Alice Sturges Steinman started to work in clay during the California Clay explosion which started with artists like Peter Voulkous and Robert Arneson. Trained on the East Coast during the Pop Art era, in the sixties, she went to Andy Warhol's Factory, and made hard-edge Pop paintings.
Steinman studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, exhibited along with William Wiley, and had gallery shows in New York City. The main influence which came to direct her current work was that of now deceased East Bay artist Stephen DeStabler. As Manuel Neri was recently overheard to say, her work "looks like DeStabler's figures got up and stood on their own." She shares what was DeStabler's fascination with the ancient, uncovered effects which clay can produce. As Steinman says, "I'm less interested in the subject content, then being led by the different elements of the clay, which then evolve a powerful content on their own." She uses the basic clay effects such as cracking, breaking, drooping, and eroding, as an Impressionist would use brush-strokes, to accumulate effects and portray a figure or reality as kind of a by-product. Her primary focus is on the relationship between the human form and the natural world. Clay itself is a natural product, but additionally she adds plants to her work and in her collage work she adds images photographed by her on her walks on Mt. Tam..
Her current group of Animal Vessels are a case in point. The vessels themselves are very abstract and loosely suggest to the artist a different animal, which comes to be treated more specifically in the head which tops the jar. Egyptian canonic jars are the main historical influence on this group of work, which will go on display at the end of the summer at "room" gallery in Mill Valley. She is represented in many private collections, and has shown on the East Coast, as well as in San Francisco and the Bay Area.