On Fire ⏐Tony Marsh + Cornelia Schulz

Press Release



Tony Marsh

Cornelia Schulz


Exhibition Dates: through January 13th, 2024
Reception: Saturday, November 4th, 3:00 – 5:30 pm

✓ If you’re planning your visit, please note the below gallery closure dates.
November 15th – 17th + December 2nd – 12th
(If we can accommodate a date before, or after, at your convenience, please email your preferred day & time)

➨ Saturday, December 16th, 11:00 am
Please join us for a light brunch and a conversation with Tony Marsh




Tony Marsh | IceFlo | 2023 | glazed ceramic | 25 x 14 x 13 inches


PATRICIA SWEETOW GALLERY is pleased to present ON FIRE, with artists’ Tony Marsh, ceramic sculpture, and Cornelia Schulz, oil paintings. The title ON FIRE references the essay by Kenneth Baker, written on occasion of Cornelia Schulz’s 2021 five year survey catalog. The title also recognizes ceramic sculptor Tony Marsh, whose career in ceramic sculpture has been dedicated to exploring the myriad possibilities of firing clay and glaze. Lastly, the title is symbolic of the striking beauty, depth, innovation, and maturity of the artist’s work over multiple decades; they are On Fire! The exhibition opens Saturday, November 4th, through December 23rd. The reception is Saturday, November 4th, from 3:00 to 5:30 pm. Please join us, everyone is welcome.

“My early work was built on an ethos of rational reductive minimalism, a system that I felt slowly closed down possibilities. I use my work as a way to learn and have been as much actively shaped by my work as I have formed it. To work without highly structured plans, to foreground intuition and engage eruptive color irrationally has been to open up to numerous artistic possibilities for me.”     – Tony Marsh*

Tony Marsh has contributed to contemporary ceramics as an artist, educator and innovator for over 30 years. His vessels are non-utilitarian, the forms elementary and symmetrical cylinders.

Through alchemy, intuitive wisdom, science and thermal adversity, Tony Marsh opens the window for random, unexpected surface topographies. These works encapsulate all the knowledge he’s amassed over the years with “various material and mineral concoctions”, layered, fired, then repeating the process. “In this work there are real and imagined allusions to physical sciences, earth formation, geographic phenomenon, force, pyroclastic work, time and landscape.” Marsh leaves all technical notes and trails blank, a deliberate amnesia, as he allows the accident of formula, material, firing and stress to unfold each vibrant, eruptive sculpture.

Tony Marsh was named a United States Artists Fellow in 2018, an honor awarded to outstanding contributors in American Arts and Letters. Marsh is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Long Beach, chairing the Ceramics Department for 25 years (1995 – 2015). Marsh co-founded the Center for Contemporary Ceramics (2017), a national and international residency program on the campus of CSULB. He has been a Visiting Artist and Lecturer at over 60 institutions and foundations including the Chicago Art Institute, Kansas City Art Institute, UCLA, Parsons School of Design, Alfred University and Seoul National University.  His ceramic sculpture is included in over thirty permanent collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Art and Design, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Oakland Museum of Art; Gardiner Museum of Art, Toronto; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Jose Museum of Art; ASU Art Museum Tempe and the Foshan Museum of Contemporary Art, Foshan, China.

Marsh’s recent survey solo exhibition, “Brilliant Earth: The Ceramic Sculpture of Tony Marsh” at the Long Beach Museum of Art  with over 50 works on view closed in 2022.
The catalog, produced upon occasion of the exhibition will be available for purchase during this exhibition.



Cornelia Schulz | Deep Dive | 2023 | oil on canvas on wood | 20 x 12 inches

Cornelia Schulz’s high rise oil paintings defy the structural limits of oil paint. Even the best photo reproduction fails to impart the physical and spiritual authority of her small, shaped, chromatic paintings. Schulz has evolved a contemporary synthesis of Abstract Expressionist painting, such as the likes of  her San Francisco Bay Area contemporaries, Jay DeFeo and early Joan Brown. Her masterful manipulation of paint, yielding to the subtly shaped support, is an incessant call and response forming high and flat passages, a testament to her vision, skills and willingness to risk failure and loss.

“Not all abstract painting spurs me to its defense as something spiritually sustaining and necessary, as Schulz’s work does. Her art fits within an American lineage descended from a pivotal decade, roughly mid 1950s to mid 1960s, during which the ambiguous formal limits of paintings and sculpture, and of their reach, were freighted with larger questions of art’s self-definition and of the values that a wider culture wished to ascribe to it.” (Kenneth Baker, “On Fire,”  Cornelia Schulz  2021 – 2018)

PSG had our first exhibition with Cornelia Schulz in 1998. Schulz (b. 1936) lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her early education in the arts began at the Los Angeles County Art Institute in 1954 through 1957, the heyday of the California Ceramics Revolution. She studied sculpture in clay and wood with Renzo Fenci (1914 – 1999), and drawing from Herbert Jepson (1908 –1993). She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting (1959) and her Master of Fine Arts in welded steel sculpture (1961) from the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). Schulz became the first woman Chair of the University of California Davis Department of Art from 1998 to 1992, she retired as Professor Emeritus in 2002 after 34 years.