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Gain M. Kristensen  (1924 - 2009)

Working in stoneware and porcelain and glass on copper enamels, Gail Kristensen, of Sedona, Arizona, is known for abstract wall reliefs and free-standing sculptures that explore relationships between form and space. "My clay works reflect the sculptural forms that surround me," Gail Kristensen says. 

Kristensen is one of the few, if not the only artist in the world, who combines stoneware with glass on copper. Gail has been combining these media for over forty years.

Initially a painter and clay sculptor, Kristensen studied at the fine arts departments of the University of Minnesota, Drake University, Iowa State College and the Cummings School of Art. She has been a commercial artist, artist-in-residence at the Wurkunst School in Weisbaden, Germany, taught art in public schools and for 25 years was an art professor at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. While a professor there, she attended a workshop on enameling.

After experimenting with her new knowledge of this newfound technique, she eventually combined fired clay form with glass on copper panels, her wall reliefs evolved into mixed media paintings and architectural sculptures.

Usually commissioned by major national companies and organizations, her creations range from enormous wall reliefs to free standing sculptures and fountains. Some of her pieces are very large, such as a 6’ x 25’wall relief for Iowa State University. 

Her sculpture is represented in Minnesota in the Minnesota Museum of American Art; the Pillsbury Collection and General Mills Collection; and in New York City in the Rockefeller Foundation.  Her favorite piece is the fountain she created for the Unitarian Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is believed to be the largest ceramic fountain in the world. "This is not just an architectural piece, it's a philosophical one."

Kate Ruland-Thorne, Art Book Gail Kristensen


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