Doyle Lane (1923–2002) was a defining voice in twentieth-century West Coast studio ceramics and an important figure in the community of Black artists who established themselves in postwar Los Angeles. After moving from New Orleans in 1946, Lane worked from a home studio in the El Sereno district of Los Angeles for most of his career, supporting himself as a production potter. His pottery, clay paintings, studio jewelry, and large-scale murals all evince his command of sculptural form and his innovative approach to glazing. Lane disregarded distinctions between fine art and craft, not because they felt limiting, but because he sought to create beautiful, transfixing objects that made their way out into the world and that, when sold, enabled him to live as he preferred. The humble radicalism inherent in this position is especially alive in his weed pots, which fascinate as condensed statements of shape and color and are as straightforward as they are sophisticated. The weed pots are also expressions of technical ingenuity, an intuitive sense of balance, and careful dedication to the multiple stages of ceramic production. From the mid-sixties though the early seventies Lane exhibited his pottery and clay paintings at Ankrum Gallery and Brockman Gallery in Los Angeles and Galleria Del Sol in Santa Barbara. During the last two decades of his life, when health issues affected his ability to create pottery or larger tile pieces, Lane shifted into the production of ceramic beads and pendants which bear the same iconic glaze work as much of his prior work.
Doyle Lane has been the subject of solo exhibitions at David Kordansky Gallery, New York (2023); The Landing at Reform Gallery, Los Angeles (2014); Los Angeles City College (1977); Brockman Gallery, Los Angeles (1968); and Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles (1967). Group exhibitions include California Design, 1930–1965: Living in A Modern Way, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2012); California Black Craftsmen, Mills College of Art Gallery, Oakland, California (1970); Objects USA, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. (1969); and California Design, Pasadena Art Museum, California (1958, 1960). His work is in the permanent collections of the California African American Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Baltimore Museum of Art; New Orleans Museum of Art; Oakland Museum of Art, California; The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.