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Modern ceramics

Ruth Duckworth exhibition / Erskine Hall & Coe, London

Ruth Duckworth exhibition Erskine Hall & Coe Gallery, London

Ruth Duckworth exhibition / Erskine Hall & Coe, London
September 5 - October 4, 2012

Erskine, Hall & Coe are pleased to announce the exhibition of the celebrated contemporary sculptor, Ruth Duckworth.

The exhibition includes 22 artworks in bronze, porcelain and stoneware. The earliest dates from 1965 but the majority of pieces are from the period of late 1980s through to work completed in the final year of Duckworth’s life. The gallery has been working closely with Thea Burger, who represents the Duckworth Estate.

Writing in her essay to accompany the exhibition Thea Burger states:
“Duckworth was a modernist sculptor who loved form. She was not about colour, but was about the subtle shape of her pieces. Her forms are typically created in porcelain, stoneware, or bronze. Much admired, she has art works in most of the world’s most prestigious museums, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Los Angeles Country Museum, the Victoria and Albert, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Tokyo Museum of Art.”

In Ruth Duckworth, Modernist Sculptor written by Jo Lauria and Tony Birks, Duckworth talks of her process of creating a sculpture: Ruth Duckworth Porcelain.

“Play is the essence of creativity. Creative play and gut reaction, instinct. When I work on a piece, I play. I have a whole huge section of the studio where I have an inventory of sculptural forms, simple, abstract, non-specific shapes that I find beautiful and enjoy making. Then I start building these shapes together. And when I find myself smiling, I say “hello!” I think I’ve got something. The process is intuitive, not intellectual. You have to learn to be spontaneous and trust yourself.”

Download the catalogue of the exhibition or view the catalogue online.

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  • Langenthal retrospective / Musée Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland

    The Langenthal porcelain manufactory. From industrial design to Sunday china, Musee Ariana, Geneva

    Langenthal retrospective / Musée Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland
    May 23 - November 25, 2012

    Opening reception: Wednesday, May 22 at 6.30 pm.

    #1
    The Langenthal porcelain manufactory. From industrial design to Sunday china

    The fascinating history of the only 20th century Swiss porcelain factory began in 1906 in the Bernese town of Langenthal. Deeply rooted in the Swiss identity, the porcelain manufactory Langenthal SA – affectionately known by its workers as the “Porzi” – became noted for its cutting-edge technology, the diversity of its products as well as the quality of its porcelain. The artistic output followed the dominant aesthetic currents of the century while still preserving its local character. From Art Nouveau and Art Deco to the deliciously “vintage” designs of the 1950s and 1960s, from pseudo-rustic to avant-garde propositions, from collaborations with artists and designers to the influence of the artistic directors of the manufactory, the history of Langenthal is closely linked to the evolution of taste.

    This collaboration with the Langenthal manufactory has been an opportunity to update the rich archives : hand-painted design books, catalogues of forms and motifs, publicity leaflets and brochures, archive photos. Loans from public and private institutions enrich and complete the important collection of the Musée Ariana (over 1000 pieces). All the conditions have been met to allow a portrait to be drawn of 20th century industrial porcelain in Switzerland.

    The History of A Courageous Project
    When some notables of the Bernese town of Langenthal decided to found a porcelain manufactory in July 1906, they were armed with a good dose of courage and staunch enthusiasm. Indeed, after a century without any porcelain manufacture in Switzerland, there were no raw materials and, more particularly, no specialized local workforce available. They had to start completely from scratch in order to rewrite Switzerland into the porcelain history books.

    After a chaotic start, production became more organized and the manufactory began displaying its goods in specialized exhibitions and fairs with encouraging success. The outbreak of the First World War curbed this momentum. In 1937, in order to reduce its dependence on imported coal, the manufactory constructed the first 24-hour electric tunnel kiln. This technological breakthrough allowed the company to increase and diversify its production.
    After the Second World War, the manufactory enjoyed a heyday. The remarkable quality of the Swiss-made products enabled it to fight off the competitors. In 1964, the firm recorded the highest number of employees in its history, with 950 workers.

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  • Anat Shiftan: Stilled Life / Vessels Gallery, Boston, USA

    Anat Shiftan: Stilled Life exhibition at Vessels Gallery, Boston

    Anat Shiftan: Stilled Life / Vessels Gallery, Boston, USA
    May 4 – May 27, 2012

    Vessels Gallery is pleased to present Stilled Life, a solo exhibition of the new ceramic work of Anat Shiftan. Born in Israel, and with a degree from Hebrew University in English Literature and Philosophy, Shiftan received her MFA in Ceramics from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Design. In 2003, the artist joined the faculty at the State University of New York at New Paltz, School of Fine and Performing Arts, where she finds teaching essential to her creative process. She has participated in group exhibitions both nationally and internationally and was featured in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Biennale for Israeli Ceramicsas well as in the 4th Annual Jingdezhen Contemporary International Ceramics Exhibition, in Jingdezhen, China.

    Shiftan is philosophically absorbed by nature and itsre-creation in art. She writes, “Looking at nature is a springboard for my artistic expression…” She is drawn in by the beauty of nature, the fluctuation between its symmetry and imbalance, its order and disarray. More importantly, however, she has become fascinated by the “packaging” of this nature as an art object throughout history. Shiftan is captivated by the human engagement with nature,by man’s desire to artistically capture what has been seen, andfinally by the process of doing it. This conversion from outside to inside, is just as much part of the subject matter as the clay itself.The artist works primarily in porcelain, and her pieces are markedly delicate and alluring, sometimes with sharp edges and coarse surfaces which may invite the viewer to look but not to touch.

    Stilled Life continues Shiftan’s exploration of this dual role: nature in its own setting and nature domesticated. In her own words: “I contemplate the role of nature in artistic history, and I wonder if it is at all accessible to us today as a reality.”

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  • Patricia Sannit: Citadel - close up, 2011, found and reclaimed clays, slip and stain

  • Patricia Sannit: Aquaduct, 2010, 9”x22”x4”, cast found and reclaimed clays, slip and stain

  • Patricia Sannit: Bottle: Infinity, 2009 , 22”x7”x4”, hand-built, carved and incised stoneware, slip and stain

  • Patricia Sannit: Hemisphere 1198, 2008, 8”x12”x12”, cast, carved and incised found and reclaimed clays, slip and stain

  • Bente Skjøttgaard: Clouds, White turquoise cloud no 1003, 2010, Stoneware and glaze, hand built, 23 x 53 x 34 cm. Photo: Ole Akhøj

  • Bente Skjøttgaard: Clouds field no 1037, detail, 2010, Stoneware and glaze, hand built. Photo: Ole Akhøj

  • Steve Belz: Assisted Nucleation (detail), 2011, Low fire ceramic, washes, glaze, rubber cord and steel fastener, 20H x 30W x 10D inches

  • Steve Belz: Pulse (detail), 2011, Ceramic, glaze, bronze and powder coating, 9H x 14W x 10D inches

  • Steve Belz: Hold It, 2009, Low fire ceramic, washes, glazes, copper wires and steel fasteners, 9H x 13W x 10D inches

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