Kozloff ArtPage address: http://lib.mnsu.edu/about/kozloff/
J. Kozloff's Ceramic Artwork
Image reproduced with permission from American Ceramics
The images corresponding to the cities of Changchun, Ravenna, and Sarajevo, available from this page, have been scanned from the article, "The Recent Work of Joyce Kozloff," in American Ceramics. To obtain a copy of the complete issue write to American Ceramics 9 E. 45th St., New York, NY 10017, phone (212) 661-4397) or FAX (212) 661-2389. Each issue costs $7, which includes postage and handling. The rest of the panels have been photographed by David W. Allan, Library Services and Information Technology.
Click on the tiles below to see the panels for that city
In three sets of four panels each, Kozloff depicts cities located near the 44th parallel around the globe. Each four by seventeen-foot panel is composed of foot-square ceramic tiles applied to the wall surface with an adhesive. The project was commissioned through the Minnesota Percent for Art in Public Places, sponsored by the Minnesota State Arts Board. The work was created at the Tile Guild in Los Angeles and installed in Minnesota State University, Mankato's Memorial Library in June 1995.
Three of the four cities in North America are university towns. The moist, green forests of the Willamette Valley surround Eugene , Oregon. The panel incorporates motifs that recall thunderbirds and other creatures on ceremonial masks of the Salish Indians. Many layers of sponging help create textures that suggest natural materials such as marble and granite. The detailed map section of Mankato, Minnesota, allows local viewers to locate their own streets, "paved" with gold letters. Over 500 circles repeat the motif of two boys fishing before the circles dissolve into leaves at the panel's edge, which incorporates beadwork patterns of Woodland and Plains Indians. The one-inch squares on the Mankato map were cut from earthquake-damage tile lying in boxes at the Tile Guild, where the panels were produced. Burlington , Vermont, reflects the 1960s counterculture, which still lingers there. Sparkly glazes provide a tie-dyed look while butterflies emerge from the surface of the tiles. New England stencil patterns reflect the historic use of such designs before wallpaper was imported. The only large city of the group Toronto , Canada, features maritime and heraldic imagery. The red, white, and blue city grid reveals its British heritage.
In Europe the 44th parallel lies at the southern section of the continent. Nice, France, on the Mediterranean Sea has art deco waves and a rosy surface that reveals its popularity as a resort city. The entire surface of the panel for Ravenna, Italy, is covered with dots in a metallic luster to give a shimmering effect that recalls Ravenna's sixth-century Byzantine churches and glass mosaic artwork. The imagery around the sides of the panel also refers to these churches. The panel for Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, depicts the city's history more than the current reality because much of the map predates the recent war. The patterns would have been found in some of the city's mosques before they were destroyed. Motifs from Iznik tiles and carpets reveal historic ties to the Ottoman Empire. Florence, Italy, is crowded with important works of Western art, and Kozloff chose map sections to include the Arno River through the entire panel. Earth tones remind viewers of frescoes while the cherubs recall motifs in famous works of art found in Florence.
The final set of panels features cities from northern Asia. Vladivostok, Russia, is located at the end of the Trans-Siberian railway, a map of which appears on the right. The sections of the city map on the left incorporates designs from Soviet textiles of the 1920s, donce in a constructivist style. The panel for Changchun, China, the country's film capital, uses pagodas to indicate the location of film studios. The raised pagodas as well as carp and bumblebees were produced using plaster molds, then glazed and epoxied to the tiles surfaces. The modern city of Sapporo, Japan, features sections from the transit map. Shards of porcelain ware and motifs of Japanese textiles refer to the city's past while the slick yellow glaze applied by airbrush reveals the high tech present. Urumqi, China, lies in the traditionally Muslim region of the country on the old silk route. The panel incorporates imagery from mosque complexes in neighboring Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
For more information about Kozloff's artwork at the MSU library, you can also read Around the World on the 44th Parallel in the January 1996 issue of Library Resources Newsletter