Monday, 21 August 2017

The New British Pottery of the 20th Century

Ewart Uncles © Bristol Culture

The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery in Bristol, the United Kingdom is showing a retrospective exhibition of 20th century British pottery.

Twentieth Century British Pottery
Fig.1 Hans Coper © Bristol Culture
In the 20th century, a ceramics industry born alongside post-industrial revolution mass production coexisted with a studio system that had a division of labor between artisans who painted and those who threw clay on wheels. In that environment arose a new trend of the individual pottery artist. These artists should be recognized as conveyors of the beauty of the combination of highly practical pottery and artistic expression.

The driving force behind this trend was Bernard Leach. In 1920, Leach returned from Japan with Shoji Hamada and created a style that fused the tradition and style of Eastern and Western, and Japanese and British ceramics. It was simple, solid and powerful pottery.
The New Shape of the New Pottery
The potters Lucie Rie from Austria and Hans Coper  (fig. 1) from Germany fled the battles of World War II and sought asylum in Britain. Both artists were influenced by the sudden spread at the time of abstract sculpture and pursued the spatial representation and figurative aspects of pottery. Their works were thin and light and gave rise to a new balancing of modulation. As mechanization allowed for high quality mass-produced goods and decreased the need for artisans to create daily commodities, the younger generation, led by Rie and Coper, experimented with new forms and expressions of pottery in their artistic quests.

“Radical Clay: Teaching with the greatest potters of the 1960s” Exhibition until June 10, 2018 (irregular closings on Mondays)

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Queens Rd
Bristol BS8 1RL
The United Kingdom
Opening times:
Tue to Sun 10:00-17:00
Dec. 25, 26. Irregular Mondays (see website)