Corrales Comment March 11, 1995
ANDY GOLDSCHMIDT STARTED WITH POT REPAIRS
By Juanita Wolff
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina,
Andy Goldschmidt never imagined early in his life that he would
pursue an art career.
Although his parents were art collectors, very interested in contemporary art and encouraged art appreciation, "to be an artist, that was a no no," he recounted. "When I finished high school, they told me that I could be whatever I wanted to be, a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer..."
So Andy earned a masters degree in electronic engineering from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1973. For the next three years, he worked for a multinational oil exploration company all over South America. "The work was challenging and fun, but the company politics was very unpleasant," he remembered.
After traveling to Brazil and Venezuela, he went to Los Angeles in 1976 to visit a friend. That visit took his life in a new direction: ceramics. He became acquainted with American Indian Pottery and at the same time completed an apprenticeship with the restoration department at the Los Angeles County Museum. "I was learning procedures, tricks of the trade, materials and techniques," he said. "Museums are more interested in preserving the archaeological value of the pots; dealers and collectors are more interested in appearance."
"I'm mostly self-taught," he explained. "My earliest memories are that I always loved clay. When I was 10 years old, I went to a neighborhood clay shop and did some clay work. I really loved it. In the 1960s, while in my early teens, I apprenticed with Leo Tavella, a well-known Argentine ceramic artist for four years. I learned a lot of technical aspects, loading the kiln, firing and handling clay."
In 1981 he visited Corrales and subsequently moved here. While he had been primarily earning a living by doing restorations of ceramic work for museums and collectors, specializing in American Indian Pottery, he also began to explore other creative avenues. "When I came to New Mexico, I did a couple of workshops with Mexican potters and a Santa Clara Pueblo potter," he remembered. "That's when I started doing pottery in the traditional method of hand-building with coils. Very soon after I started doing my own work, they became in demand."
His ceramic work is currently at the Corrales Bosque Gallery, at Patrician Design in Albuquerque, Ventana Fine Art in Santa Fe, Broken Arrow Gallery in Taos, as well as in galleries in Seattle, Durango and Dallas. He has participated in prestigious invitational shows in Santa Fe, Cleveland, and at the University of New Mexico.
"The designs of my work are steeped in history, a link with the past and a continuation into the present of ancient Southwestern motifs found in pottery, weaving, basketry and petroglyphs," he said in describing his work.
"Clay is really my love," he continued. "I love that tactile sensation of it. I love the process and the feel of the clay. It's quiet, relaxing, it's silent...it fits my personality. I'm sort of a reclusive, quiet person, and clay sort of fits it."
Ceramics Monthly September 1991
UP FRONT: ANDY GOLDSCHMIDT
Large coil-built vessels with
polychrome decoration by studio potter Andy Goldschmidt were featured
in a recent exhibition at Contemporary Southwest Galleries in
Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Using a bisqued shallow bowl as support, he builds each pot by the traditional techniques of coiling and pinching. Once the form is complete, the walls are smoothed and thinned; fingermarks are completely removed by scraping and sanding.
Decoration is accomplished with colored slips brushed onto the surface. Then, while the clay is still leather hard, it is burnished by quickly rubbing with a stone. A padded wooden frame was devised to raise the fragile vessel so that its bottom may also be decorated and burnished.
"...Other Goldschmidt decorative elements resemble Navajo weavings, an intriguing cross-relationship between two ancient crafts" Karen Mathieson, The Seattle Times
"The elegant running spirals of Goldschmidt's vase have not been executed so successfully since the Cucuteni assemblage of the Late Neolitic in the Ukraine Dr. LeRoy McDermont, Professor of Art History, Central Missouri State University