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Pincus uses color to trick perception

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Peter Pincus, a New York-based ceramic artist, features vases of contrasting colors which are used to force perception onto his audience through his exhibit “Chroma.” The exhibit will be on display at the American Museum of Ceramic Art through Sept. 29. The gallery is open noon-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. / photo by Melody Blazauskas

Jacob Barriga
Staff Writer 

The American Museum of Ceramic Art, or AMOCA, provides guests an array of abstract sculptures, intricate tapestries and ceramic art as they step through a steel vault doorway into the world of artist Peter Pincus’s “Chroma.” 

Born in Rochester, New York, Pincus began his work through pottery, but eventually expanded over to sculpture and painting as well. 

His vases of unique shapes and sizes lined the walls on both sides of the room, making it appear as though guests had stepped into a high-end art auction. 

Pincus’s use of vibrant colors were complimented by deep blacks, greys and silvers which made the colors pop. 

Once closer to the work, Pincus’s attention to detail is impossible to miss as the impeccable symmetry in his designs proves that each incision was intentional and carefully executed. 

Ashley Rowley, AMOCA education and membership manager, said she likes the way Pincus uses color to deceive the eye while simultaneously forcing perspectives through the mold of the vases. 

“(Pincus) makes his mold first, then he will paint the inside of the mold,” Rowley said. 

“He then cuts the mold with an X-Acto knife for a smooth exterior. Then (Pincus) pours porcelain into the mold then pours the porcelain out again to let the mold dry and the colors to set.” 

Yet, her favorite of Pincus’ work is his center piece “Chroma,” which features a descending tone of greys with complimentary, opposing seams of grey. 

“It is very difficult to create that perfect descending tone,” Rowley said. 

Ceramic artist Ken Carmean said he is familiar with Pincus’s work and has followed him for some time. 

Carmean said he is most impressed with Pincus’s attention to detail. 

“Peter sets up his color slip very well and he is very technical in his work,” Carmean said. “It is a very old technique that (Pincus) has synthesized into something new, and his molds are complex,” Carmean said. 

It is that complexity that caught the eye of Gonzalo Rodriguez, Pomona resident.

“The room stood out to me [..] I walked in and the first thing I noticed was how the colors were complimented by the black and whites,” Rodriguez said. “You can really see the detail in (Pincus’s) work, and you become more appreciative of his work.” 

Pincus’s use of colors was what stood out to Sophia Pfitzmann, a Claremont High School student. 

“The abstract colors were the most attractive. The use of monochrome colors as well as the black and white to compliment brings life to the colors,” said Pfitzmann.

The American Museum of Ceramic Art is located at 399 N. Garey Ave. in Pomona. Gallery hours are noon-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Peter Pincus’s “Chroma” will be on display through Sept. 29. 

Jacob Barriga can be reached at

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