The following is copied from the NCECA Newsletter:
It is with immeasurable sadness that we report the passing of Victor Spinski on Monday, January 21, 2013. At the 2013 NCECA Conference in Houston, Victor was to be made an Honorary Member of the Council. This award will now be presented posthumously and an observance in memory of Victor will be planned.
Victor Spinski's work communicated through its mastery of material and keenness of mind. His storytelling and early performances have become part of NCECA's folklore and also represent important threads in the tapestry of contemporary ceramics. Victor held a patent on the Ceramic Photo Emulsion process and distinguished himself as one of the foremost artists working in the vein of trompe l'oeil ceramics. Victor's mastery of the ceramic material enabled him to render objects with so high a level of verisimilitude as to make us question our powers of perception. In this manner he played a pivotal role shaping the course of contemporary clay sculpture in adapting the trompe l'oeil style to the ceramic medium.
The subject of NCECA's Spirit of Ceramics video: Victor Spinski: A True American Master of Fun(k), Victor retired seven years ago from his 38-year tenure as a Professor of Ceramics at the University of Delaware. Victor's acute wit was often animated through the juxtaposition of contradictory elements and fabrication that was so highly skilled as to confound our powers of perception. Hammers and nails made of fragile fired clay would shatter if employed with their intended function are examples of his mischievous approach to his use of ceramics as a material.
Victor's creative achievement is both a tribute to and celebration of the value of an honest day's work. His sculptures sometimes manifested this obsession with labor by endowing the forms of old and used tools with earthy stoicism and otherworldly beauty. Victor practiced his art in the tradition of the trickster, and jester, using humor to reveal the essential and sometimes uncomfortable truths that make us human.
Our hearts go out to his wife, Sally Van Orden and his son, Tristan Spinski in this great moment of loss and to all those that had the opportunity to know him. Victor will be missed by so many. His life was a legacy that will continue to inspire and inform generations to come.