THAT CONTINUOUS THING: ARTISTS AND THE CERAMICS STUDIO, 1920 – TODAY

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Date(s): May 31, 2017 – Oct 1, 2017
Location: Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, Saint Ives TR26 1TG, UK

Exploring the diverse forms, energies and locations that define the modern ceramics studio.
The ceramics studio has always been a place where tradition meets experimentation. Spanning 100 years, this exhibition explores the diverse forms, energies and locations that define the modern studio. Ranging from the rise of studio pottery in the 1910s to a number of new commissions by a young generation of UK-based artists, That Continuous Thing – a quote from the American artist Peter Voulkos – traces the changing shape of the ceramics studio over the last century.

Opening with exchange between Japan and the UK in the 1910s and ’20s through the emergence of studio potters such as Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada (who moved from Japan to St Ives in 1920), William Staite Murray and Dora Billington, the exhibition leads on to the Californian ‘clay revolution’ of the 1950s and ‘60s, with sculptures by the pioneering sculptor Voulkos and his students, including Ken Price, Rudy Autio and Ron Nagle. A specially commissioned series of ceramic sculptures by the young British artist Jesse Wine will be included in response to the display. The final section of the exhibition, developed with artist Aaron Angell, recalls artists working in London in the ‘70s and 80s, celebrating the experimental work of Gillian Lowndes, Richard Slee and other ‘hand-building’ contemporaries. These will be shown alongside a presentation of works by a number artists – including Anthea Hamilton – made over the last three years at Angell’s London-based Troy Town Art Pottery, which he describes as ‘a radical and psychedelic workshop for artists’.

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