Four Things to Know
about Gertrud and Otto Natzler

Otto invented over 2,000 glazes, recording each one meticulously in several hand-written volumes and together he and Gertrud created over 25,000 works.

While a virtuoso in executing and exploring the subtle dimensions of form, Gertrud's works are notable in that they often contain detectable fingerprints, adding to their intimacy.

The first kiln used by the Natzlers, retired in 1982, is held in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Gertrud died in 1971, leaving 200 unglazed pieces. Otto wasn't able to work with them until a few years later, when we began creating ceramics alone for the first time. Of this he said “I could never get close to what she did...her pots are ethereal, flowing, graceful. They practically float. Mine are geometric, earthbound, massive.”

Gertrud and Otto Natzler in their first studio in Los Angeles, 1940

The really perfect pot has not yet been made and probably never will be. Yet we reach for perfection, and, if we are fortunate, the next pot we make may come closer to our visions. If it does, we shall be grateful. Which somehow sums up our credo.

Otto Natzler

Curatorial Alchemy

Our paths first crossed, unknown until many years later, at an intimate yet bustling wedding reception in a south Chicago apartment. This was probably 30 years ago, perhaps even the same year a new gallery, Torno Wright, opened at the end of my street to a fanfare of Eames, heralding new changes to come. Criss-crossing breezes of chance encounters, meandering spirits, hazy focus of time and space, of enthusiasm and knowledge sought, now united again in the same city.

That same serendipity, prompting impulse and discovery, guided welcome reward in the crucible of that great industrial city, still littered with the artefacts of the American mid-century. It was within this uneven yet fertile terrain, hidden slightly below surface, that Patrick’s intuitive talent—honed first as photographer then embellished as artist—would treasure the valuable neglected as passionate collector, and then as the inspirational dealer that I was to meet again, years later in New York City.

If asked to select one word to describe Patrick, I would resist and pick two. The first would be curiosity—a fundamental essential, to stimulate inquiry and rigour in all things, both great and small, of any era or region, type or surface. Even the most fleeting survey of this selection for sale is a celebration of innovation and of inspiration—an unerring eye for the unusually exceptional, or perhaps the exceptionally unusual. The chances are, that these are indeed discoveries that you have not yet realized that you needed to make.

Mentor, would be my second word. If artefacts and objects articulate visual, cultural and historic language, then the fluency of skillful mentorship—to guide, nurture, describe and explain—releases the eloquence of murmuring histories. In this capacity Patrick is that most earnest and sincere of excellent narrators. If ever I had friends, clients or colleagues visiting New York looking for unusual inspiration, there was always the certainty that Patrick’s gallery would offer them a glimpse of the hitherto unseen or the unusually seductive, always with the reassurance of the most fascinating story waiting to be told.

Mentorship and curiosity, when balanced in equal measure, reveal the precious alchemy of a curator. And it is the duty of the mature curator to discern and detect, to cultivate change, and from there to pioneer, and to share. Innovation is never static, and the Present is already the Future. Fresh dialogs evolve, energies to be nurtured, opportunities to be guided. Renewed and re-orientated, Patrick now faces fully forward—as benefactor, interlocutor and mentor to a new, inquisitive generation of talented creators, and the quest for discovery rejuvenates.

— Simon Andrews
andrewsartadvisory.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

Gertrud and Otto Natzler’s graceful forms with exquisite glazes stand among the most admired ceramic works of the 20th century. Gertrud skillfully threw the clay, shaping organically inspired vessels with thin walls while Otto performed feats of alchemy exploring various firing techniques and glaze recipes to develop signature finishes. Throughout their prolific career, spanning close to forty years, the vibrant duo strove for perfection.

Gertrud and Otto met in Vienna in 1933 when they were both twenty-five. Otto was working as a textile designer and Gertrud was a secretary, though Otto had originally been committed to being a violinist and Gertrud had attended art school. Both were interested in ceramics and the two studied in the workshop of Franz Iskra in Vienna before opening their own workshop in 1935. Their work received early recognition and they were rewarded the Silver Medal at the World Exposition Paris in 1937. They married in 1938 and fled Austria for Los Angeles, where they continued their robust creative partnership and taught for nearly forty years.

Gertrud passed away in 1971 and Otto returned to creating work in 1973, continuing until his death in 2007. Their bold artistic legacy lives on in such prestigious collections as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

Learn More

Auction Results Gertrud and Otto Natzler

GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, Important and monumental bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

Important and monumental bowl

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $45,000
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, Important and monumental teardrop bottle with flaring top | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

Important and monumental teardrop bottle with flaring top

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $42,500
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, monumental bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

monumental bowl

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $40,000
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, Important monumental vase | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

Important monumental vase

estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $32,500
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, bottle | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

bottle

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $26,250
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, vase | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

vase

estimate: $3,500–4,500
result: $15,210
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

bowl

estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $13,200
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

bowl

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $12,650
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, vase with blue celadon reduction glaze with crystals | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

vase with blue celadon reduction glaze with crystals

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $12,113
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, vase | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

vase

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $11,875
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

bowl

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $11,250
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, vase | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

vase

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $10,000
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, vase | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

vase

estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $10,000
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, collection of three vessels | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

collection of three vessels

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $9,375
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

bowl

estimate: $4,000–5,000
result: $9,000
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, flaring bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

flaring bowl

estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $8,750
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

bowl

estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $8,750
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, vase | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

vase

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $7,800
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

bowl

estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $7,500
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, shallow bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

shallow bowl

estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $7,500
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, Bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

Bowl

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $7,500
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, bowl | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

bowl

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $7,500
GERTRUD AND OTTO NATZLER, closed form vase | wright20.com

Gertrud and Otto Natzler

closed form vase

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $7,500
OTTO AND GERTRUD NATZLER, bowl | wright20.com

Otto and Gertrud Natzler

bowl

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $6,563