Unbeknownst to the wider audience, Hank Saxe has been a dominant figure in the Taos Clay scene - having provided the means and technique for a better part of the anagama advent, an enigmatic process of clay that stems from a blend of wood kiln firing with erratic color and intricate texture compositions.
"Saxe appears to be the genius behind so many great ceramic artists," states Harwood Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Jina Brenneman." "Jim Wagner, Lee Mullican, Lynda Benglis and Ken Price have all relied on Hank's technical skill and creative know- how." Saxe owns a ceramic atelier in Taos where such artists have witnessed his artistic and technical prowess.
Saxe himself describes anagamas as "finicky" and yet potent with "impurities" that are not as accessible through conventional firing techniques. Thus the aesthetic yields a process all its own, becoming a reinterpretation of sorts, reconciled under certain unforeseen volatile effects and shades. All in all, Saxe merely provides the scope for artists to explore their own creative sensibilities within his studio.
Saxe is known for public art, for ceramic work he produces for architecture. His mission statement: "Our sculpture uses combinations of architectural materials including cast concrete, high-fire glazed tile, and stone. It often appears to be abstract, but it has a traceable lineage to imagery and ideas that we glean from our research and discussions on what defines an area."
James Kent, Harwood Museum of Art Intern