Elizabeth Fritsch returns to Cardiff

  • 1 November 2011

Thanks to the support of the Art Fund and the Derek Williams Trust, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales has acquired two new pieces by Elizabeth Fritsch, a major Welsh-born ceramic artist.

Elizabeth Fritsch, Counterpoint Vase in Twelve Tones & Optical Bowl with Fractured Rim © The artist / Photo: Robin Maggs

Elizabeth Fritsch, Counterpoint Vase in Twelve Tones & Optical Bowl with Fractured Rim

Thanks to the support of the Art Fund and the Derek Williams Trust, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales has acquired two new pieces by Elizabeth Fritsch, a major Welsh-born ceramic artist.

Optical Bowl with Fractured Rim, 1974 and Counterpoint Vase in Twelve Tones, 1975 are important examples of Fritsch’s early work and will form part of a new display at the Museum.

The work

Andrew Renton, Head of Applied Art at National Museum Wales explains why Fritsch’s style is so unique, 'Elizabeth Fritsch is a major contemporary artist, whose work is as rewarding visually as it is appealing to the mind. Key aspects of Fritsch’s style are apparent in these two new works, from the precise, almost architectural, hand-built forms and the meticulously painted and worked fresco-like surface, to the intense interest in musical rhythm, optical effects and sophisticated colour relationships.'

The artist

The first of a number of outstanding ceramicists to graduate from the Royal College of Art in the early 1970s, Fritsch marked a move away from the dominant wheel-thrown approach to ceramics. She developed a distinctive style based on her own particular hand-building technique and a unique approach to colour and painting in three dimensions. Her flattened ‘2½-dimensional’ forms, creating visual illusions and playing with different optics, established her reputation as a unique and important artist.

Stephen Deuchar at the Art Fund commented, 'These new pieces by Elizabeth Fritsch are a great example of an acquisition which is nationally and regionally significant and which will be hugely appreciated by visitors.'