Doyle Lane - Design New York Tuesday, December 7, 2021 | Phillips
  • "I think I wouldn’t be good as a teacher, as I don’t think there are that many who want the state of perfection that I do. But then I also say, 'Why do it if you don’t do it to perfection?'"
    —Doyle Lane

    With training from California ceramic luminaries Glen Lukens, F. Carlton Ball and Vivika Heino, and a background as a glaze technician for a chemical supply company, Doyle Lane developed a career as a working studio ceramist in Los Angeles in the middle of the 20th century. Among the hallmarks of his œuvre are his weed pots. Recently the subject of an exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery—in which lot 61 was included—Doyle Lane’s “weed pots” are among his best-known and best-loved work. The small-scale pots are named for the narrow, dried flowers that they are intended to hold and, despite their diminutive size, are revelations of color, technique, and texture. Their elegant, classical shapes are complemented with imaginative glazes. Some are plum-like, rounded, and smooth; some have the rugged surface of an autumnal gourd; some look like modernized treasures from antiquity. Many people have been taken in by their charms; Jonathan Griffin, writing for The New York Times, called them “ravishingly seductive.” The present examples exhibit Lane’s technical mastery of glazes and tightly designed compact forms. Lane’s weed pots were often displayed in groupings, the range of scale and colors a visual delight for collectors.  


    Various weed pots by Doyle Lane.

    Like his contemporaries, Lane mastered traditional ceramic forms, and as his career progressed, he inched ever further away from aligning ceramics with functionality. He experimented with glazes and earned success in creating large-scale architectural installations of ceramic tiles. Eventually he would go on to make what he called “clay paintings,” clay slabs applied with glaze and fired at high temperatures to produce vibrant colors. It was these “clay paintings” that caught the attention of Objects:USA curators Lee Nordness and Paul J. Smith, who included Lane’s work in their 1969 exhibition, arguably the most important in American studio craft history.

    • Exhibited

      "Doyle Lane: Weed Pots," David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, July 22-August 29, 2020

    • Literature

      Ricky Swallow and Gerard O'Brian, Doyle Lane, Los Angeles, 2014, pp. 6-7 for similar examples

Property from a Private West Coast Collection


Weed pot

circa 1970
Glazed earthenware.
4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm) high
Underside incised LANE.

Full Cataloguing

$7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for $8,190

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New York Auction 7 December 2021