Shaman Urn

GERRY ESKIN
Shaman Urn, clay

As a young man, Eskin was drawn to photography. In high school, his photographs appeared in the daily newspapers and publications. In college, he studied photojournalism, and moved to Minneapolis, MN in 1959. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a doctoral degree in economics and went on to a distinguished career in marketing research. He taught Marketing Research and Quantitative Methods at Stanford University from 1969-72, and at the University of Iowa from 1972-82. In 1979 Eskin, along with an associate, founded a quantitatively-oriented marketing research company in Chicago, the firm pioneered the use of the bar code scanning as a tool for marketing research. Twelve years ago Eskin retired and returned to his passion of making art in the medium of clay.

Over three decades ago clay seduced Eskin at a "Love-In" held in a neighborhood park in Minneapolis.  Eskin did not aim to assemble a masterpiece collection of ceramics but sought out works that, to him, were archetypal.  The historical references in his work today are very direct.  He is fixated with the artistic skills and technical innovations of ancient ceramists.

Eskin's work falls into three distinct categories: functional works, funerary urns and figures, and installation works. Eskin's life-long interest in archetypal ceramics is best expressed through his monumental "Spirit Houses," which have occupied a central position in his work for several years, and his more recent "Shaman Urns," in the form of hollow seated figures with separately fabricated heads that serve as a cover for the container. 

Throughout his work Eskin reminds us of our shared histories, our ancestral and archetypal memories of shared humanity that links us in time and space to our past and present.

text and image from The Chait Galleries Downtown

This page was first displayed
on September 09, 2006

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