Richard Shaw is a ceramicist best known for creating complex and lifelike porcelain ceramics, featuring objects that are recognizable from everyday life. He is famous for his trompe l’oeil style, creating intricate optical illusions that “fool the eye.” In his unexpected arrangements, Shaw explores the relationship between appearance and reality.
Shaw attended San Francisco Art Institute and was influenced by professors Ron Nagle, Jim Melchert, Peter Voulkos and John Mason. His interest in ceramics began in 1963, when he began experimenting with new firing techniques, including creating low-fire pieces with different surface finishes. Shaw is recognized as a leading force in the development and direction of ceramics in the last half of the twentieth century.
Richard Shaw was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Crafts Grant in 1970 and the National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1974. His works can be found in the collections of highly prestigious national and international museums including the Smithsonian, Whitney Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Stedlijk Museum, and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. Shaw has been a professor at the University of California, Berkeley since 1987.