February 25–May 13, 2018
Dora De Larios: Other Worlds highlighted the work of L.A. native and ceramist Dora De Larios, one the city’s most vital, yet under-recognized artists. Dora De Larios: Other Worlds showcased work from the artist’s six-decade-long career and inaugurated the new 2,750-square-foot mezzanine gallery, marking one in a series of public openings tracking the ongoing evolution and completion of The Main.
De Larios grew up in Boyle Heights and graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor of fine arts in ceramics and a minor in sculpture in 1957, a time when women, people of color, and ceramic art were barely visible in the art world. Against these odds, she developed a robust six-decade-long art practice that endured not only because of the virtuosity of her work but also because of her pioneering spirit.
De Larios operated outside of the gallery system by necessity and through sheer force of will. She co-created a thriving studio for women ceramists, modeling a way of working that offered income opportunities and other forms of support, such as shared childcare and cooking. Her practice expanded to include large-scale commissions in California, Florida, Japan and Tahiti, paving another path to work outside of a typical commercial setting.
De Larios’s work is connected to Mexico—her ancestral home and a country she visited again and again as a child—as well as Africa, Asia, and other places that influenced her when she spent time outside of Los Angeles, where she lived. Instead of earthly forms, the artist often used mythological, goddess-like figures and unplaceable yet familiar animals. Up until her recent death in January 2018, De Larios continued creating paintings and drawings almost daily.
Dora De Larios: Other Worlds was on view Februaury 25 to May 13, 2018 with free admission.
Update January 29, 2018: We are so sad to let you know that our beloved Dora passed away on January 28, 2018, after a prolonged battle with cancer. It has been a dream for our team at The Main to work with Dora on this exhibition and we can't wait for you, the public, to be able to engage with her beautiful work when we open the exhibition at the end of February.
ABOUT DORA DE LARIOS
Dora De Larios was an American ceramist and sculptor who worked with clay for over 60 years. Born in Los Angeles in 1933 to Mexican immigrants, her heritage and relationship to Pre-Columbian Artwasis evident in her work, which embodies themes of spirituality, nature, and mythology. Dora graduated in 1957 with a major in ceramics and a minor in sculpture from USC's School of Fine Art, where she studied under noted ceramists Vivika and Otto Heino and Susan Peterson. Over time, Dora broadened her focus to include work in cast concrete, brass, stainless steel, acrylic, and wood, completing a variety of large-scale architectural commissions. Dora's ceramic sculptures were featured in three major exhibitions as part of the J. Paul Getty Museum's 2011 Pacific Standard Time, and she was honored with a 50-year retrospective at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles in 2010. Her work is currently included in Found in Translation, a PST: LA/LA exhibition at LACMA. De Larios passed away at the age of 84 in January 2018.