In 1997, after 15 years of making “typical” Indian pottery, Navajo artist Christine Nofchissey McHorse saw a fork in the road and took it. Ever since, her work has inhabited a more rarified plane. Black, sculptural, and devoid of decoration, it is all about form. “In a way it was just meant to happen,” she said in a phone conversation from the University of Oklahoma, where she was a distinguished visiting artist during the second week of September. “I think I’ve been on this path for quite a while. It’s been a slow transition, but it’s brought me to this point.”
The pottery has a nontraditional appearance, but McHorse still uses the coil-building method and gathers her own clay. “McHorse takes only a couple of barrels of clay every two to three years, using it as though it were a precious metal, saving and reusing every scrap of clay,” according to the new book Dark Light: The Ceramics of Christine Nofchissey McHorse (Fresco Fine Art Publications). It features Addison Doty’s photographs of the artist’s ceramics and text by Santa Fe-based collectors Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio.
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