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Tony Natsoulas

Biography to Display: 

1959 Born Ann Arbor, Michigan

EDUCATION

1977-1979 California State University, Sacramento, California

1979-1982 BA University of California at Davis, Davis, California

1982-1983 Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland

1983 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine

1983-1985 MFA, University of California at Davis, Davis, California

PRIMARY WORK EXPERIENCE

1982-1983 Ceramic Department Technician, Maryland Institute, College of Art Baltimore, Maryland

1984 Gallery Assistant, Memorial Union Gallery, University of California

1983-1985 Ceramic Sculpture Teaching Assistant, University of California at Davis, Davis, California

1985-1987 Lecturer in Ceramics, California State University at Stanislaus, Stanislaus, California

1989 Instructor in Ceramics, Butte College, Oroville, California

2003—Instructor at Alpha Fired Arts, Sacramento, California

2011-2013 Curator and Preparator, Shimo Center for the Arts, Sacramento, California

2011—Curator and Preparator, Blue Line Arts, Roseville, California

1985—Studio Artist

BIOGRAPHY

 Tony Natsoulas is known for large-scale witty figurative and portrait ceramic sculptures. Referencing Pop Art and California Funk, Natsoulas’ work is described as “camp” for its exaggerations, theatricality, and satirical approach to the subject. While most influenced by Robert Arneson, Natsoulas also studied with the artists Robert Brady, Roy DeForest, Wayne Thiebaud, and, less formally, with artists David Gilhooly and Clayton Bailey.

His figures range from commissioned to celebrities ceramic portraits sometimes portrayed in period costume. Detail and themes are influenced by images from popular culture, absurd television shows, people, toys, cartoons, plays, and nostalgic movies. Natsoulas began making larger-than-life exaggerated ceramic busts in 1997. He uses a sculptural technique similar to that of Arneson: his sculptures lack depth front to back. His figures are caricatures often with enlarged heads. His approach to the work is influenced by Robert Arneson, his former teacher, at University of California, Davis.

An interview with Tony Natsoulas conducted August 9-11, 2004 by Liza Kirwin for the Archives of American Art's Oral History Program is available at: 

https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-tony-natsoulas-12133

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

Foothills Ceramic Art Museum, Grass Valley, California

Laguna Art Museum, Laguna, California

MIAAO, Museo Internazionale delle Arti Applicate Oggi, Turin, Italy

Oakland Museum, Oakland, California

San Jose Art Museum, San Jose, California
The Di Rosa Foundation, Napa, California

The Midwest Museum of American Art , Elkhart, Indiana

The Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, Shigaraki, Japan 
Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, California

University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa

Bibliography

Bibliography to Display: 

Elsasser Brian.” Tony Natsoulas at the Crocker Art Museum.” ArtWeek Magazine (November 2002).

Jones, Bill. Sculpture Techniques. Westerville, OH: American Ceramic Society, 2015.

Martin, Brigitte. Humor in Craft, Atglen, PA:Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2014.

Schwartz, Judith. Confrontational Ceramics.  Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.

Shields, Scott.  “Tony Natsoulas, Camping it Up.” Ceramics Art and Perception (March 2003).

Smith, Nan, ed. 500 Figures in Clay, Volume 2. New York, NY: Lark Books, 2014.

 

 

 

 

The Marks Project is not aware of any signatures or marks for this artist.
Big Daddy Roth
Date: 2015
Form: Sculpture
Method: Hand-Built, Slab-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze, Raku
Photo: Artist
Photo: Artist
Bob
Date: 2013
Form: Sculpture
Method: Hand-Built, Slab-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Artist
Crumb, Portrait of Robert Crumb
Date: 2013
Form: Sculpture
Method: Hand-Built, Slab-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Izzy Schwartz
In Search of the Perfect Shot
Form: Sculpture
Materials: Mixed Media, Porcelain
Method: Hand-Built, Slab-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Artist
Photo: Artist
In Search of Basil Wolverton
Date: 2015
Form: Sculpture
Materials: Mixed Media, Porcelain
Method: Hand-Built, Slab-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Artist
Portrait of Clayton Bailey
Date: 2001
Form: Sculpture
Method: Hand-Built, Slab-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Artist

Citation: Herrera, Carolyn E. "The Marks Project." Last modified April 13, 2023. http://www.themarksproject.org/marks/natsoulas