Jerry Rothman

About Jerry Rothman

Jerry Rothman

Artist Jerry Rothman is a rebel of the postmodernist ceramics movement.  Rothman has spent the majority of his life making art that challenges and pushes the limits of what he sees as comfortable and mundane. While others were conforming to the sleek, stylized, and cold intellectualism of Minimalist art which was emerging as dominant in the 1960s, Rothman sought to infuse his work with a warmth that invoked humanism, challenging the style of the time and questioning the norms of the day.

Jerry Rothman was a significant player in a movement that became known as the 'clay revolution', the 'ceramic explosion', or 'Otis Group',  which came out of the ceramics department at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in the 1950s led by Peter Voulkas. The 'Otis Group' included other well-known California ceramists such as Billy Al Bengston, Ken Price, John Mason, and Paul Soldner.  These ceramic artists revitalized the ancient material by treating it as a sculptural medium and incorporating the influence of Mingei, or Japanese folk art, and European ceramics as well as Abstract Expressionism, assemblage, and other tendencies in contemporary art. Rothman distinguished himself among this group by pursuing his own vision, incorporating figuration, political and social commentary, and even erotic content into his work at times when these approaches were not in vogue among his contemporaries. "If there is a Rothman 'trademark', it may be [his] persistent tendency to upend expectations and preconceptions about ceramics." - Susan Peterson, 2003.