It’s just “Another California Day” for painter Kat Hutter and ceramist Roger Lee. The artists perhaps best known for their coveted K&R hand-painted ceramic vases, bowls and planters have a new collaboration — a deconstructed and abstract vision of the state’s landscape, recently opened at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
The installation “Another California Day” was inspired by the beaches, mountains and natural rugged beauty found in the couple’s daily lives and travels throughout the state. The museum’s Project Room now feels like a rabbit hole into a Seussian world bursting with color and overflowing with odd shapes.
“For the most part, the plant life here has a very seductive quality to it visually,” Lee said. “It mimics a lot of what I do in my work too.”
Lee’s clay sculptures, reminiscent of the succulents and cactuses of the California desert, appear as if they may start walking around the room. “We want people to be a little surprised when they enter the room,” Hutter said.
Lee thought it appropriate to use material derived directly from the earth. No need for concern if a piece of medusa-like tentacles breaks off.
“Raw, unfired clay dries and shrinks, and things are going to happen. That’s part of the natural process,” Lee said of sculpture that will slowly crumble over time.
Hutter’s bold and fanciful murals surround Lee’s sculptures. Cool blues mirroring the ocean and sky mix with burnt reds and orange to reflect a dreamy California palette.
The married artists met in graduate school in South Carolina and settled in Los Angeles.
“We felt like everything we did was inspired by our surroundings,” Hutter said. “The laid-back California lifestyle and art-driven culture.”