, he co-founded the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana with fellow artist and friend, Peter Voulkos. In 1957, Autio founded the Ceramics Department at the University of Montana in Missoula and began a nearly 30-year long teaching career at the school. In addition to his teaching, he has given lectures and conducted more than 100 workshops in the United States and other countries. This exciting book, the first to be written on Autio, is a history and celebration of his life and work, and is supported by a stunning gallery of more than 150 color images. By documenting Rudy Autio’s life and work, this book explores the role ceramic artists play in contemporary American culture, how one becomes a ceramic artist, how ceramic artists make their work, how technology has changed their medium, and most importantly, why these artists do this work at all.

“This clearly written, magnificently illustrated volume is both a history and celebration of Autio’s life, career, the historical development of his artwork and its impact on contemporary ceramics, and his innovative artistic techniques. The color fidelity of the images is superb.” – SAS Bulletin
“Autio is one of the most influential American ceramic artists of the past 50 years. This is the first book on his life and work and that alone makes it important.” – CHOICE Magazine
“A superb case study of three-dimensional works of modern art and the man who created them, Rudy Autio is a welcome and recommended addition to professional and academic art history collections in general, and ceramic art references in particular.” – Midwest Book Review Library Bookwatch
“This publication on the life and art of Rudy Autio traces the odyssey of this contemporary ceramic master across his creative as well as personal history, giving the reader a well-rounded profile of the artist and the man. Louana Lackey’s profile of Rudy Autio is as complete as we could hope to find; it is enjoyable reading, functions as a resource, and is visually stimulating to boot.” – Potters Guild of British Columbia Newsletter

About Rudy Autio

Rudy Autio was one of the most masterful and influential artists working with clay in the United States. Born in Butte, Montana in 1926, Autio lived in his native state throughout most of his career. He headed the ceramics area at the University of Montana for twenty-eight years and retired as Professor Emeritus of the School of Fine Arts. Prior to his appointment at the University of Montana, Autio was a founding resident artist at the Archie Bray Ceramics Foundation in Helena, Montana. Autio received a Tiffany Award in Crafts in 1963, the American Ceramic Society Art Award in 1978, and a National Endowment grant in 1980, enabling him to work and lecture at the Arabia Porcelain Factory and the Applied Arts University in Helsinki, Finland. While there, he was elected honorary member of Ornamo, Finland’s Designers organization. In 1981 he was the first recipient of the Governor’s Award and named outstanding visual artist in the state of Montana.

He is a Fellow of the American Crafts Council, Honorary member of the National Council of Education in the Ceramic Arts, and recipient of the honorary Doctorate of Art from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. In November 1999 he was awarded the American Craftsman’s Gold Medal Award in ceremonies at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C.

While Autio’s best known work is figurative ceramic vessels, he worked in a variety of materials and other media. In addition to commissions in ceramic relief and tile murals, he worked in bronze, concrete, glass, fabricated metal sculpture, and design of colorful Rya tapestries. Most of these were commissioned for public buildings in the Northwest and one is in Finland.


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