Rick Dillingham 1952-1994, A Retrospective Exhibition Organized by the University of New Mexico Art Museum. Exhibition Catalog.
Dillingham is best known for his wonderful pottery vessels that were constructed, fractured, and reassembled in the likeness of broken prehistoric pueblo pottery being discovered in excavations in the Southwest. He was fascinated with pueblo pottery, be it prehistoric, historic or contemporary.
He began his experimentation with fractured and reassembled pottery while a student at the University of New Mexico in the early 1970s. He would construct a vessel, break it apart, paint each individual shard and then reassemble the pieces using black mastic that would be visible between the fragments. Supposedly, early in his career, Dillingham accidentally broke one of his ceramic pieces and decided to patch it back together, thus determining his path as an artist for the remainder of his career. He dispelled the prevailing thought that breakage of an art object was the end of that object. For him, it was a beginning.
Dillingham built his vessels in the traditional pueblo fashion of coils, not using a potter